coaching

A touch of gentleness

A touch of gentleness

March 28, 2020
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In much of the work I do –tankespjärn, coaching, leadership training– I use me as my go-to-example. What I write and tell stories about (in essence what #tankespjärn is about) is not something I’ve thought up, it’s something I have lived for many years, and still live. Daily.

#tankespjärn has been my life philosophy for 20+ years (even though the word came to me in 2013), and it’s been the single biggest contributing factor having me shift from being the most negative person in the world, to… something very different, if perhaps not the most positive person in the world. But not far from. So whatever it is I write or say, is what I’ve done. Myself. I know it can be done, and I know that it can be helpful.

I also know it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that I am ”selling”, and I try my utmost to not be prescriptive but descriptive in my work. I share what has worked for me, in the hope that it might inspire you to think differently, to act differently, to try on a new trait or two to see what might come of it. Not saying you must do what I’ve done, but rather, that it’s possible to create huge shifts in inner dialogue and ways of interacting with self and others, if what’s is isn’t serving you. And I’ve yet to meet one person who’s served (truly) by all he/she/they do either consciously or unconsciously.

I’ve learned how to be gentle (with an edge) towards myself, after having an internal dialogue hijacked by a combo of Hitler/Mao/Stalin, and in this era of an epidemic of harshness (not speaking about Corona…), the opportunities that open up when people learn how to treat themselves gently –self-honoring– are just limitless.

A little bit goes a long way, as a touch of gentleness, teases out even more gentleness, and soon enough, you’ve unlearned harshness and learned gentleness.

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On the fly

August 13, 2019
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in Tip
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Just finished my second Mastermind call, with the group I have initiated. Second one-hour call of a total of thirteen, running from August till the end of October, on a weekly basis. Four participants, and me as moderator.

The fun part is, I sent invitations for this Mastermind, on the fly. Dave the coach gave me a challenge to ”take action” during a coaching call early June, and this was what came to me: I want to start a Mastermind group for coaches and/or people interested in coaching.

When I sent out the email invites, then and there, I had nothing planned, except ”a three-month Mastermind”. I didn’t have a set starting date, no plan for content or anything really. Except, of course, six and a half years of being an active participant in my own Mastermind-group, which, as my wise friend Caspian pointed out, certainly means I am extremely grounded in the Mastermind concept as such. Had it been something which I have no experience or expertise in, I would not have made this type of invitation, that’s for sure.

So.
Just do it, on the fly.
Throw something out into the world.
Chances are (quite good actually) that if it’s something you have found value in – someone else will too.

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Three questions

May 22, 2019
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Finished another coaching conversation with coach Dave. A conversation much like any conversation really.
Flowing this way, then that way. Slowing down, sometimes stopping altogether, only to pick up speed, and rush forth!
Like a meandering river, conversations ebb and flow. Much like life, honestly.

Is that what coaching can be?
Yeah. Why not! Whatever serves in the moment, that’s what coaching can be.

Today, what served me the most was a meandering conversation, that has me popping ideas like crazy, on blog posts, sales pitches, other conversations to have and on and on…

Now, to ensure I don’t go off the deep end, Dave brought me back to the importance of three very basic questions. Questions I hereby vow to stick with for the next month (because boy… is it ever easy to skip these and start to build a house without having gotten the foundation well in place first!).

I will sit with them. Reflect upon them. Dig into them.
Write. Speak. Share. Listen. Learn. And… act!

The latter aspect might be one of the more important ones, given where I am at, and what I want to accomplish. So I will dig deep and act upon my findings. I will try it out, because I cannot figure this one out on my own, in conversation only with myself (and coach Dave). I have to (and want to!) put this to the test, something not done in silence, not done alone in my chambers and not done theoretically.

Three questions.
One month.

(Or more? Who knows… Or less?
Nah. I will give it a month!)

You with me in exploring this?

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On the issue of the day

November 20, 2018
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in Tip
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I often return to blog posts of the past. My blog posts of the past. As I’ve been blogging for 6 years – more or less daily for 5 of those years – there are quite a few blog posts to choose from.

When there’s an interesting article or question or observation asked, many times I am reminded of something I’ve written that is relevant to whatever prompted the connection being made in my mind. So I search for it (and oftentimes find what I am looking for. Not always though) and can share what I’ve written and pondered about… about whatever really. Fear. Mistakes. Dancing. Coaching. Existential questions. Anything really!

And what is apparent, is how timeless many of my posts are. They can be recent or have 5 years to them, and still be as relevant today as when I wrote them. It’s not valid for all of them though, and listening to Seth Godin on Good Life Project, I got some insight into why that is. Seth was telling Jonathan Fields about “the issue of the day” and how he makes a point n o t to write about is – in specifics (listen from about 49 minutes in):

I care enough about my vision of the world that if I thought that I could change the way we did things by blogging about it, specifically, I would do it. But I feel like, a) chiming in on the issue of the day is a trap because it protects us from having to take responsibility for a larger view. […]
I think you can read at least half my blog posts as political, but none of them are saying Today, I think this person is wrong and this person is right, because as soon as I do that it’s so easy to ignore what I said because I am not on the right team, what ever team you want to be on. And so, I don’t want to play that sort of short-term tribal thing. Instead I want to say thank you to people from where ever you are coming from for giving me two minutes of your time, think about this. And if you think about this and still want to support that, well that’s your choice because you are a grown-up. Because I don’t believe what you believe, I don’t know what you know, I don’t want what you want. But here, here is a thought that feels to me coherent, and hard to argue with, and I notice things, do you notice this? And I know that that kind of input has influenced my life coming up, particularly as a teenager and surely thereafter, way more than when someone says this person is right, that person is wrong.

This is truly food for thought for me, and in how and what I write. Because I do chime in, now and again, on the specifics of the issues of the day. And those are posts that have a much shorter lifespan than posts that take the larger view.

I love how a new thought can open up for new perspectives – will this lead to changes in how and what I write? Or not?

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Daily reflections on coaching

November 6, 2018
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in Tip
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I am a sucker for challenges, especially of the kind that goes something along the lines of “do x for y number of days in a row”. So when I stumbled upon a challenge on Facebook to join the #BusinessBoomUtmaning (utmaning means challenge in Swedish) which challenges me to post a Facebook live-video every day between the 1st and 21st of November, I was game!

The group is in Swedish, but I chose to do my challenge in English, and I also decided to have Coaching as the theme for the entire gig. Every day since November 1th I’ve created a short Facebook Live-video, and I have every intention of fulfilling my obligation to myself of running the course.

And since it’s a daily challenge for 21 days, it’s easypeasy as well – because it means I know that every day I am to do a Live. I don’t have to wonder if “it’s today or not”, because it is. Every day. For twentyone days.

My choice of theme gives me ample opportunity to reflect upon what Coaching means. For me. And for my clients – at least what they share with me. Additional perks is learning to do FB Live:s, get me in the habit of doing videos, get better at talking directly to the camera, get thinking of coaching more specifically, get more to blog about (because whatever I reflect upon most likely can be turned into a blog post) and as icing on the cake, it’s great fun to keep tabs on how many views each video gets.

Do you enjoy this type of challenge? Or do you abhor them?

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