“After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done.” ~Author Unknown
This month I was contacted by a coaching colleague in Kwa-Zulu Natal (a coach I do not know – isn’t it wonderful when your marketing systems draw the right contacts to you?). She asked that I contribute to an article request from Weighless Wellness Magazine inviting coaches to expose their own personal habits. The editor wanted to turn the table on 3 Coaches, asking them to share what it is they DO in their own lives. “Walking the talk” and “actions speak louder than words” are 2 clichés they wanted to put to the test here. Quite rightly, since coaches and mentors are in the business of helping our clients to inspect their habits, not so? The magazine wanted to evaluate whether we are indeed living up to Benjamin Franklin’s credo of “Well done is better than well said”
My contributing colleagues, Jackie Psannis (Life Coach, KZN) and Cindy Norcott (Business Coach, KZN) shared their daily habits which include healthy eating, regular exercise, reading inspirational material, using to-do lists, weekly planners, and not taking life too seriously. (Visit www.weighless.co.za for magazine and article details)
From my side, I shared the following; “Although I’m not a whisky drinker, for some years I have adopted for my own inspiration the slogan from the Johnnie Walker ad campaign that encourages me to just Keep Walking! It’s my habit to look for personal motivating slogans to use as personal prompts to help me to stay focused on implementing my ideas, because some of them are darn scary. It’s a technique I encourage in my executive coaching clients who oftentimes face uncharted territories in their careers and organizations and must move forward regardless of fear. Thanks to Nike, we all ‘Just Do It!’. Thanks to the Olympic high-jump coach, we ‘Throw our hearts over the bar, knowing the rest will follow’, Thanks for Susan Jeffers we ‘Feel the Fear and do it anyway’, Thanks to my yoga teacher, we ‘Go there and make that effort’.
This technique may speak to my own love of words as does the fact that I have painted my most important values on my bedroom wall (no kidding)! The values that we choose to live our lives by are like beacons that shed light when we’re at important decision making crossroads. Ensuring that our decisions will honour our values and allow them to show up in our lives is vitally important for our personal and professional well-being. Most coaches will help their clients to identify the value statements that are most important to them and invite them to keep them top of mind. Well, I now see mine the first thing in the morning when I open my eyes!
In my coaching process, I do a lot more listening than I do talking. It’s through the deep power of attentive listening that my clients hear themselves speak their own truths and gather their own insights for their development. And my clients, many of them leaders, must develop this keen interest in listening in order to hear what their people most need from them. Consequently, I’m very precious about what I listen to when I am not listening to clients. I choose not to own a TV and I seldom listen to the radio. This cuts away a lot of visual and auditory energy-draining stimulation and frees up my head space to engage in personal reflection and divine subtle listening – to nature, the sounds of life around me, to my own intuition and my own internal voices.”
Coaches and Mentors, which of your own well-advised-to-clients daily habits are you incorporating into your own behaviours, ensuring that your actions speak as loud as your words?