Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Perspectives of 2007 and What’s to Come in 2008

It’s that time of year again. Amazing how much was packed into the year and what’s to come for 2008. 2008…. Wow!

As busy as I was in 2006, I was even busier in 2007, but I figured it out. It’s that Time Mastery thing where I really learned to respect time and my life in relation to it. I figured out I do about 30 days work in 20 days. Impossible? No, not at all. It’s working smarter, making better choices, working with clients and in realms that energize me rather than deplete my energy. Nothing will take me from enjoying an amazing personal life as success is life. To me, a successful life is one lived from joy and growth. It’s all of my life, not just one aspect of it.

So let’s recap for a moment. And if I forgot something and you catch it, let me know OK?

I’ve been writing more programs, launched ‘It’s All About You…and Others”, I’m working on a guide for those going through a rough divorce, a coaching methodology perspective so you thrive throughout, I’m doing Time Mastery workshops and working on a virtual program with my friend Donna. Yep…the Donna and Donna team. Scary duo but hey, we’ve been creating some great things…

I’ve been teaching in many parts of the world and loving it. I was elected to the Board of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations and the Board of Governors for the International Association of Coaching. Those positions are a huge honor for me as they are at the cutting edge of Coaching in Organizations and credentialing based on Mastery in our field.

I’m working with clients who are global leaders and continually blow me away at their authenticity even in positions of power (and yes! they can and do co-exist).

I’m wearing many hats, that of Executive Coach, Shadow Coach, Teacher, Lecturer, Participants in Research and Development and Think Tanks, collaborating with some amazing colleagues, writing both articles and program content, became an expert on SelfGrowth.com, have developed quite the readership for my Fast Company Experts Blog, am now a part of Faith Popcorn’s TalentBank, still working with Microsoft Vision Team to look at the life/balance and context of technology.

The new year will bring me to new parts of the globe as I teach my Shadow Coaching model to Master coaches from all over the world. I’ll be writing more, picking and choosing the clients I want to work with, and helping design international symposia. I’ll be looking at identifying rising stars and helping them evolve into their level of excellence. It’s not only about succession planning…it’s about growing new talent and helping the next wave of leadership slide into roles they are really ready for. As corny as it might sound to some of you, I’ll be looking to see how I can make a difference in the world. It’ll mean strategic choices as well as paying attention to how I could have the biggest ripple effect. And I’m going to help grow the practices of future Master Coaches so they thrive and have prosperous practices. It’s not only about teaching what it is I do….it’s about helping them create sustainable, thriving practices where they can do what they do best and grow their businesses at the same time.

It’s time I shared more. It’s making strategic choices in that as well as let’s face it, I can’t be everywhere at once. But just as my work is laser, so can my mentoring sessions be as well.

I don’t make new year’s resolutions. I do, however set intentions as for me, they’re a lot more powerful and do-able. My main intention for 2008 is to make sure I always have time for the people in my life ....and life!

And to you all, I wish you a happy new year, filled with possibilities, and choices, not out of obligation but joy. May you grow, experience life to the fullest rather than just exist through it and may you realize how you touch everyone around you, known and unknown to you in a profound way. It’s how you choose to touch them that will determine what that might mean to them and for you.

I wish you the best of 2008 and beyond.

Donna Karlin

***Note: For tips on the run to run with, and to be the first to know about program launches and special pricing packages, subscribe to our free newsletter Perspectives in Brief; 2 minutes reading time or less, delivered every other Tuesday directly to your inbox, BlackBerry or handheld.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reacting? Responding? Is There a Difference?

Of course there's a difference. There's a huge difference even in the subtleties.

"People limit themselves without realizing it by reacting to situations, rather than responding and broadening their horizons."

That statement is one of many in a new program we launched this past year called "It's All About You...and Others". It's been tweaked, proofed and reviewed and is now being tackled by participants all over the world. Out of the 26 segments of this mini self-coaching course, this one statement is pushing more buttons than any other, and let me tell you, as a self-awareness behavioral course, there are a lot of very edgy truths besides this one that one might think would push more buttons than this.

Perhaps it's taking responsibility for how we react to situations that are out of our comfort zone and then get angry and react in the process or perhaps it's an in your face "look at when you react and act yourself why" question that comes to mind.

I'd love to hear how you look at a statement like that and how, if at all, it might apply in the context of your world. That's what it's all about, though isn't it? Awareness of self and our place in our world.

What's your immediate gut reaction to this?

Inquiring minds (or coaches in this case) would love to know.

Donna Karlin

*Note: Check out this new article about my work as a Shadow Coach™ in Personal Success Magazine called "Why I Shadow My Clients' by Mary-Louise Cook

Sunday, December 02, 2007

We Know What We Know…Doesn’t Everybody?

I was recently reading a book summary for “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die” and as I had recently read “The Tipping Point” where they talk about stickiness as well, the topic of this book intrigued me. I was fascinated by this not to promote a product, but to help me in my work laser coaching my clients through chaotic days. This concept helped me articulate a snapshot of a moment in time in such a way they’d not only see it but ‘get it’.

I just returned from Washington D.C. doing a training for The School of Shadow Coaching™. My goal was for the participants to know what I do so intricately, they would not only get it but could walk away using it in their day to day practices. The first step to get my concepts across was to ask them to park all assumptions about what they had already learned...what they already knew. There were two reasons behind this: 1) so that they wouldn't keep trying to 'fit' what I do into what they had already learned and instead look at how they could add it to what they already knew and 2) that they would all be on the same page because even though these were experienced coaches, they all didn't know what the others knew. This way they would be learning one methodology and then align it with their current ways of practicing.

To get back to the summary, something really hit home when Chip Heath and Dan Heath stated “To strip an idea down to its core, we must be masters of exclusion. We must relentlessly prioritize. Saying something short isn’t the mission — sound bites aren’t the ideal. Proverbs are the ideal. We must create ideas that are both simple and profound. A one-sentence statement so profound that an individual could spend a lifetime learning it…. Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it’s like not to know it. Our knowledge has “cursed” us.”

It then occurred to me that many people are cursed by their knowledge as they can’t fathom why others don’t see things as they do because it’s obvious, right? ‘Knowing’ becomes a filter through which ideas are shared and instructions given but if the other party has no idea of what you're talking about, there is an immediate disconnect. That was another key aspect of the training; looking at filters, both ours as coaches and our client's filters, acknowledging them and working with them.

As much as I dislike assumptions and how they get people into trouble, what would it mean if we assumed others didn’t know what we knew? If we started off with that premise, how much easier would it be to have generative dialogue and create something that not only stuck but just might be sustainable?

This was an extraordinary group, coming together from all parts of the US and Canada; seasoned, experienced coaches.... practitioners in various fields of expertise with different clientele. They all parked their assumptions and came together to learn, to grow and to work with each other to help integrate that learning so they could broaden the scope of their practices.

It was magical! But learning is magical, don't you think?

Donna Karlin

*Note: Welcome 117th subscriber from the US Virgin Islands!