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Thursday, 19 March 2015

Coaches Are Only Human Too

I remember a number of years ago hearing someone, I don’t remember who, say the following:

“You’ll often find people will criticise those personality traits they dislike in another as they are the personality traits they dislike in themselves.”

And likewise those traits they admire in someone else are the ones they admire in themselves, all things in balance.

I was also reminded that all criticism is destructive. There are ways of giving feedback that criticises and leaves the recipient built up rather than put down, it's called the feedback sandwich, a future post will explain.

It wasn't until recently, well the last few years or so that this has really hit home what these meant when I experienced first hand a level of destructive behaviour I'd not experienced before.

You see I had this friend, who appeared judgemental about others, criticising others, regularly saying they were this or they were that and on it went, even people when they didn't really know the person were being criticised.  They were very good at mind reading too, she said this because…….., he did this because they knew it would have this affect one me, I don’t like them because……….. I’ll cover these last few in another post.

And then it turned to me too. Pompous, idiot, unmotivated, lazy, uninspired, pedantic etc. etc. is it any wonder someone lives up to your expectations of them when they face an onslaught of criticism?

Yes I freely admit I can be pompous and pedantic, especially when the words I've used are changed to other words that change the meaning of something I've said, I’m sensing another post is on it’s way.

It was at this point that the phrase came back to me and it really hit home.

You see I understand the English language, and linguistics, however, to look for the meaning behind or in someone’s words is something that took me a very long time to grasp outside of my coaching and NLP work.  Too long to save relationships and some friendships, and this has left me in a very reflective mode, a bit down and looking inwards to find out where I went wrong. So I delved into my shelf development file, that’s the shelf of self development books gathering dust rather than being read and absorbed and learnt from.

On reading some of those books again it dawned on me; this person wasn't only saying those words about me, albeit I was was very unmotivated and uninspired by what was happening for me at the time.

They were actually saying it about themselves and they didn't know it. How do you get through to someone who is closed off and blocks another's point of view as there is only their own?

I had lost my way and lost sight of what was important to me, my values and my goals, I was too entrenched in fighting the good fight to prove I was none of those that I was being labelled, losing the fight, the battle and eventually the war (metaphorically speaking of course). I eventually proved them right because I didn't stay true to me, something that attracted them to me in the first place.

Even us coaches have our down periods, you know, when things aren't going as we would like them to go or had visioned. Coaches are only human too.

So please, keep your mind on your goals, hold yourself true to your values, and decide if a fight is worth having or simply walk away holding your head up and be the better person by not engaging in trench warfare as it felt I did, and still ended up on the losing side.
If you don’t know what your goals or true values are, your coach can always help you find them.

Coaches do not tell you what they are, they have the tools to help you find them for yourselves.

In a future post, I’ll share the invaluable resource I've just discovered that is enabling me to get back on track and be the person I was a few years ago.



Tuesday, 10 February 2015


Words have incredible power in our lives.

For one, they provide us with a vehicle for expressing and sharing our experiences with others. Most of us don’t realize, however, that the words you habitually choose also affect what you experience. Transformational Vocabulary is about how you can take control of your habitual vocabulary to change the quality of your life. Simply by changing your habitual vocabulary—the words you consistently use to describe the emotions of your life—you can instantly change how you think, feel and how you live.

What’s interesting is how two people can experience the exact same sensations differently in their bodies by virtue of the labels they put on the experience. For example, one person may feel “frustrated” while the other just feels “a little confused.” It amounts to a huge difference in the way we feel, and when we change the way we feel, we change the way we behave.

How Many Words in Our Language? How Many Do You Use?

According to Compton’s Encyclopedia, the total number of words in the English language is around 750,000. Of that number, guess how many words we habitually use: 500 to 2,000 at the most, which represents only one half of one percent of the language. In Roget’s Thesaurus there are more than 3,000 words describing various emotions. Of those, there were 1,051 words for positive emotions and 2,286 for negative emotions; roughly twice as many negative words as positive words! Think of the implications.

Consider this example: In a business meeting with two partners, the same event triggered a dramatically different response in each person. The CEO went into an absolute rage, whereas the second partner seemed to have no reaction at all.

The enraged CEO believed that “rage” made him stronger and enabled him to deal with the situation. Rage was his way out of pain. Conversely, the partner who felt only “mildly annoyed” was acting on a belief that getting too upset would make him lose control of the situation, and that would mean too much pain. He wasn't disassociating; he honestly was not feeling the intense anger.

This is the essence of Transformational Vocabulary: the words that we attach to our experience become our experience, regardless of whether it’s objectively accurate or not.
Therefore, if we want to change our lives and our destiny, we need to consciously choose the words we use to describe our emotional states. What would happen if, the next time you were in a situation that used to make you feel angry, instead you felt annoyed? Or if you used a word like “peeved” instead of “enraged” to describe your experience? Maybe instead of feeling “worried,” what if you used the words, “I’m a little concerned,” or “I need some clarification”?

Conversely, if someone asks you how you’re doing, think of the difference between responses like “Oh, I’m okay, I guess” and “I’m feeling on top of the world!” The labels we put on our experience become our experience. Choose your words wisely.

(The above is copied unedited from the Tony Robbins blog – because I couldn't have expressed it any better myself.)

Give it a try; what do you have to lose?