How can self-leadership coaching benefit you in your professional & personal life? 

Clients tell me all the time that the coaching work with them is deeply personal which also helps them in how they lead their teams at work too and how they’re better able to handle things beyond their control.

I’m a Certified Integral Coach and also trained in advanced developmental coaching techniques that build greater self-leadership.  This style of developmental coaching works with you from a whole human being approach – even when being coached in a work setting.   Developmental coaching helps you understand yourself in a deeper way by building awareness and understanding to help uncover new possibilities for yourself to become self-correcting and self-generative to build long-term excellence in self-leadership.

So what does self leadership mean?

Self Leadership means living intentionally and fully from your core authentic Self—your true nature—beyond personality, narratives, and historical patterns of behavior.  Self leadership is a WOB in which we face life’s breakdowns by empowering ourselves and activating our internal greatness to address these breakdowns.  It helps us be more resilient and step more fully into life as who we truly are – without our internal naysayers taking over.

Some people think of coaching and inner work as self improvement.  I would ask, what if nothing needs to be fixed, improved or changed? What if nothing is missing and we have that innate inner wisdom we need right within us? That is the work to be done in a developmental, explorative and compassionate way to build self-leadership. In our work together, we’ll discover or give acknowledgement to the parts of you that you may be ignoring but want to be seen, acknowledged and understood.  This opens up more freedom and possibilities for you.

You may be wondering, how will this benefit me at work? 

Cultivating our capacity for self-leadership helps us be better leaders for others in the process. It’s like the analogy of oxygen mask – put on your own oxygen masks before assisting others, that you hear every time you get on a plane. Before we lead other people we need to lead ourselves and our own life.  Then we can help those we lead by empowering them to also realize their wholeness – which in turn helps the organizations we work for.

It’s not about a position or personality, experience or background.  Self Leadership is developed and becomes our way of being. You don’t need to be in a management position to deepen your self-leadership.  It will benefit you in how you:

•Engage in teams

•How you show up and present yourself, interact with those you work with

•Your confidence and communication.

•It helps build your self awareness, puts you in the driver’s seat of your life taking you off auto-pilot

So you can probably see that self leadership is also helpful in your personal life too since our inner world shapes us in all aspects of our life.

How developing your self leadership helps your personal life

We are the leaders of our own lives. Self-leadership helps us lead a more fulfilling life by helping us release the grip of the things that hold us back – most often self inflicted.  Our inner critics and internal saboteurs that try to derail us – we’ll get to understand what they’re trying to tell us and protect us from in order to release them.  This is really freeing and allows us to step more fully into life.

An important factor in the success of your coaching work is a support network whether it be a family member or close friend to share your new discoveries with and be supported by in this journey. They also challenge you in order to put what you’re learning into practice!

As your awareness deepens about yourself you begin to open up and share, you may listen more, show empathy, get over disruptions faster and your relationships change by deepening or dissolving. You’ll Gain clarity and a deeper sense of what is meaningful for you and what is not.  You understand what you need to be happy and find more balance in life.

These are just a few examples of how self leadership coaching can benefit your personal and professional life.

Whether you’re feeling stuck, looking to empower your team, or have negative self talk happening in your head – self-leadership coaching can help you in your personal and professional life by helping you choose to respond in a different way and step fully into life. The work happens when you get compassionately curious about yourself in order to cultivate true self-leadership. 

See the possibilities, you’ll be amazed what you’re capable of!  It starts with You! I’m here to guide you through this journey to deeper self leadership.

How can LEGOS make Serious Play for Work Teams?

LEGOS aren’t just for kids! Can you believe that adults use legos at work to help improve team collaboration, spark creativity, and problem-solve?

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® (LSP) is a method for facilitating communication in meetings, promoting thinking, and problem-solving ideas for individuals, teams, and organizations.

As a certified facilitator for LSP, I design a workshop with questions that the participants then build lego models to respond, listen and share with the group – ultimately co-creating a shared model that leads to the goal of the workshop.

History and how LSP was developed

Developed internally by The LEGO Group in the 90s when they were going through business growth challenges Robert Rasmussen, the Director of Product Development at the time joined the efforts to investigate these challenges using legos for strategic development

What emerged was the ability to help people see they were part of the system, which helped them envision scenarios to better prepare for the future. They recognized the success of this method internally and began training facilitators in 2001 to bring the methodology to other organizations

Now separate from Lego, Rasmussen Consulting conducts facilitator training.  Robert is the Principal architect and father of the LSP methodology. He has become primarily responsible for refining and grounding the theories and science behind the method.

LSP can be applied to…

  • Unlock the potential of PEOPLE and their values.
  • Develop TEAM, leadership, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Build and validate BUSINESS MODELS.
  • Conduct STRATEGIC PLANNING meetings.
  • Identify and define MISSION, VISION and VALUES.
  • Create new PRODUCTS and SERVICES.
  • Analyze scenarios and look for solutions.

Core Beliefs of LSP

  1. Everyone around the table leans in. Leaders don’t have all the answers. Success depends on hearing all the voices inside the room and all voices have a contribution.

2. 100/100 meetings. Most meetings 20% of people do 80% of the talking – in LSP 100% share. People naturally want to contribute, be part of something bigger, and take responsibility. Teams often don’t function at their potential, leaving untapped knowledge in team members. LSP harnesses unique ideas and avoids groupthink.

3. Hand Knowledge. When hands are used in learning it generates a powerful emotional charge. Thoughts and ideas are built with our hands and can be expressed in greater detail. What we share is more easily understood and remembered. Both hands are connected with both sides of our brains to maximize all senses and learning styles at the same time.

The LSP ® method results in more participation, more insights, more engagement, and more commitment to implementing solutions. The purpose of LSP ® is to change the format of traditional meetings with low engagement and participation to a model where there is 100-100 participation, that is, where everyone actively participates in ideas and decision making.

It is based on extensive research in the areas of business and strategy, organizational development, psychology, and learning, and is based on the concept of “hands-on knowledge.”

You may be asking yourself, how does playing with legos produce this?

Why LSP is Effective

LEGO® blocks serve as a metaphor to create a universal language that anyone can use, regardless of their experience, position, education, or culture. The LSP method enables everyone to share their knowledge and insights.

We start with questions focused on the individual, then it builds into the group co-creating together. The structure of the LSP workshop requires that everyone be actively involved in the decision-making and solution-building processes. It increases the likelihood that each participant will feel more engaged and committed to implementing decisions and agreements after the workshop.

More ideas and concrete results are produced because everyone has the same time to build their answers and ideas even before starting the conversation and the sharing round.

Open communication and deep listening among participants is encouraged. Viewing 3D models, building metaphors, and stories generate interest and better retention of what is shared, which also contributes to better understanding.

LSP provides a safe and reliable environment and establishes a relationship of collaboration between participants. The focus of the methodology is on the answers built with the LEGO blocks, not on the people who answer them, which also allows for more intense discussions about the real facts and problems, minimizing personal conflicts.

Coming back to the question of “How can Legos make serious play for work teams?” Well, LSP is a fun and experiential way to collaborate and co-create together to get to a mutually agreed upon understanding.  – And we’re adults playing with legos at work!

If this seems like something you’d like to explore for your team, let’s talk! You too can build stuff with legos with your work colleagues – and get results from it!

Testing my fears in the Galapagos

I recently went on a yoga adventure retreat and did that ever happen at a time that I needed it! For the last year since signing up with a few friends, we’ve been preparing for our trip to the Galapagos and had something to look forward to. I came back feeling recharged and renewed with some new perspective.

Reflecting on my trip got me thinking about how important it is to get out of our usual environment and mix it up, try new things, and get outside of our comfort zones. Of course, it’s not always possible to do given different circumstances but there’s still opportunity to get outside our usual environment if we’re creative about it.

I’m a landlubber who enjoys being in the outdoors with a little flat water kayaking thrown in so I knew I was in for testing some fears when I looked at the itinerary: long boat rides to snorkeling locations x 3 and a morning kayaking trip – was it into the deep blue wavy sea – I didn’t know. So I packed my Dramamine and Sea Bands, my wetsuit top and all of my other self preservation needs and headed south to the equator.

Turns out, the kayaking was my favorite adventure and was in a flatwater bay. We could see Green Sea Turtles swimming beneath us and reef sharks napping along the mangroves. I could have spent all day there.

The three unique snorkeling outings WITH long boat rides turned out to be very enjoyable too – well, maybe not when the swells knocked us around! We got to see so much unique wild life above and below the water and from unique vantage points from the boat. Such a cool experience I may never have again. You wouldn’t think the water along the equator would be cold but surprisingly it was! I settled into the snorkeling experience once I got my breathing under control. (It was an interesting observation and test of how our breath can help or hinder when faced with a trigger.)

What helped me was staying present to the experience I was in and to truly appreciate having the opportunity to have it. I didn’t overthink it or let my fears take over; instead I just stayed in the moment–even when getting ready to jump into the COLD water. And some deep breathing helped too. 😉

I feel so grateful to have been able to see endemic wildlife in its natural habitat: Giant tortoises, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, blue-footed boobies, land and marine iguanas, green sea turtles, little asshole frigate birds, and so many birds.

It was also great to meet new people, make new friends and try new foods – which is one of my favorite things to do. I had hot chocolate – the real stuff – 70% dark cacao, locally grown coffee on the daily at our guest house, and the ceviche was the best ever! Conversations with our guides learning about the culture, their families and upbringings is so meaningful and makes the experience so much richer.

I could go on and on so if you’re curious about going to the Galapagos I’d love to share more and give you some helpful info from my experience.

So my message to share with you is how can you use vacation time to get outside of your comfort zone to try something new, maybe push yourself to test some fears, and get to know the people and culture. It really gives you new perspective, appreciation, and deeper experience.

Just Sit and Do NOTHING

Just sit.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  But notice how your mind wanders, maybe you get anxious like you need to be DOING something or feel like you don’t have the time to just sit and do NOTHING!

Take time daily to sit in silence for at least 5 minutes and try not to think of anything at all.  Focus on your breath or another anchor and when you notice your thoughts drifting, come back to focusing on your anchor.  It sounds so simple but it’s really a challenge for our busy minds.

You don’t need to be a Buddhist monk to meditate and you don’t have to sit for hours to reap the benefits!

There are many benefits of meditation and it’s becoming more mainstream, as you may have heard.  Building a regular meditation practice can help us stay centered and help with our inner peace and calm, benefitting our health and wellbeing.

The Mayo Clinic says, “During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.”

Healthline.com lists 12 Science-based benefits of Meditation read here for more: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation

1.     Reduces stress

2.     Controls anxiety

3.     Promotes emotional health

4.     Enhances self-awareness

5.     Lengthens attention span

6.     May reduce age-related memory loss

7.     Can generate kindness

8.     May help fight addictions

9.     Improves sleep

10.  Helps control pain

11.  Can decrease blood pressure

12.  Accessible anywhere

Let’s get started and keep it simple.

1.     Find a quiet place.  Find a consistent time in your day to sit undisturbed for a minimum of five minutes.  You may want to build your time over time but five minutes is a good place to start.  

2.     Set a timer for five minutes.

3.     Focus on an anchor, when your mind wanders come back to the anchor.  An anchor could be your breath, the sound of birds, or anything that holds your focus.  When a thought arises, catch it and let it go, going back to the anchor.  That’s it!

There are also wonderful guided meditations that can be helpful as you start your practice. Download a meditation app. Here are some that my clients use: Insight Timer, Headspace, and Calm.

Set aside consistent time in your day to just sit and breathe for 5 minutes. You may want to start with a shorter time, like 2 minutes, to get into a routine practice and then build time on that.  There are some great guided meditations in the apps I included.

Do you already take time daily to sit WITHOUT your thoughts? Share your practice below in the comments.

Just Two Minutes for Reflection

Journaling our thoughts and reflections can help clear our minds of clutter, sort things out, and gain deeper insight and understanding.  This helps us become better anthropologists of ourselves.

Mari L. McCarthy writes in The Great Book of Journaling, Over time, you will start to see the positive changes journaling is making in your life — giving you a safe place to blow off steam, process emotions, explore ideas, or set goals. 

You don’t have to be a good writer to journal – anyone can journal and it can be effective if we don’t criticize ourselves while doing it.

Journaling is for your eyes only.  Some people like to read their old journals, some like to have a ritual of burning their old journals, and some (like me) just use our journals to get the thoughts out of our heads and onto paper and never read them again.  You will find what works best for you once you jump in.

To get started and develop a consistent routine it helps to set your timer for just 2 minutes and begin writing, don’t get hung up on your penmanship, your grammar, or if it sounds coherent – just let your consciousness flow out onto the paper without judgment or criticism.  You may find that 2 minutes is up and you still have more to write.

This is how you get started:

1.     Find a nice journal that feels good and looks appealing – something you want to come back to. You’ll be more inclined to use it.

2.     Is there a consistent time every day when you can take a few minutes for reflection?  Maybe with your morning coffee or right before bedtime would be a good time.

3.     Start your timer for two minutes and begin writing.

You might be asking… “Well, what do I write about?”

Daily Intentions and Reflections

Begin your day with an intention – what do you want to be intentional about today?  Where do you want to focus your attention on?

End your day with reflection – using discernment rather than judgment, notice any impediments that came up in focusing your intention.  Notice any trends here as well as other things your attention takes notice of.

A Few More Prompts

Begin to shift from what do I need to change or be to what if I already have it in me?  What does personal development look like for me? How do I keep getting in my own way? How does my inner critic present itself? What do I really want? And What’s stopping me?

Notice patterns and trends in your reflections and thoughts and deepen your inquiry into these patterns.  These patterns provide an opportunity to discuss with a coach or self-exploration.

Do you already take time for reflection? Share with us how you’ve developed your reflection routine and what prompts you use.

It takes a System to reach your Goals

As James Clear, author of Atomic Habits writes, “Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.”  He makes a distinction between goals and systems: “Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results.”

The word “goal” can be very off-putting and even intimidating for some people.  In our coaching work together I use the word “purpose” to help people feel that it is an unfolding and evolving process that we’re constantly learning more about and may shift not as expected.

The systems then are the intentions and practices you put into play to help you reach your goal or purpose – whichever term feels better for you.

We can set goals all day long, but what are the actions we’ll take to get there?  What will you do differently than you did before to help you reach your goal? 

These are the small, little actions that you are intentional about that lead you to your goal.  You may discover along the way that your goal may change or shift from what you initially set.  

When we focus on the system of smaller intentional actions, we may also see other benefits come as a result.  Not to mention, when we focused so intently on the goal, we become blind to other things that may be needing our attention along the way.  

Being rigidly focused on a goal also brings up issues with inner critics that can totally derail your progress and even prevent you from moving forward at all.  Instead, when we focus on intentional actions in our system we give ourselves more room to make adjustments as we learn and grow.  The system you build is experimental and you can learn from mistakes along the way so self-forgiveness is important.  There is a lot of opportunity for building your self-awareness and personal discovery in this process.

It is important to come back to the goal you set to check progress, see if it’s still relevant, and remind yourself what you’re working towards.  Have you ever noticed in the past when you were working so hard towards a goal and achieved it, it was exciting for a short time, but the journey of getting there had the biggest significance?  That’s the focus on building that system.

One final quote by James Clear who sums it up, “The purpose of setting goals is to win the game.  The purpose of building systems is to continue playing the game.” So once you accomplish your goal is that the be-all and end-all or do you want to continue the momentum?

When we set a goal it can seem so daunting at times as we work on it, by focusing on the day-to-day actions you take to get there in the system you build, that’s where the adjustments can be tweaked and it feels much more attainable.  So have fun and enjoy the ride!

success is a journey

My blog post, Make it a Habit, can help you see how habit loops can help you build your system to achieve the goals you set.

So, what goals do you have that you can build a system to work towards?    Share your ideas to make your declaration and inspire others!