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DISCOVER and LIVE YOUR CALLING! Launch a PURPOSE-CENTERED Business


I remember when I was running at lightning speed at my corporate J-O-B from 8am to 6pm (if I was lucky) every. single. day. My days were full of transactions with little opportunity for substantive conversations and completely lacking real connections. 
    
I would get home and be too exhausted to spend time with my husband or my daughter, who had significant medical challenges and needed her mommy.
 
No matter how many times I was promoted or how much money I was making, it just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy. I wanted more balance, more freedom, and more meaning in my life.
 
My hunch is if you’re reading this, then you can relate. For whatever reason, you want to leave your current job and create a new and better life for yourself. 
 
Congratulations on making that bold decision! To help you on this journey, I am here to share with you 5 Simple Steps To Creating A Successful Business So That You Can Create The Life You Really Want:
 
 
Step 1. Get Crystal Clear About Your Mission!  
 
The first step on your journey is to ask yourself this question: “How do I imagine serving my clients?” You want to get crystal clear about the ways you will help people and the problems you will solve. To help you answer this question, write down the names of colleagues, friends or family members who have benefited from your abilities. Categorize the types of people you most often seem to be assisting and ask yourself, “What problems did I solve for this category of people?” This will open your eyes to the value you can bring to the marketplace in your new career. Our work world is changing rapidly and more people than ever are feeling stressed, out of balance and disconnected. Life-enhancing products and services help people live a more balanced, satisfying life. Now is the time for you to be a part of that! Your existing strengths, gifts and talents are the clue!
 
Step 2. Identify Your BIG WHY   
 
In launching any new endeavor, the old adage applies: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do, but you may end up in Abilene."  In other words, if you don't have that deep bubbling well of motivation that fuels you from a powerful sense of purpose, you will probably take a wrong turn, spend unnecessary time and money and potentially derail your business.  Get in touch with the WHY behind your choice to provide a particular product or service. Make a list of times when you have experienced being totally in the 'zone' in what you might call a 'flow' state — times when you were engaged in an activity or task and you were totally unaware of time passing or whether you had skipped a meal — these may have been times in either your work, leisure, school or hobby times — look for themes that emerge from the list. Ask yourself: "What motivated me during those moments? How can I bring the essence of those times into my professional life? What values of mine are evidenced in those times?” Write it all down (you can even mind map it if you’d like)!
 
Step 3. Get An Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality
 
A study by Inc. magazine revealed why most new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures fail. What's your guess? When I pose the question to participants in my classes, 80-90% reply "lack of vision.” In fact, it is the inability to get an accurate assessment of the current state of the business that derails most new ventures, not the lack of vision. It's essential to tell yourself the truth about your starting point, without letting it throw you!  Whenever there is a gap between our current reality and our vision, there is energy that is seeking resolution, a bit like stretching a rubber band tight between two fingers. There is energy in that tension!  But for many of us, the discrepancy between our starting point and our vision drops us into a state of anxiety or 'psychological' tension. When that happens, learn to refocus on your vision and listen for what that 'gremlin' voice, or inner critic is saying -— don't feed that gremlin voice! — take any small step toward your vision in that moment instead. Be truthful with yourself about you current state so that your vision is built on a solid foundation, not on shifting sands — but don't get derailed by life in the gap!
 
Step 4. Map Out Your HOW      
 
Build a clear process map, like a flow diagram, with the steps you will help clients move through when they engage you as a provider. Mapping this out will build your confidence and what is often called a sense of 'conscious competence'. In other words, we often intuitively know what to do in the moment to be of service to someone, or help solve a problem, but we haven't taken the time to articulate our process and so don't fully 'own' it in conversations that could naturally lead to client engagements.
 
Step 5. Get An Accurate Assessment of Your Skills
 
Mapping out your process may reveal a few holes. You may find there are some steps where you feel uncertain of tools and practices that would best serve your clients. There are assessments available to help you inventory your strengths and target areas for growth in competencies, skills and professional 'presence'. A seasoned business coach can also observe you in action, perhaps by having you role-play situations, and then give you invaluable feedback on places to firm up your toolkit and process! 
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Time to See the Field

The Art of Facilitation

By Ron Kertzner - September 29, 2016

There’s a scene from the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, which speaks directly to the heart and soul of facilitation. In the movie, the character, Arjunah, played by Matt Damon, is 12 strokes behind in a major golf tournament. His caddy, Bagger Vance, is about to suggest a way for him to ‘get back in the game.”

“I think it is time.”
“Time for what”
“Time for you to see the field?”
…”Feel that focus. He gotta a lot of shots he can choose from…but there is one shot that is in perfect harmony with the field. One shot that is his..his authentic shot. And that shot is going to choose him. There is a perfect shot trying to find each and everyone one of us. All we gotta to do is get ourselves out of its way and let it choose us.
You can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay. You got to look with soft eyes See the place where the tides and the seasons and the turning of the earth, all come together. Where everything that is becomes one. You got to seek that place with your soul.
Seek it with your hands, don’t think about it. Feel it. Your hands is wiser than you head will ever be….from The Legend of Baggar Vance
 
When I first saw this scene, I realized the same perspective that applied to a fictional golf story could also be applied to how I facilitate groups. All too often, I would misplace my focus when leading meetings/sessions. The dragon for me was making sure we accomplished our desired outcome of the session. I would use all my facilitation tools (golf clubs), working really hard to ensure the outcome. I was thinking and re-thinking every move, strategizing how to get to the next step, constantly wondering whether we would actually get to the outcome. And, of course, I was equally concerned on how I was appearing to the group: would they like me, would they respect me, etc…
 
As you can imagine, this can get tiring! I was no longer enjoying the very craft (the art of facilitation) that was my passion. So, with coaching and guidance, I began to let go: let go of controlling the outcome, of looking good, etc…Slowly, I began to see and even more importantly, feel the field. I began to pay attention, first, to what was happening internally: my state of mind, my state of being. I noticed that feeling of needing to be in control, of making everything work. But rather than act on it, I learned to let it pass on through my awareness; like a speeding train that I chose not to get on.
 
As it passed, I noticed I became more present, more aware of what was happening all around me. No longer consumed by thoughts of control or self-preservation, I could more easily attend to the participants. I started listening deeply to both what they were saying and how they were feeling. I began to sense the  ‘flow’ of the conversation: how things were moving naturally in the direction of the desired outcome and where the group seemed to get stuck.
 
I began to instinctively sense the right facilitation tool to use that would be of service to the group and to the desired outcome. The tool found me, instead of me over thinking what to do next.
 
Soon, I began to re-connect to the passion and joy that lead me to facilitate in the first place. Rather than trying to make things happen, I experienced a sense of co-creation.
 
I learned to ‘trust the process.’ No longer did I need to control the outcome; to make something happen. Rather, I learned to deeply relax into the present moment. Through the power of awareness and attention and a knowledge of good facilitation tools, I could ‘sense’ how the process was unfolding and guide it appropriately.
 
It reminded me of an experience I had years ago white water rafting. Our guide stood in the back of the boat. Those of us in the boat did most of the work, paddling one way or the other. The guide could sense how the river was flowing and steer us accordingly.
She was moving with the river as opposed to forcing the river.
 
When we got stuck in an eddy, she instructed us how to get ourselves back  into the flow of the river. When we hit a patch of rough water, she helped us navigate through it.
 
It wasn’t as if she was passive, just letting us glide down the river. But neither was she pushing, controlling, forcing us to move down the river. It was her connection with the river and with each of us that gave rise to her clear guidance; not too much, not too little.

This is the art of facilitation. Rather than connecting with the river, we connect with ‘the field’. We can’t think our way into the field. Rather, we learn to sense it through our hearts and hands as well as our minds. The field gives rise to creative possibility, to emergence of something new and innovative.
 
We need to become ‘field explorers.’ We can learn to consciously attend to the field, consciously work through it. What helps us to do that is to focus on the 4 P’s: Presence, People, Process, Purpose..
 
Presence – this requires us to be ‘mindful’, to attend to the present moment, to let go of latching onto a myriad of thoughts of emotions.
 
People – we need to connect not only with ourselves but also to those participating in the conversation. We connect through deep listening, asking thoughtful questions, and encouraging engagement.
 
Process –this provides a structure for the conversation to flow. Typically, there is some sort of divergent thinking  to convergent thinking process happening. Some people call it open, narrow, close; others call it go broad to go narrow. Being aware of how the group is moving through a process is a critical part of connecting to the field.
 
Purpose – when we simultaneously connect to our sense of purpose (am I there to serve or gratify my ego) and to that of the group (why they have come together), we see the flag we are aiming for, where our journey on the river winds up.
 
When we consciously choose to become ‘field explorers’, utilizing the four P’s, we begin to see with soft eyes. We begin to feel a deeper connection with everyone in the group and sense where the “river’ is flowing and skillfully guide what is truly seeking to emerge. 
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Blocks to Succeeding at Difficult Conversations (and how to overcome them)


By Ron Kertzner - August 3, 2016

When engaging in masterful conversations, there are two primary orientations people engage in: one is reactive; the other is creative. Our reactive tendencies are triggered when we somehow feel threatened by the conversation. Examples include: “If I don’t prove my point, I will be seen as not being a leader.” “I am my point of view.” “I don’t want to stir up conflict because I’ll be seen as disrespectful.” “I better not raise my point of view so I can stay safe.”
 
 Three Troublesome Mindsets
Most of us learned these reactive patterns at a very young age, so we’ve grown quite accustomed to them. Adult learning theorists would suggest that we react in one of three ways (or some combination of them): complying (needing to belong or please, little or no advocacy), protecting (being distant, arrogant, critical, advocacy but very little inquiry) or controlling (autocratic, driven, all advocacy all the time).
 
Three Steps for Changing the Game
The challenge in mastering difficult conversations is to first become of aware of our reactive pattern(s). Think back to a difficult conversation you had recently. Did you notice yourself leaning more to complying, protecting or controlling?  Was it some combination of two out of three or all three?
 
Once you’ve identified your reactive pattern,  the trick then is to not act from it. See it as a speeding train that you decide not to get on! In the moment, you can take a quick break (if the circumstances permit) or otherwise take a deep breath and reconnect to an intention to have a creative conversation.
 
What is a creative conversation? It’s a conversation where you can speak ‘your truth’, hear the other’s perspective, accomplish the task and preserve the relationship. It involves a healthy mix of advocacy, inquiry and reflection. We move from a right – wrong mindset to one of mutual learning; from a blame orientation to joint problem solving; from blasting them with our perspective to empathizing with both their feelings and perspective.
 
No matter how much we understand the skills of advocacy, inquiry and reflection, we’ll have a tough time employing them in a healthy way when we operate from a reactive orientation. So take the time to become aware of them while you are practicing the core skills of masterful conversations.
 
The combination of awareness plus competency leads to mastery!!
 
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Discover The 5 Simple Steps to Get Credentialed As A "Professional Coach" And Enjoy More Meaningful Work Each and Every Day!


I remember when I was running at lightning speed at my corporate J-O-B from 8am to 6pm (if I was lucky) every. single. day. My days were full of transactions with little opportunity for substantive conversations and completely lacking real connections. 
    
I would get home and be too exhausted to spend time with my husband or my daughter, who had significant medical challenges and needed her mommy.

No matter how many times I was promoted or how much money I was making, it just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy. I wanted more balance, more freedom, and more meaning in my life.

My hunch is if you’re reading this, then you can relate. For whatever reason, you want to leave your corporate job and create a new and better life for yourself. 

Congratulations on making that bold decision! To help you on this journey, I am here to share with you 5 Simple Steps To Creating A Successful Online Coaching Business So That You Can Leave Your Corporate Job and Create The Life You Really Want:

 
Step 1. Get Crystal Clear About Your Mission!  

The first step on your journey is to ask yourself this question: “How do I imagine serving my clients as a coach?” You want to get crystal clear about the ways you will help people and the problems you will solve. To help you answer this question, I want to write down the names of colleagues, friends or family members who have benefited from your abilities. Categorize the types of people you most often seem to be assisting and ask yourself, “What problems did I solve for this category of people?” This will open your eyes to the value you can bring to the marketplace in your new coaching career. Our work world is changing rapidly and more people than ever are seeking guidance and support with work and life transitions. Now is the time for you to be a part of that!
 
Step 2. Identify Your BIG WHY   

In launching any new endeavor, the old adage applies: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do, but you may end up in Abilene."  In other words, if you don't have that deep bubbling well of motivation that fuels you from a powerful sense of purpose, you will probably take a wrong turn, spend unnecessary time and money and potentially derail your coaching business.  Get in touch with the WHY behind your choice to be a Professional Coach. Make a list of times when you have experienced being totally in the 'zone' in what you might call a 'flow' state —  times when you were engaged in an activity or task and you were totally unaware of time passing or whether you had skipped a meal — these may have been times in either your work, leisure, school or hobby times — look for themes that emerge from the list. Ask yourself: "What motivated me during those moments? How can I bring the essence of those times into my professional coaching life? What values of mine are evidenced in those times?” Write it all down (you can even mind map it if you’d like)!
 
Step 3. Get An Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality

A study by Inc. magazine revealed why most new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures fail. What's your guess? When I pose the question to participants in my classes, 80-90% reply "lack of vision.” In fact, it is the inability to get an accurate assessment of the current state of the business that derails most new ventures, not the lack of vision. It's essential to tell yourself the truth about your starting point, without letting it throw you!  Whenever there is a gap between our current reality and our vision, there is energy that is seeking resolution, a bit like stretching a rubber band tight between two fingers. There is energy in that tension!  But for many of us, the discrepancy between our starting point and our vision drops us into a state of anxiety or 'psychological' tension. When that happens, learn to refocus on your vision and listen for what that 'gremlin' voice, or inner critic is saying -— don't feed that gremlin voice! — take any small step toward your vision in that moment instead. Be truthful with yourself about you current state so that your vision is built on a solid foundation, not on shifting sands — but don't get derailed by life in the gap!
 
Step 4. Map Out Your HOW      

Build a clear process map, like a flow diagram, with the steps you will help clients move through when they engage you as a coach and are navigating their own gaps with your help!   Mapping this out will build your confidence and what is often called a sense of 'conscious competence'. If you have never 'formally' coached before, don't worry! If you are working with others on a team, perhaps training new employees or maybe even managing projects, then you have coaching skills!!Many of us are 'unconsciously competent', in other words we intuitively know what to do in the moment to be of service to someone, or help solve a problem, but we haven't taken the time to articulate our process and so don't fully 'own' it in conversations that could naturally lead to coaching engagements.
 
Step 5. Get An Accurate Assessment of Your Skills

Mapping out your process may reveal a few holes. You may find there are some steps where you feel uncertain of tools and practices that would best serve your clients. There are coaching assessments available to help you inventory your strengths and target areas for growth in competencies, skills and coaching 'presence'. A seasoned coach can also observe you in action, perhaps by having you role-play coaching them, and then give you some invaluable feedback on places to firm up your toolkit and process! The live action approach with an experienced coach will especially help calibrate your 'coaching presence', namely, how well do you stay in the moment with the client, fully listening to their concerns, without jumping ahead to figure out what to say next.
 
These are the same 5 steps I took to enjoy my own private coaching business that is flourishing and enables me to work from home and schedule my days around time with my daughter! 

You can make the leap just like I did, and I recommend doing so with the support of a proven process leading to certification as a professional coach. We’re happy to help!
 
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Discover The 5 Simple Steps to Get Credentialed As A "Professional Coach" So You Can Leave Your Corporate Job


I remember when I was running at lightning speed at my corporate J-O-B as an HR Leader for a large high-tech company from 8am to 6pm (if I was lucky) every. single. day. My days were full of transactions with little opportunity for substantive conversations and completely lacking real connections. 

I would get home and be too exhausted to spend time with my husband or my daughter, who had significant medical challenges and needed her mommy.

No matter how many times I was promoted or how much money I was making, it just wasn’t enough. I wasn’t happy. I wanted a new role that allowed me to have a relational versus transactional day that would energize and enliven me every day. 

My hunch is if you’re reading this, then you can relate. For whatever reason, you want more meaning in your career through a promotion that will make you feel happy and satisfied.

That’s why I’m happy to share with you the 5 Simple Steps to Get Credentialed as a Coach, Enjoy Upward Mobility and Have True Satisfaction at Work. These are the same 5 steps I used to sculpt a new role with a promotion that allowed me to coach leaders and other professionals in one-on-ones as well as provide group coaching to teams!  

Now it’s your turn:
 
Step 1  Get Crystal Clear about your WHAT!  

Ask yourself: how do I imagine serving my clients as a coach? In what ways am I already helping people to solve problems in my work or personal life? Write down the types of problems you are helping people tackle. List the names of colleagues, friends or family members who have benefited from your abilities. Categorize the types of people you most often seem to be assisting and with what kinds of challenges?  Ask yourself: "how do these lists inform WHAT i want to offer as a Professional Coach?" Our work world is changing rapidly and more people than ever are seeking guidance and support with work and life transitions. Clarify the WHAT in your offering as a coach that will focus your business on the gifts, skills and talents you uniquely bring to the table. Get ready to play the note that is uniquely yours!!
 
Step 2   Identify Your BIG WHY

In launching any new endeavor, the old adage applies: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will do, but you may end up in Abilene."  In other words, if you don't have that deep bubbling well of motivation that fuels you from a powerful sense of purpose, you will probably take a wrong turn, spend unnecessary time and money and potentially derail your coaching career.  Get in touch with your WHY for choosing to be a Professional Coach. Make a list of times when you have experienced being totally in the 'zone' in what you might call a 'flow' state — times when you were engaged in any activity or task and you were totally unaware of time passing or whether you had skipped a meal — these may have been times in either your work, leisure, school or hobby times — look for themes that emerge from the list. Ask yourself: "what motivated me during those moments? How can I bring the essence of those times into my professional coaching life? Why might coaching replicate those experiences of 'flow' and engagement? What personal values of mine are evidenced in those times? How will my coaching practice be imbued with those values? Write it all down! Make a mind map!
 
Step 3   Get An Accurate Picture of Your Current Reality

A study by Inc. magazine revealed why most new businesses and entrepreneurial ventures fail. What's your guess? When I pose the question to participants in my classes, 80-90% reply "lack of vision". In fact, it is the inability to get an accurate assessment of the current state of the business that derail most new ventures. It's essential to tell yourself the truth about your starting point without letting it throw you!  Whenever there is a gap between our current reality and our vision there is energy that is seeking resolution, a bit like stretching a rubber band tight between two fingers. There is energy in that tension!  But for many of us, the discrepancy between our starting point and our vision drops us into a state of anxiety or 'psychological' tension. When that happens, learn to refocus on your vision and listen for what that 'gremlin' voice, or inner critic is saying -— don't feed that gremlin voice! — take any small step toward your vision in that moment instead. A small step might be dashing off an email to connect with a mentor, or sketching out what you'd like your new business card to say. Be truthful with yourself about you current state so that your vision is built on a solid foundation, not on shifting sands — but don't get derailed by life in the gap!
 
Step 4   Map Out Your HOW    

Build a clear process map, like a flow diagram, with the steps you will help clients move through when they work with you as a coach and are navigating their own gaps with your help!   Mapping this out will build your confidence and what is often called a sense of 'conscious competence'. Many of us are 'unconsciously competent', in other words we intuitively know what to do in the moment to be of service to someone, but we haven't taken the time to articulate our process and so don't fully 'own' it in conversations that could naturally lead to a new client engagement.
 
Step 5    Get An Accurate Assessment of Your Skills

Mapping out your process may reveal a few holes. You may find there are a few steps where you feel uncertain of tools and practices that would best serve your clients. There are coaching assessments available to help you inventory your strengths and target areas for growth in competencies, skills and coaching 'presence'. A seasoned coach can also observe you in action, perhaps by coaching them, and give you some invaluable feedback on places to firm up your process! The live action approach with an experienced coach will especially help calibrate your 'coaching presence', namely, how well do you stay in the moment with the client, fully listening to their concerns, without jumping ahead to figure out what to say next.

 With these steps, I was able to get the promotion I wanted and even eventually left corporate to start my own private coaching business with all that fabulous experience under my belt. 

If you are simply not enlivened and empowered by the work you do, but are pressed for the time you think you need to develop a far more fulfilling work life, then make the first move and follow these steps. I’m here if you need help!
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