Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I am old enough to remember door-to-door sales men. I remember them opening their display case and showing my mom all sorts of wonders which were guaranteed to make household chores simple and easy and, giving the user more time for leisure. Some, such as Fuller Brush and Hoover were credible and still exist today. Others weren’t. Their products promised amazing things, cost a lot of money and like the sales man who knocked on your door, were gone rather quickly or didn’t work effectively.
Yesterday I was toweling off after my shower in the gym when I ran across “Chuck.” Chuck had paid for a full page add in one of our newspapers last week announcing he was now offering “Life Coaching Services.” Chuck is a financial planner by trade and I might add a rather good one. I was interested to “talk shop” with him and when I walked up to him I asked him where he received his certification for coaching from. In return I got a blank stare and a “Huh?” Chuck wasn’t aware you needed to be certified. There is no law that says you have to be certified but one of the reasons credible coaches get a bad rap is because of people like Chuck. Chuck told me he decided to be a coach because his wife told him he was a good listener ; he wanted to expand his business and finally he had just completed his first triathlon and he felt he could inspire people. There is nothing wrong with any of these motivations, but, to me, it’s sort of like working on a car engine without any tools.
Coaching and training are growing fields. Used properly, by a certified coach or trainer, they are a good augment, for a person’s development in the area they feel they need the most growth in. I drove around yesterday thinking of a few ways you can gauge whether a coach or trainer for that matter is the real deal and not someone whose wife loves them. (My wife really loves me, but that’s not the reason I’m a good coach.)
1. Check them out. I always offer a perspective client a copy of my certification along with a list of people who will agree to attest to my credibility and my value as a coach. My certification came from a group called Fowler-Wainwright. Barry Fowler was the founder of the Sylvan Learning System and Barbara Wainwright is the past president and board member of the American Institute of Professional Coaches. They are both credible people. My initial certification was twenty hours of training. I am required to take additional classes and eventually be certified as a master coach. This process takes two years. I am a big fan of Tony Robbins but reading one of his books doesn’t qualify me to be a coach.
2. One size doesn’t fit all. I have over twenty years’ experience in all areas of human resource management and an additional eighteen years’ experience in operations management. My area of expertise is career counseling and I provide a unique approach. I believe that you can’t reach your career goals until you attain some semblance of balance in your entire life. It’s a holistic approach and caused one client to ask tongue in cheek. “Are we going to take our clothes off, go out in the desert and sit under a pyramid?” I do not believe I can help everyone with everything. There are coached who, like me, specialize in certain areas of development. I really love helping people reach their goals in life and a very large part of that is making sure you have a rich and fulfilling career.
3. “Show me the money.” Find out what you are paying and what you are getting in return. I won’t accept a client until we have broken bread and talked for two hours. If you have an aversion to eating lunch and can’t find two hours in your schedule I’ll ask you to question how serious you are about developing. This, as is personal training, hard work, and it costs money and if you don’t have your head fastened on straight to begin with, you might as well put your money in the bank where hopefully it will be safe. I promise clients I will work hard with them but in the end it’s up to them how much effort they put into improvement. I don’t charge for the two hour evaluation. It’s part of my core belief system that I should respect and honor you. Making sure we are a good fit is one way of doing that. I used the reverse method when I chose a personal trainer. I made sure the trainer and I synced. Jen and I have worked together for a little over a year and we both have the same set of expectations.
You can take this template and apply it to just about anything. I just hate to see people invest a lot of time, money and hard work in something and end up being disappointed.
Just wanted to share.
Oh Yeah……….. The scale says I dropped five pounds this week.
Friday, August 19, 2011
I am going to do my best not to make this be a rant. It’s not my intention.
Since I’ve changed my wall paper on my Spark Page I’ve received more than a few Spark Mails telling me some people find it offensive and derogatory. They questioned my self-esteem and my opinion of myself because I used the “F” word ----- FAT. If you are not familiar, I changed my wall paper to a photo of Doctor Phil pointing a finger out ward. The caption reads – “You’re fat. Don’t try to sugar coat it or you’ll eat that too!” To be honest, when I first saw it I burst out laughing. To be completely honest I thought he hit the nail right on the head as it related to me.
Yes, I know, obesity is no laughing matter, but sometimes the rationalization and justification I employee to eating things that aren’t healthy for me can be hilarious. At one point in time I sincerely believed that you could eat all the fast food in the world just as long as you had a diet soft drink with it. You see, I believed diet soft drinks had magical and mystical properties that melted all the fat and calories away from that Big Mac and large fries. Misinformed, you bet, but folks I challenge each of you to tell me you never had any such upside down thinking. And I challenge you to tell me that it really didn’t affect your self-esteem. It may have served, as it did to me, a very gentle reminder that things in my life needed to change. And somewhere deep down inside you even may have laughed.
I love me. I’d love there to be less of me and between you and I wish to heck I hadn’t lost my hair, but I love me. I am a people pleaser through and through. I worry what other folks think all the time, otherwise I wouldn’t have written this blog, but when I look at me every morning I am very glad I am John’s best friend. If I had no hills to climb, no pains to endure and no challenges before me, well life would be uber dull, no?
Laughter is a very powerful weapon. When I laugh at myself before anyone else has the opportunity to do so, I take all the ammo from their guns. I spoil their fun. The difference is I laugh from a source of love, from an “Oh John, what have you done now…….” Rather than from a mean or vindictive position that’s meant to hurt. I have walked into meetings with people just waiting to pounce on me for an error or mistake and when they point it out I’ll say something like “Boy I’ll bet I couldn’t do that again, even if I tried,” or “It takes REAL talent to mess up that much.” The room breaks out in mild laughter. The person who was getting ready to filet me is just sitting there fuming. I DID mess up and I acknowledged it with grace and humor and it shows I am human.
Obesity is no laughing matter, but life sometimes is, even at the most solemn moments. Pam worked with me for close to ten years, during that time her oldest son was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer in his leg. Lots of pain, physical and emotional, for Pam, her son and her family. She came in to work one morning closed my office door and just grinned. She told me how she and her sister had gone to see a serious and dramatic movie over the weekend. During a scene, where the main character received some bad news she and her sister broke out in uncontrollable laughter. She told me after all the family had been through the previous year she couldn’t do anything but laugh at a dramatic interpretation of life. She and her sister were asked to leave the movie theater. She went on to tell me it was best things she’d felt in ages.
That wallpaper really hits home to me. For me it’s the gospel truth and it has nothing to do with how I feel about myself, my life or my place in it. Rather, I think, it’s a testament to my own confidence. It’s sort of like looking in the mirror, and saying lightly “Oh look, another zit.” No worries.
I’ll end by saying I hope you don’t take this as a rant or are offended by it. (Always the freakin’ people pleaser, aint I) That wallpaper gives me the necessary motivation to do the right thing for John, every morning. Health is serious but I am always open to any method necessary to help make the journey a pleasant one.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
That there are other folks out here just like you who have highs and lows.
That you are not alone in your journey. Many of us pause on the side of the road to catch our breaths but we dont end the journey........... Neither do you.
That you'd be suprised to know that we dont see all your "fatal flaws." We just see a warm and caring person who is struggling really hard to be healthy and happy. We bask in your beautiful smile.
You dont always hear the loud cheers and the deep admiration we have for you. Like me you are too busy listening to that little voice going "nader, nader, nader!!"
That you are a source of joy, inspiration and love for many of us.
That you touch the hearts and souls of many each day and you never ever know it.
That you are accepted and loved just as you are.
Yeah you!!!! I'm talkin' bout' you.
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