Hey <<First Name>>
First of all, and before I potentially lose you in all this content, let me say:
Happy Holidays and I wish you the best possible transition into 2023.
Here's my favourite shot of Leah's first Christmas to make your heart feel a little fuzzy :)
What an eventful year it’s been. Wouza!
Leah entered our life on 22.1.22 at 11:22am and it’s continuing to be the most beautifully exhausting and meaningful trip, and our little family packed their bags to leave London, which was my home for over 17 years, to move to Berlin and start a significant new chapter.
To say that I’m deeply grateful for the life I get to experience is an understatement.
Professionally, alongside some milestones such as being invited to design the opening module to Cambridge University's new Coaching Masters, organising a successful symposium on Positive Psychology Coaching at ECPP in Iceland in the Summer with some of my professional heroes-turned-colleagues, and taking over the hosting of Animas's successful podcast Coaching Uncaged - we’re now a team of 5 to help manage operations, grow the Coaching Lab and produce weekly Nuggets, which marked a significant transition from a me-operation with occasional help here and there, to working towards something much larger than myself with a dedicated team who pull regular hours and take ownership of various projects.
It required me to step up my game considerably and really show up as a leader, a transition that’s come with some hiccups and definitely taught me a lot. On the one hand it feels like the times where I could just do whatever I want whenever I want are over. Going with the flow is a lot more difficult when you’re not the only fish in the water. Significant overhead costs do their part to add pressure. On the other hand it feels amazing to be able to delegate work, to have people (very much including myself) work to their strengths and share a common purpose. After onboarding Gemma’s VA Chanel and our web dev Kim, we’ve had our first full team meeting and I found myself giving quite the speech on what and, more importantly, why we are doing here, and what a feeling it was to see it land and inspire. Albeit the long hours and carrying a lot of extra responsibility, despite the inevitable struggles of a small but growing organisation of people, I still very much love what I do on a daily basis and I feel I’m very much on the right track. After all, embracing the challenges and making the most of what life has to offer is what this is all about, so here I am embracing it.
And after what felt like an eternity for a guy who loves to jump right into the deep end of things and get stuff going (a year, that is) of putting systems in place that would allow us to finally scale what we do for coaches, it seems that we’re mighty close now and we’re looking at a February launch for the new home of the Coaching Lab and automating the various on- and offboarding processes for supervision groups.
Martin, my editor-in-chief and master strategist has been essential in helping me step up my game and solidify the vision and operation to get here and beyond. Thank you!
And then late this year, as if it was a law of attraction thing or something, 2 new interns knocked on my door to help us with social media snippets for 2023. I’ve been relatively quiet on that front since Leah was born, but for years I wanted to extract all those little nuggets from the days worth of long-form content, training recordings, lectures and conversations and make them available to a much wider audience.
And that’s very much the goal for 2023, to have fun widening my sphere of influence, inspire more coaches, people and organisations, and to generally help more people embrace their human condition and support more coaches to be the best coaches they can be.
Here’s to a flourishing 2023, and as always, a few Nuggets for you below. If any of it resonates, make it swing! I always love to hear from you
The Future of Coaching
The Future… hmmmm….
A hazy gaze into the distance.
A hand gesture to wipe away the clouds of uncertainty.
A tone of voice that invites you to dream and explore the possibilities.
A slight frown as we consider the dark side of what the future might bring.
That’s more or less how our latest podcast guest Jascha Renner reacted to a question about the future of coaching & psychedelics yesterday.
I realised that in the general full-on-ness that is my life at the moment, I have neglected making time to think about the future.
I used to have lots of time to ponder... And as I say that, my dad’s wise words once more circulate in my mind: “Yannick, one doesn’t have time. You make time.”
And so I make time.
One of those times was when I interviewed Hetty Einzig for Animas’ Coaching Uncaged podcast to revisit her 2018er book “The Future of Coaching”.
We touched on so many topics, and reflecting on our conversation there were so many more doors to open, and I now have a whole set of questions that I invite you to ponder, such as:
- How will the predicted emergence of General Artificial Intelligence impact the world of coaching? Will coaching clients be able to build an effective working alliance with an AI? May AI coaching eventually become viable competition to coaches entering the field, and perhaps even to seasoned professionals? What are the possibilities?
- How far will the blurring of lines continue between coaching, therapy, mentoring, consulting, teaching and other practices?
- The future is BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear and Incomprehensible) according to Jamais Cascio. What will the role of coaching be 10, 20, 50 years from now?
- Can the human mind bear a world where technological paradigm shifts of “The Internet” proportions occur several times a year?
- What must we learn as coaches to help people navigate such a future?
I could go on… And I will, but not as part of this Nugget. I hope you will join me in making some time to think for yourself (in or outside of a coaching space).
And I’m always keen to know: What are you pondering when you think about the future?
"Be of service" they said ...
I’ve been thinking about what it means to serve, lately...
Having recently spent a week abroad within a cultural context where “coaching” is seen as a “tell me what to do” kind of thing, rather than entering a partnership aimed at facilitating someone’s thinking and learning…
I was reminded that most people expect their coach to deliver a service when they “hire” them. I put hire in quotation marks here, because most coaches I like will tell you that they’re not “for hire”. Instead they “partner” with their clients.
Even the word “client” has been challenged during a recent episode of Coaching Uncaged when Peter Hawkins told me that the word implies that the coach servesthe client, but in a “service provider” kind of way. This sets a particular expectation, in that the coach would provide the value by delivering their work.
This creates a kind of dynamic in the coaching relationship that really isn’t conducive to effective coaching, which works best when coach and coachee meet each other at eye level, where neither coach nor the coaching partner has the answer, but both are committed to the journey of creating (or discovering) one.
In another, not-yet-published episode (watch this space), Master Mentor-Coach & author Clare Norman got into quite the rant about this, which really made me feel rather grateful that I haven’t spent my best days working in and for organisations, which are the prime source for creating the “service narrative”, according to Clare’s latest book.
It did make me wonder about how Steve Chandler (of The Prosperous Coach fame) and his many passionate disciples drive home the point that we have to adopt a “service mentality” if we want to build a successful coaching practice. And the way I made sense of this today is that different people have quite different ideas about what it means to be of service.
For me, a thinking partnership, at eye level, where I don’t need to bring the answers, but instead hold space and offer my professional companionship on a journey of discovery - present and patient - that’s of invaluable service.
Have a think about the extent to which you (whether you’re a coach or provide any other kind of service in this world) and your “service receiver” are clear on what the dynamics are in your relationship, and what you both expect from each other within this relationship.
As long as you both agree on the terms, it’ll be a fruitful endeavour in my experience.
Yet, so often we don’t talk about the terms of our interaction…
Who are you?
Not “who are you?”
But “who are you?”
What sits at the core of your being? What makes you you? How would you describe yourself? What drives you? What do you stand for? What are the attributes that define you? How do others perceive you? What’s your “Why”? How would you know you’re being authentic?
Maybe you have an answer to these questions, or… maybe you have a sense of an answer, but no words? Perhaps you’ve got a long list of answers. Maybe you’re drawing a blank…
I could spend a LOT of time musing about the concept of “Self” here… In fact I did, but it got pretty dense and lost the essence of what I was trying to say (thanks Martin!*), so let me leave you with this:
What often emerges in my coaching and supervision room is the question:
“What should I do now?”
And what I’ve learned over the years is that the answers to that question tend to lie in an understanding, an exploration, or a reminder of “who am I?”.
So… who are you?
The holiday season - Time to ponder some powerful questions?
There was a time when the holiday period was a peaceful one, quiet and full of space to ponder.
I used to reflect on the year that had passed and the year ahead, what I had learned and what I wanted to do differently going forward…
Times have changed for me and life is more demanding these days. And as quiet time is becoming an increasingly scarce resource, it makes me appreciate poignant questions and journal prompts on another level.
Several such invitations were recently offered as part of my conversation with rockstar coach Jerry Colonna for Animas's Coaching Uncaged podcast. They go:
- How have I been complicit in creating the conditions I say I don't want in my life/work?
- What am I not saying that needs to be said?
- What am I saying that's not being heard?
- What's being said that I'm not hearing?
I wish you ample time to ponder this holiday season. And I'd love to hear some of the questions you're reflecting on.
New Year - New Me ?
This one's floating around each Christmas/New Year's period:
New Year - New Me!
Whenever the new year starts for you - 1st Jan, Chinese New year on the 22nd Jan, September after the Summer slump, your birthday - we often take such a marker in time as an opportunity to make a change.
But what does "New me" mean?
A small change can make a huge difference to who you are. A big sudden change can feel inauthentic, and revert back to normal in no time…
In my experience, most change happens gradually, bit by bit, until there's a tipping point which can feel like a sudden change, but it is still built on a foundation.
If you've got a change in mind you'd like to make this year, have a think about what foundations are in place (or have to be put in place) for you to reach that tipping point this January. Otherwise, chances are it's gonna be short-lived.
And if you'd like an accountability kick, feel free to share with me what changes you'd like to make in 2023, and I'm gonna be checking in on you in February.
Happy new Western calendar year everybody :)
What I’m listening to
Loads of new content since I sent out my last Nuggets. I'm especially grateful this year for Animas's Founder and CEO Nick Bolton inviting me to take over the hosting of their podcast Coaching Uncaged, which opened the door to SO many excellent conversations about coaching and beyond. Below are the highlights of December, but have a browse through what came out this year.
I got to spend a week in Whistler, Canada, over the holidays this year. Last time I was here was in 2003 and back then they didn't have a record shop in town. Turns out this changed, sort of, and I found a little corner of records in a store that sold freeride equipment. First time I took Leah out record shopping and this title caught my existential eye as you can probably imagine:
Animal Nation - Understanding More About Nothing Than Anybody Ever Thought Impossible Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Music
Quote I loved
One of my Mexican family told me that her doctor needed to "taste her heart".
At first I thought I simply misheard her, but turns out that in spanish it's the same word for test and taste and so it got mixed up in English too, which I just absolutely loved!
Hetty is so inspiring! Here are a few of the subjects we touch on during this conversation:
- Why a coach needs to understand themselves
- Whether the coach is ever a neutral instrument
- New ideas on the future of coaching
- The place of the body and somatic intelligence
- Contested realities and postcolonial dimensions in coaching
- The place of ethical responsibility in coaching
- Becoming grounded as a coach for robust partnering
- BANI vs VUCA frameworks for thinking
- The place of knowledge and sharing in coaching
- The place of training within coaching
- The role and place of hope for the future
As always, thank you Animas for making these conversations possible. Btw, they just revamped their website completely, and have now fully integrated the Supervision Diploma that I’m teaching on. Well worth checking them out!
You can listen to my conversation with Hetty here.
I got a bit star struck in this one. If you know me, this is really rare (they’re all just people, after all). You’ll notice it when I’m introducing Jerry for this episode of the Animas podcast Coaching Uncaged.
I got to know Jerry’s work and philosophy back when I started searching for people who employ an existential lense on business and leadership. Jerry and his company Reboot really stuck out. Then I saw him on the Tim Ferriss Show, where he recently made a reappearance. There’s a really special quality to him, and a sense of awareness of others that feels a little daunting. He sees things in people that are really very subtle. This is also a special episode because I had moved into my space in Berlin literally 2 days earlier and didn’t really have any furniture yet.
Anyway, you can watch the episode here or listen here. Enjoy!!
Some of the topics we cover are:
- Leader as coach vs coach as leader
- How to manage moments when you think you know
- Adopting different stances as a coach
- Approaches to re-empowering the client
- Revealing the self vs holding back and the risks in not revealing yourself
- The importance of looking back as well as forward
- The line between coaching and therapy
- The shadow of the coach’s desire
- The role of supervision for coaches
- The role and state of ethics in coaching
- The place and compassion beyond experience
- 6 powerful questions Jerry frequently uses with clients
Talking about Coaching
We've got a dedicated mailing list for this podcast if you'd like stay up to date as new episodes are being released.
Episode 53 - Prices on your website: Do or don’t?
It’s one of the most regular topics that we see discussed: Is it going to help me to have my coaching fees on my website, or will it scare potential clients off? It seems like you can’t win either way: If the price is too low, they might think I’m not a good coach. If they’re too high, they’re not reaching out in the first place even though they probably would have invested once they get a sense for how powerful these conversations are. There are many good arguments for and against telling people how much you charge for your coaching service and in this episode our resident coaches Yannick, Siawash and Nicki are discussing the ins and outs.
Episode 54 - Virtual or blurred backgrounds - What are you hiding?
On some level I always think “what are you hiding?” when I see someone with a blurred or virtual background. Imagine that’s what your client thinks when they first meet you? Does it inspire trust? Not really. On the other hand there are many reasons why a coach may choose not to reveal what’s happening behind them. Same goes for clients, and even if we can see their full frame clearly, we have no idea what’s happening outside of this frame, and it’s really worth getting curious about that. So in this episode of Talking about Coaching our resident coaching Yannick, Nicki and Siawash discuss if, when and how it may or may not be helpful to curate the visual coaching experience - with some big reveals!
A good few months ago I was invited to contribute an article to the upcoming issue of Coaching Perspectives, the journal of the Association for Coaching, one of the major professional bodies in our industry, which is distributed to more than 10.000 coaches worldwide. I decided to write something light, yet meaningful, and to explore different ways in which we may work integratively in coaching. The good people at the AC curate this publication with love and care, and joining the AC as a member gives you access to all issues, so it’s worth exploring if you’re a coach. But see for yourself! I’m on page 30 if you wanted to skip the many other worthwhile contributions.
Catch me live
- 10th January: Coaching Lab #34 - Co-Active Coachiwitng h NLP - Your monhtly opportunity to catch me live and be a fly on the wall for a coaching session with an experienced pro. In January that's Quinn Simpson. Come grab a ticket or sign up as a member.
- 11th January: Talking about Coaching live: We're still broadcasting our podcast recording sessions live on Facebook.
- 18th January-12th April: Special 6-Session Coaching Lab in collaboration with the Association for Coaching. I'll be coaching someone for 6 sessions and you can be a fly on the wall. Find more info here and a brief promo video here.
- 20th-23rd July 2023: IPPA World Congress of Positive Psychology in Vancouver. My abstract got accepted to introduce my positive psychology family to the meeting points between coaching, psychedelics and wellbeing and I'm excited to be back in British Columbia in the Summer - https://www.ippaworldcongress.org
New Labs in 2023!
We've been very busy behind the scenes to give you the gift of new and improved Coaching Labs this year.
The winning formula won't change (45min live demo - 45min reflections and Q&A - 45min experimental breakouts), but we've been building a new home and membership section (to be launched in February) so that soon we can run more Labs, more specialised themes, and more frequently. I'm really quite excited, so do watch this space.
For now, keep January's Lab with Co-active NLP Coach Quinn Simpson in mind on the 10th January.
And lined up in the coming months are Labs on Jungian Coaching with Daniel Lev Shkolnik, psychodynamic coaching with MCC Julia Rogers, and we've invited Siawash Zahmat back who's been closing 6-figure Coaching engagements recently and was our guest in Lab #2 (back when we didn't record yet).
And hey, if you know a coach you always wanted to see in action but perhaps couldn't afford to work with, let me know - if they’re a good fit for the Lab, we’ll get in touch and invite them! At the moment we've got open slots in the Summer of 2023.
And that's it. If you're reading this, I appreciate that you're still with me and I hope you enjoyed these Nuggets. If you can't get enough, I sporadically upload past editions to my website's blog and you can sign up to get weekly Nuggets here!. And again, if any of it resonates, make it swing! I'd love to hear from you :)