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Die Ruhe vor dem Sturm - the calm before the storm.
As I'm writing this it is wonderfully calm and peaceful. My inner clock is still on Mexican time (yes, I did write this in October and yes, I did intend to send it off soon after, I guess I'm getting an early taste of parenthood, but more on that later) and the sun in Germany is offering its first glimpse of light. I've been away for two weeks travelling with my wife and both our parents, which was just so nourishing. But the storm that I'm referring to isn't just diving back into the delicious email mountain that's waiting for me today. It's a MUCH bigger disruption to the status quo, a perfect storm of joy fuelled by layers and layers of meaning and purpose, an avalanche of happiness, a sharknado of awe and wonder, a flood of responsibility that's going to fill my heart and mind with the whole range of what a human being is capable of experiencing: the arrival of our little baby girl currently growing in Nelly's belly. The wonder of a new life that our love has created and shall nourish for all time to come.
You can imagine where my thoughts have been at over the last few months. The regularity of these nuggets have taken a dip as my world turns itself upside down. "Dad mode" has been activated and find myself working harder than I ever have in order to gather as many resources as I can to build our nest. That part certainly doesn't go at all with the metaphor of calm before the storm. And at the same time I'm well aware that, compared to what's coming, my life is still pretty relaxed right now.
Suffice to say that we're over the moon, filled with joy and anticipation, appropriately terrified and fully aware that despite all that we know, we have no idea what's going to hit us on or around 2.2.22. Here's to the biggest adventure of our lives, and with that, as usual, a few bits a pieces of my mind for you to peruse with me. Hope you enjoy these nuggets. And as always, if any of it resonates, make it swing! I'd love to hear from you.
So as always, here are a few Nuggets of what's been going on for me this month, bits and pieces that I've come across or thoughts that have been on my mind, as well as a few fruits of that energy. If any of it resonates, make it swing! I'd love to hear from you :)
What I'll be telling my kids - It's not ALL about relationships
A few Nuggets ago I wrote about the importance of relationships and how the (right) people in your life are probably the most valuable asset you can have, and how crucial it is to nurture your connection with them. Now I've heard a good few stories since then (and experienced one myself) that reminded me that relationships can also be incredibly fragile, and that people you feel close to, and whom you've known and trusted for decades, can suddenly disappear, fade away, or even turn on you. I still very much believe in nurturing your relationships and still stand by my point, perhaps in part because I've not taken the greatest care of mine in the past (and present) and often find myself admiring those who feed off their network from when they grew up. Sometimes I wish I had kept in touch with more of the people I shared my life with instead of immersing myself fully with what's present around me. But whenever I sit with a coaching client struggling to make sense of who they are because the people that were always there moved on, or because they had invested so much into a relationship and it now feels as if it was all for nothing, that's when I appreciate that I had other things in my life to hold and ground me, that would allow me to create new relationships, and to be free(er) to move forward when old structures may collapse. So it's not ALL about relationships. Being overinvested is probably not a great idea either. As with so many things in life, it's all about balance - until the next nuggets perhaps...
The choice of a lifetime - How language shapes our minds
All of a sudden it dawned on me: I had decided to speak German to my kid/s and that's a choice that was gonna affect the next... well, possibly forever, but definitely like 20 years or so.
My German got a little rusty, you know. I've studied and worked in English for the past 16 years and got to a point where I think and dream, and generally express myself much easier I English. Often I struggle for words when I speak German now. I had never really put into doubt that I'd be speaking my native tongue with the little girl but it brought up some interesting questions around how we form our identity and how language shapes our thinking. Heidegger had dug deep into the roots of German words and really opened up a new appreciation for how our understanding of existence (and other big questions) gets shaped by the words we use. The German word for happiness (Glück) with its double meaning of "luck" is just one such example. How we speak shapes how we think, and the way we think shapes who we are.
And then there's the rather strange experience of hearing yourself struggling to speak your own language, which is just plain weird. After spending two weeks with my parents and learning that it does come back rather quickly I'm a lot more relaxed about what's to come, but hearing the German translations for mindfulness or sustainability still is a strange experience, not to mention certain insults or curse words, or saying "Ich liebe dich" - funny how we get used to things, and how much easier it can be to say things in a language you didn't grow up with.
In what ways do you think your language has shaped you?
What's your Why? - Playing the purpose game: How organisations are wasting the power of why
I've got 5 minutes on the clock so I want to make this one very short. Having spoken to and/or supervised a number of coaches who are fellow fans of Simon Sineks work on the why-front and/or generally know of the incredible value of purpose-led work, it seems clear to me that many organisations merely "play the purpose game" (as one of my colleagues put it) rather than genuinely caring about and investing in crafting their why and embodying it. When purpose becomes an exercise that your staff engages in because that's what's expected of them, it usually fails to achieve its potential. That's why this is best delivered by very switched on and highly perceptive facilitators, bold enough to call bullshit or dig into discrepancies between embodied experience and intellectual exercise. I see it often: the website or mission statement makes a beautiful statement, but really its people aren't aligned, but merely played along as not to look bad. You're missing out!
We are our parents' children - A mini-meltdown at the airport
It was the last day of our "babymoon" in Spain in September when, finally having made it to the top of the check in queue at the airport, I was reminded that I am indeed my father's son, and how much we are being influenced by what we experience growing up. I remember vividly many occasions where some [fill in curse word/s of your choice] got to the front of a considerable queue, only to waste a signifcant amount of his/our/everybody's prescious time (usually less than a minute or two to be fair) by generally muckin about, being slow or, god forbid, open their bags and shift some of the weight into their hand luggage. The latter is really the worst nightmare and usually received a whole number ad range of...disapproving comments (thankfully out of earshot usually).
And there I was at the front of the queue at Ibiza Airpot. I'm that guy opening his suitcase, shifting weight, then looking for the negative test result, which I was sure I had in my emails, but which seemed to have magically disappeared, totally losing my usual calm under pressure, and really having a mini silent meltdown as I was imaginging the rest of the queue behind me full of people just like my dad!! We did get out of the situation unscathed and, on reflection, it really wasn't a big deal, but there we go, people's experiences are significantly shaped by how we were brought up and the narratives that are being instilled along the way. I'll leave it at that.
PS: Love you, dad! You're amazing! And I admire the degree of patience you have since developed ;)
Last episode we talked about why every coach can (even should) be confident about charging for the space they create for their clients. “Just” being there for and with them, offering our undivided attention, helps greatly and often works wonders. However, many coaches are keen to increase their prices but don’t feel confident about it. In this episode our resident coaches Yannick & Siawash are picking up the thread from the conversation we’ve started and talking about the many factors that play into our coaching fees. Offering lots of practical advice and encouragement for coaches who are earning less than £5000/month, we’re talking you through the following list of elements that will (even should) influence and guide the kind of fees you’re charging. We’re confident that by the end of this episode you will feel compelled, and have a lot of solid reasons to increase your current fees. These are: Client's ROI/the value that the client is walking away with Market rates or what the competition (you care about) charges What you're comfortable with/what you can say or pitch confidently (which can be worked on/improved with practice) What resources the client has access to (salary, assets, savings, wealthy relatives/partners, sponsors, etc.) The cost of acquisition (advertising, time spend networking, writing proposals, tickets to community events, etc) What you've invested in your coach training/journey What you might earn if you weren't a coach or if you'd spend your time doing something different What it takes to get/keep the client really committed to the process How much would you like to/do you need to earn? Coaching experience/skills Time spent outside the coaching room (e.g. tendering a contract, pre-meetings with HR or managers, writing reports or emails, etc.) Expert knowledge, expertise or experience with what the client is struggling with (for coaches who offer guidance, advice or direction) How large is your niche is (the fewer coaches who can do what you do, the more you are worth)
So many coaches dread doing “marketing”, being visible on social media, figuring out advertising, or going to network events, only to create a steady stream of clients for their coaching business. While there is no way around building bridges or creating touch points of some sort between you and prospective clients, there are many ways to do this, and in today’s episode our resident coaches Yannick & Siawash are talking about different pathways towards creating a steady flow of conversations and what you need to convert these into paying clients. In the process we’re reframing the terms “sales” and “marketing” and we’re offering ample advice and valuable ideas for how you can stabilize your income from your coaching work by learning some simple business practices and thinking about which of these might resonate with you.
We’ve interpreted this question in two ways: 1) What do I need to start practicing as a coach? And 2) When a client signs up for coaching, what might I send them to get going and transition well into the process of coaching? So here we are talking about beginnings and how might get going when starting our coaching business or when starting to work with a new client.
What’s your process for starting a coaching session? is a question we hear often. “Well, it depends” is often the answer. And that’s also the way this episode starts. Our resident coaches Yannick, Siwash & Nicki are illuminating what these factors are and talk you through how they start coaching sessions. Plus we’re inviting all listeners to share their own processes of how to jump into a coaching session with a client.
This episode is one of Yannick's deep dives into one topic or person and we're talking to Ankush Jain, 6 figure coach, trained in the 3 principles approach by Jamie Smart, disciple and long-standing coaching client of the great Steve Chandler, and all-round excellent human being. I loved Ankush's vibe and found resonating with most of what he talks about. We had a wonderfully warm and inspiring conversation and I hope you'll be leaving this space
as excited about coaching as I was when we hung up. You can learn more about Ankush and his work at Ankush Jain Limited - Transformative Coaching"
Coaching fees vary greatly. When it comes to setting fees, most new coaches find it a challenge to set the right price for their coaching services. “How much should I charge for coaching?” is a common question and an important one. Not only are fees vital to maintaining a coaching business, but the question itself brings up many other issues such as money stories, whether to charge by the session or in packages, and which factors play into your hourly rate other than what your time is worth. So there are many angles to consider. Let’s dive into some of them!
Catch me live
Oh my, oh my, half of this is from back when I had intended to to send this soon, but I decided to leave in the past dates so you know what sort of things I'm up to).
That's it. If you're reading this, I appreciate that you're still with me and I hope you enjoyed reading my Nuggets. If you can't get enough, I sporadically upload past editions to my website's blog. As always, if any of it resonates, make it swing! I'd love to hear from you :)
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