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In a recent posting (New learning needs new media) I shared an e-book on change. This time round it’s a 9 pager on The Art of Coaching that I use as a handout for my 1-day coach training workshops. There are two foundations to the ebook. Firstly, coaching needs to focus on states more so than skills. State trumps skills. If we are feeling confident, brave and in the zone then abilities accelerate. Secondly, it’s not about the coach.  The coachee also has to show up, be coachable, demonstrate coach-ability.

Free copy of the art of coaching e book - YouTube

If I had five coaching philosophies that I could take with me to a deserted island it would look something like this…

  1. Defining the purpose of coaching – it is vital we define coaching (and mentoring) so that we can grasp and communicate our purpose.
  2. Applying a structured approach – skillful use of a coaching model means we can map our territory and pinpoint specific actions necessary to bring about change.
  3. Questioning to initiate change – expand the levels of questioning and the possibilities: ritual/cliché, facts/information, actions, cognitions, emotions and being.
  4. Developing attentive listening – if your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything and it is open to everything. Nuff said.
  5. Observing words, voice & body language – people’s behaviours are always correlated to the way they see the world, to shift behaviour one has to shift how people see the world.

To wrap up we look at the cycle of optimal performance (struggle – release – flow – recovery) and 17 flow triggers that describe conditions that need to met in order to engineer flow. If you want a copy of this e-book then please email me at stuart@stormbeach.co.uk

The post Free copy of The Art of Coaching e-book appeared first on Storm Beach.

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The evaluation of learning often divides opinion. Should we spend the time and energy doing so? Can we accurately evaluate intangible results? If you can overcome some of the following challenges then yes it’s probably a worthwhile pursuit. If not you can be confident that evaluation may not be the answer you are looking for.

Evaluating learning - YouTube

First up you don’t fatten pigs by weighing them. Evaluation therefore needs to confirm or change your approach. ROI often gets banded about, but what’s behind this. Return on Investment or Return on Intentions? Many training interventions have proof of concept so you can piggy back on this instead. Likewise if there is an existing evidence base then jump on the bandwagon. McKinsey & Co did a 10 year study on flow with top executives. I often quote the results of this as it far outweighs anything I can put a number to.

Now that you have challenged your thinking you might not need to seek out the following opportunities. But for those of you who recognise a greater need then your first port of call might be analytics. Can you gather data, better still can someone do it for you, allowing you to be a customer of analytics. A very straightforward way to measure change (albeit quite subjective) is to run a self-assessment questionnaire at the start and end of a programme. This has the double whammy effect of providing feedback to participants. Kirkpatrick or Hamblin can remind you what to measure – reaction, learning, behaviour, effect and organization. If you do need to put some numbers on the scorecard then ‘the Sherpa method’ offers a neat way of calculating ROI. A simple 5 step process that helps you to assess the benefits and associated costs of learning.

I describe this in more detail in a conference presentation deck which I’ll happily send across if you email me at stuart@stormbeach.co.uk

The post Evaluating learning – challenges and opportunities appeared first on Storm Beach.

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Storm Beach Blog by Stuart Haden - 1M ago

I presented at a conference recently on the familiar subject of authenticity. I want to share it here today because I managed to get this somewhat unwieldy subject down to 4 key areas – define, describe, develop and demonstrate.

Making values valuable - YouTube

Starting with definitions there are lots of different words attached to authenticity, in the video below I share some of the usual suspects. The etymology of the word value gets me every time. Making values valuable already gives an outcome to authentic behaviour.

When I describe authenticity I encourage people to locate their identity, after which they can acquire relevant skills which allows them to align themselves to the external environment. The outcome is skilful expression. No fakes, no mavericks.

In order to develop authenticity a simple hack asks 3 questions – What value is important to you? When did you first recognise this value? When did you first take a stand for this value? Choose a value that is important you right now, casting your mind back to when you first recognised this value helps you to notice when you first expressed it. Others will have noticed and benefited, aka you took a stand.

Finally we can demonstrate authenticity in a variety of settings. At work we can assess an individual, team and organisational context. I then map the levels of capability accordingly – knowing, doing, and being. Providing a roadmap with scores on the doors, locating authentic and in authentic behaviour. If you want to locate authenticity for yourself then check out my online course – The Seven Secrets of Authenticity.

The post Making values valuable appeared first on Storm Beach.

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Storm Beach Blog by Stuart Haden - 1M ago

Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal are the authors of Stealing Fire. Described by David Eagleman as “An electrifying, fast-paced journey into the deep potential of the human brain.” In their research they set out to define how much time and money we spend trying to get ‘out of our heads.’

Just think…in the last 24 hours have you reached out for a coffee or alcoholic drink? If you have then you are part of the $4 trillion dollar economy. The conservative estimates divvy up into drugs, media, recreation and personal growth.

The Altered States Economy - YouTube

The handy infographic really does showcase the importance of engineering our states so that we can perform at our very best. It then gives rise to a couple of my favourite questions…

  • which habits do you need to break?
  • which habits do you need to make?

The post The Altered States Economy appeared first on Storm Beach.

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3 down (selflessness, timelessness and effortlessness) 1 to go and it’s less of a mouthful – richness. This time it’s not a lack of self, time or effort that dominates. It’s an increase in value. Intrinsic and extrinsic reward. Now you notice the pay off. You notice more of what’s around you. More of what matters to you. Optimal performance and its dividends. More P than L on the sheet at the end of year.

Richness notice what matters most - YouTube

Richness is vivid, detailed and universal. Revealing and remembering. The feeling of ‘having been here before.’ The feeling of wanting to re-enter this state. The information that we receive is novel and intense. We have to take note, too much truth not to. A physical response maybe, heart rate increases, tighten focus, sit up, stand up and take action.

The information has always been there, no longer tuned out – it now computes. We can’t ignore it this time. Kotler and Wheal observe, “All these changes knock out filters we normally apply to incoming data, giving us access to a fresh perspectives and more potential combinations of ideas.” A sideways leap. Our bandwidth increases

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Chartres. This posting was inspired by Stealing Fire, Chapter 2: why it matters

The post Richness – notice what matters most appeared first on Storm Beach.

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Having explored selflessness and timelessness the third characteristic of flow revolves around effortlessness. The intrinsically rewarding nature of experiences compels us to do it again. I did it, I loved it and I’d like to do it again pretty soon. If you are deeply committed to a compelling goal it will not feel like a slog. As soon as an experience starts to shift us into a flow state our to do list is long forgotten. Passion, innovation and ease.

Effortlessness where grit gives way to grace - YouTube

You wouldn’t have thought you were ready beforehand, but now you are – ready for anything. Nothing can get in your way. From grit to grace. No longer grin and bear it. Bare all.

Don’t forget that effortless effort does require effort and hard work in the first instance?! Words of advice and caution from Kotler and Wheal, “So do the hard thing and the rest becomes much easier: Enjoy the state, but be sure do do the work. And no matter how tempting it is: Don’t become a Bliss Junkie.”

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Chartres. This posting was inspired by Stealing Fire, Chapter 2: why it matters

The post Effortlessness – where grit gives way to grace appeared first on Storm Beach.

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In my last posting I explored the first characteristic of flow (selflessness), next up is timelessness. This is perhaps the easiest characteristic to notice in the moment because time goes a bit weird. It dilates. Either having the perception of slowing down or speeding up. Is that the time already? Because we are so time poor this perception is very much welcomed. Even in small doses we feel like we have more available time. More patience, more satisfied.

Past and future erode as you find yourself in the deep now. Energy levels and data processing increase. Position and destination synch up. Kotler and Wheal note, “When non-ordinary states trigger timelessness, they deliver us to the perpetual present – where we have undistracted access to the most reliable data. We find ourselves at full strength.”

Time to make connections, in our head and with others. A subconscious that arguably gives us a 2-second advance – speed of thought, one step ahead. And as Louis Armstrong reminds us, “We have all, the time in the world. Time enough for life. To unfold. All the precious things. Love has in store.”

Timelessness the perception of slowing down pays off - YouTube

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Chartres. This posting was inspired by Stealing Fire, Chapter 2: why it matters

The post Timelessness – the perception of slowing down pays off appeared first on Storm Beach.

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In a recent posting I introduced the 4 characteristics (selflessness, timelessness, effortlessness and richness) of a flow state described by Kotler and Wheal in  Stealing Fire. Here I am going to take each characteristic in turn and dive a bit deeper.

Actually when we are in flow large swathes of the prefrontal cortex shuts down (transient hypofrontality) and we loose track. We loose track of ourselves. Silencing our inner critic and keeping the ego at bay. Risk taking increases as the sense of self is suspended. Out of our heads and into the body. Immersed in the environment as opposed to self talk. An off switch if ever there was one.

Selflessness get out of your way - YouTube

AWOL – we have gone missing. Now is the chance to deeply connect, push yourself further, break away from the pack and let your sub conscious take hold. Peace and harmony allowing for contemplation and freedom. Challenging our long held beliefs and the stories that we think have served us so well. Get out of your way, objective distance. You can see the wood for the trees. Or as Kotler and Wheal posit, “By stepping outside ourselves, we gain perspective. We become objectively aware of our costumes rather than subjectively fused with them.”

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Chartres. This posting was inspired by Stealing Fire, Chapter 2: why it matters

The post Selflessness – get out of your way appeared first on Storm Beach.

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Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard (the founder/owner of outdoor clothing and gear brand Patagonia) is a classic read for anybody interested in organisations – their purpose, culture and values. The title alone is enough to challenge and support your philosophy of working lives. “We all needed to have flextime to surf the waves when they were good.”

There are some great tale of Yvon’s life and the values that he lives by – enjoyment, friendship, flexitime, personal image and creativity. As a word of warning he describes how this can’t necessarily be developed into a formula. “Because so much of the image relies on authenticity, a formula would destroy it.” He hints at one rather unusual way of measuring this. “We all had to come to work on the balls of our feet and go up the stairs two steps at a time.”

Introducing Yvon Chouinard Let My People Go Surfing - YouTube

There aren’t any real take home learning’s as such, instead the book offers some very powerful philosophies – product, production, distribution, image, financial, HR, management and environmental. Deeply serving others could be offered by way of a summary, and therefore taking a stand for employees, suppliers, customers and the environment. But if there was a call to action remember “Leaders take risks, have long term vision, create the strategic plans, and instigate change.”

The post Introducing Yvon Chouinard – Let My People Go Surfing appeared first on Storm Beach.

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Storm Beach Blog by Stuart Haden - 4M ago

Scary as it might sound we only really have 3 things – time, money and energy. There are plenty of opportunities to develop your awareness of the first two. Time management has been a tried and tested workshop for years. Money commands it’s own industry, careers, qualifications and crashes.

Time, money and energy - YouTube

Energy on the other hand often creeps under the radar. Paying attention to energy needs to be as natural as checking your watch or your bank balance. Awareness is one thing but this does require knowledge and therefore training.

Better energy management can also boost the other two areas. When you perform optimally can you can acquire more money and get things done quicker. If you’ve set NY’s resolutions then you might want to check in and make sure you’ve got these 3 bases covered…

The post Time, money & energy appeared first on Storm Beach.

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