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What is Coaching?

You’re probably no stranger to the term “Coaching”. Although this career track and process has been around for quite some time, it is growing like wildfire— not only in corporations and in our personal lives, but in all levels of education as well. As a career it can feel similar to therapy or counseling, mentoring, or consulting. Depending upon your style and experience, however, it can certainly be a nice mix of several of these modalities. It’s also a wonderful compliment to training.However, the process of coaching is very distinct and focuses not on the past, but on what’s desired and needed to propel one forward toward experiencing the results they are seeking. Coaching is truly about forward motion. To be even more specific, it’s about connecting with what sometimes is not immediately seen or felt, those beliefs and behaviors that may unconsciously be holding us back. Skilled coaching can hone in on these important aspects of ourselves.

Why I Decided to Become a Coach

One of the reasons most coaches start dabbling in the business, or transition into it full time, is because they enjoy helping others become more self-aware, and ultimately, more successful in all aspects of their lives and careers. It’s very rewarding. One of the reasons I enjoy coaching so much is that I love really “being with my client”, or meeting them where they are. By doing this, I’m able to become the kind of coach each of my clients needs. Some of my clients just need me to listen and help clarify what they are learning about themselves and their situations, others need me to brainstorm with them and create action new thoughts, behaviors and actions that support their vision, and others need me to help them stay accountable (get it done!)

A simple process I like to use is:

• Assess (understand self)• Identify (what needs to change/improve)• Create (steps to make it happen)• Measure (track success)I love molding my style for their benefit. The strategies I will use with an executive may be different than the ones I will use with my children, but the coaching process holds true, and it’s one that will empower others to take more responsibility in their lives and push forward toward success–however they define it.

Here’s another way to look at the process of coaching, offered in article in Forbes by Candice Frankovelgia of the Center for Creative Leadership.


1) Building the relationship.
It’s easier to learn from someone you trust. Coaches must effectively establish boundaries and build trust by being clear about the learning and development objectives they set, showing good judgment, being patient and following through on any promises and agreements they make.

2) Providing assessment.
Where are you now and where do you want to go? Helping others to gain self-awareness and insight is a key job for a coach. You provide timely feedback and help clarify the behaviors that an employee would like to change. Assessment often focuses on gaps or inconsistencies, on current performance vs. desired performance, words vs. actions and intention vs. impact.

3) Challenging thinking and assumptions.
Thinking about thinking is an important part of the coaching process. Coaches ask open-ended questions, push for alternative solutions to problems and encourage reasonable risk-taking.

4) Supporting and encouraging.
As partners in learning, coaches listen carefully, are open to the perspectives of others and allow employees to vent emotions without judgment. They encourage individuals to make progress toward their goals, and they recognize their successes.

5) Driving results.
What can you show for it? Effective coaching is about achieving goals. The coach helps the employee set meaningful ones and identify specific behaviors or steps for meeting them. The coach helps to clarify milestones or measures of success and holds the individual accountable for them.

As you can see, the skills used by coaches are ones that can benefit individuals professionally and personally, from all walks of life. Here at FIU Life Well LED, coaching is at the foundation of everything we do. We’ve seen how coaching has improved the lives of many students, professionals and individuals, and we’ve launched several programs that can help you learn how to be a great coach—for yourself, your employees, or in any capacity that you design. Coaching niches are endless!

Check out some of the options below! We are here to support your growth and development. 

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Life & Leadership Potentials 3-Day Experience

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Personal Coaching for Life Optimization (One-Day Workshop)

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Coach Certification Program

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Coaching Skills for Leaders (One-Day Workshop)

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As a proud Coach, I wanted to be sure to share the GOOD NEWS of coaching during International Coaching Week. Coaching has allowed me to better serve my purpose in life, which simply put is to help others see their magic and live it fully. Nothing gives me greater joy.

So, what better way to pay it forward then to give away FREE STUFF. Yay!!

My blog (yes, the one you are now reading!), Being En Pointe, provides me a mechanism to share my passion and wisdom with whomever stumbles upon it. I’d love to connect with more personal development lovers near and far, and I’d love your help. Here’s how you can help me be more En Pointe:

If you have not subscribed to my blog, do so now. Simply share your email with me via my SUBSCRIBE button to your right.

Forward this post to those friends, colleagues and/or family members who you feel would benefit from or enjoy my blog. If they subscribe, they can win too.

Here’s what I’m giving away (Contest: three lucky winners!) to those those who either are already subscribers or who subscribe THIS WEEK (deadline on Sunday, 2/13).

  • Copy of Bruce D. Schneider’s book, Energy Leadership.
  • (1) Complimentary 2-hour coaching session (Value: $300).
  • (1) Energy Leadership Assessment and 2-hour debrief (Value: $500).

What’s Energy Leadership?

Become an Ideal Leader
… and Unlock Your True Potential

The only constant is change. We all experience changes in needs, expectations, the environment, relationships, careers, economics, business, time demands, and more.  There is no one formula that will allow us to effectively manage change, and even less information about how not only to survive, but thrive, in the face of change.

Change affects us everywhere and in everything we live for.  Today, the security we seek from the various aspects of our lives is no longer guaranteed on any level.  Whether you’d like to protect your relationship, the investment you made in your key employee, your financial status, or your family, you’ve worked hard to be where you are today, and you desire and deserve to know that all of your personal and professional efforts are secure.

To create an effective personal system for thriving in our ever-changing world, while also securing all you’ve worked for, you will need to become an ideal leader. To assist you, we have created…Energy Leadership.

Energy LeadershipTM is the process that develops a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your organization as a whole.

Read details about the Energy Leadership Index Assessment HERE.

Thanks so much for helping me continue to do what I love.

Make sure to share this post and win BIG!

With gratitude,

Monique

Where do you want to go?

I bet you can remember a time when the most unlikely stranger made you go “hmm.” That’s right, he or she flew into your life just as quickly as he/she left, but definitely made an imprint. That’s the kind of feeling you get when reading The Energy Bus. The supporting character, “Joy” a bus driver, has been the miracle saver for the main character, George, whose life is in shambles. He is about to lose both his job and marriage, and has zero energy to do anything about it.

Meeting Joy was no accident, as George had no choice but to ride the bus to work when his car broke down and his wife refused to stop changing her plans to help him. What he didn’t know was that this “unfortunate situation” would be his life-changing opportunity. He didn’t just board any bus; he boarded the “Energy Bus.”

Joy is like the coach that everyone wants and needs; that friend you’d like to have in your pocket every time you need to be reminded of how truly great you have it and how much better things can be if you get out of our own way. Joy’s life purpose is evident; to get her passengers to embrace their lives, choose to live energetically, and bring others along for the ride. She does this by sharing her 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life with Positive Energy. Not only does Joy share these rules, but she has her “students” practice them with daily exercises, and holds them accountable to boot! Yep, she’s a coach all right!

After a few days of riding Joy’s bus, George’s energy had shifted dramatically. Those around him began to see a difference, he felt a difference, and having to ride a bus wasn’t so bad after all.

This book is an easy and quick read, but its message is timely and timeless.
Here are the first five rules with short take-a-ways:

1. You are the driver of your bus.

  • Why would you let other people and situations manage and/or manipulate your energy? Your energy is your “bus;” now steer it to where you want it to go!

2. Desire, Vision & Focus Move Your Bus in the Right Direction

  • How will you get to where you need to go without a map, a plan or support? Chart your course, get excited about it, and keep moving!

3. Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy

  • Think of those people, activities, foods, and thoughts who/that energize you and those who/that drain you. Get the picture? Only you can fuel your ride with positive energy. Make smart choices.

4. Invite People on Your Bus and Share Your Vision for the Road Ahead

  • Positive energy is magnetic. Don’t keep your purpose and excitement to yourself. If you are authentic, others will want to match your energy and come along for the ride.

5. Don’t Waste Your Energy on Those Who Don’t Get on Your Bus

  • Yep. This is an important one. Negative energy will always be around, but where will you be? Stay away from the water cooler, folks!

I’ll close this post by sharing a few other bits of info Joy offered to George along the way, which made me go “hmm.” Maybe they will make you think a bit as well.

  • Did you know that most people who die pass on a Monday morning at 9 am? We can infer that a lot of people prefer to give up on their lives than go to work! Scary thought.What should your thoughts be aligned with on Monday mornings?
  • At the end of a long game golfers usually forget all of the bad shots they made and remember the one great shot they had that day. The thought and feeling they get when thinking about that particular shot makes them want to play again and again; this is why so many people get addicted to golf. I’ll have to ask my golfer friends if they agree with this one, but it sounds on par to me (hee hee!)What would happen if you would focus each day on the one great thing that you experienced? Would you be more energized to go into the next day and get excited about the opportunities that you know will come your way?

Food for thought.

I am on a wonderful Energy Bus this month; on a road trip with my family. It has been a lot of fun so far, and in those not-so-fun, stressful moments, I remember the 5 rules I shared with you above, and I remind myself that I have to be my own “Joy” and stay in charge of my bus.

Cheers to the rest of the ride!

May you all enjoy an energized week,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Which Bus Are You On?

July 21, 2010

For those of you who know me well and keep up with my posts, my next Relaxed Book Club selection will come as no surprise to you. For me, ENERGY is not a buzz word; it is life.  I’ve come to learn that energy is not ethereal, but very tangible. It has everything to do with the level of personal and professional success we feel we achieve, as well as with the positive relationships and experiences that keep us motivated and IN LOVE with our lives.

I feel I am one of the lucky ones who has had the opportunity to practice, coach, and assess others on Energy Leadership–a unique system and assessment (and book!) developed by Bruce D. Schneider, Master Coach and Founder of iPEC Coaching. Essentially, when our “E-Factor” is healthy and rising, we lead our lives, not the other way around. (Yep! We can measure your Energy Factor! Cool, huh?)

Who’s driving your bus?

Are you on the LOVE bus, or the FEAR bus?

How are you leading your life?

I have not yet begun reading Energy Bus by Jon Gordon, but the reviews are stellar, and I’m really looking forward to starting on this journey, which comes just in time for my longest road trip to date. I’m ready for the ride…both of them! If you’d like to join me for this trip, pick up your copy and let’s get to more learning and teaching. I just can’t get enough of either!

Here’s some of what we have to look forward to:

“The Energy Bus takes readers on an enlightening and inspiring ride that reveals 10 secrets for approaching life and work with the kind of positive, forward thinking that leads to true accomplishment – at work and at home. Everyone faces challenges. And every person, organization, company and team will have to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success.”

I invite you to read along with me. 🙂

Vroom Vroom,

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Think Big & Make Magic.

February 15, 2010

If this is your first time visiting my blog, you’ll notice that I’m currently blogging about some great books—books that inspire and teach us how to improve our lives in many ways. This month we’re talking about Happiness. Enjoy….

Making time for friends is such a huge part of my life. I realized long ago how connecting with my very close friends (even in small ways, like a weekly email or a Facebook post) and being open to new friendships brings me so much joy. This is why I love Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project goals for June, which include remembering birthdays, being generous, showing up, not gossiping, and making new friends. According to Rubin’s research the most meaningful contributor to happiness is having strong social bonds.

Taking this further, Rubin’s research showed that being generous (or providing support to others) strengthens the bonds of friendship and simply, makes us feel good. However, since she couldn’t (or didn’t want to) add more tasks to her day, whether they were the feel good type or not, she did realize that helping people think big and bringing people together were a few of the ways that she demonstrated generosity. These resonate very strongly with me, and when I explored my own “generous” actions, the same seemed to be true for me. I always seek creative/idea-building environments and thrive in them. And, as a professional development guru, I simply LOVE brainstorming with colleagues,  friends, and clients and watching them follow through on their magnificent, happiness-creating goals. The same goes with introducing one person to another, who together can create magic in some way. In business, we call them “referrals,” although now I’d rather call them “gifts.” When I do these things well, I definitely feel a surge of happy energy.

Here’s Rubin in her own words:

“I’d had a wonderful experience helping people think big myself. After Eliza started kindergarten, her nursery school arranged a reunion for all the children who had ‘graduated.’ While the children played with their former classmates, the nursery school directors, Nancy and Ellen, led a parent discussion about the kindergarten transition. As always, their insights were extremely helpful. When I stood up to leave I thought, ‘These two should write a book.’ I was immediately convinced that this was the greatest idea ever. I suggested it to them on the spot…I put them in touch with my agent…In a flash they had a book contract, and now Nancy Schulman and Ellen Birnbaum’s Practical Wisdom for Parents: Demystifying the Preschool Years is on the shelves. Knowing that I played a small role in their achievement made me intensely happy.”

How cool is that? To be able to help them think big and make one of their dreams come true…I’ll take that kind of happiness any day.

How do you help others think big?

What people can you bring together to create make some magic?

So, yes, as Rubin understood about herself during her Happiness Project, there are so many ways we can be generous, but they don’t always have to take up too much time or money or make us go out of our way. We can identify ways of being generous that are genuinely a part of who we are and what we already do.

Here’s a take-away…look for those “generous acts” in your life that are already present that you can turn up a notch to create more happiness in your life.

Let me know what you find.

-Monique


“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle,

and the life of the candle will not be shortened.

Happiness never decreases by being shared.” –Buddha

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

This month I’m blogging about Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project. I’m really enjoying her book, mostly because of the way she really puts herself out there. Connecting with her through her very human experiences is easy to do. I love this excerpt in particular, because it touches upon several things—working on ourselves and not others, learning how to be in a state of non-judgment  (a trait of highly successful people), and not sweating the small stuff.

Here it is…

I had come to understand one critical fact about my happiness project: I couldn’t change anyone else. As tempting as it was to try, I couldn’t lighten the atmosphere of our marriage by bullying Jaime into changing his ways. I could work only on myself. For inspiration, I turned to the twelfth of my Twelve Commandments: ‘There is only love.’

A friend of mine was the source of that commandment. She came up with the phrase when she was considering taking a high-pressure job where she’d be working for a notoriously difficult person. The person handling the process told her, ‘I’m going to be honest with you. John Doe is very effective, but he’s an extremely tough guy to work for. Think hard about whether you want this job.’ My friend really wanted the job, so she decided, ‘there is only love.’ From that moment on, she refused to think critical thoughts about John Doe; she never complained about him behind his back; she wouldn’t even listen to other people criticize him. ‘Don’t your coworkers think you’re a goody-goody?’ I asked. ‘Oh, no’ she said. ‘They all wish they could do the same thing, too. He drives them crazy, but I can honestly say that I like John.

If my friend could do that for her boss, why couldn’t I do it for Jaime? Deep down, I had only love for Jaime—but I was allowing too many petty issues to get in the way. I wasn’t living up to my own standards of behavior, and then, because I felt guilty when I behaved badly, I behaved even worst.

From reading the passage you can assume that this “John Doe” truly is a difficult person, so what exactly did Rubin’s friend do to allow her to totally suspend judgment of her boss? Why couldn’t her co-workers do the same? I’d really love to know! In fact, if I knew her I would ask her:

  • “Why was it okay for you to take a position working for someone you knew was difficult?”
  • “What made it okay?”
  • “What are you doing, exactly, that others are not?”
  • “How are you able to completely ignore John Doe’s behavior and negative actions?”
  • “What have you learned about him that others have not taken the time to learn? How much of a difference has this made to your relationship?”

Her mantra, “There is only love,” definitely seemed to have worked. If you repeated this mantra in your head over and over in the moment someone was upsetting you or pushing your buttons, do you see how it could defuse your anger or aggression? For some people, especially in corporate environments, embracing others with “love” may seem a little mushy. I get it. But, if you bring compassion to the situation (instead of love), perhaps the results would be the same. What do you think?

If you continue to read The Happiness Project you will see how well this mantra, or commandment, works for Rubin. In fact, she decides that giving proofs of love will bring her loads of happiness. So, in closing, I’d like to share a quote by Pierre Reverdy, as Rubin did later in the book, as well as one of my daily inspiration reads from the Daily Kabbalah, which suits this discussion well:

“There is no love; there are only proofs of love. Whatever love I might feel in my heart, others will see only my action.” Pierre Reverdy.


“When we apply resistance in a situation and our opponent throws a bit of time into the space between resistance and reward, the spiritual Light we generate might not shine immediately. This creates the illusion that goodness doesn’t pay. Today, don’t seek an immediate result from your actions. Develop patience. Build your  certainty.”Daily Kabbalah

Give  only proofs of love and suspend judgment: a great recipe for happiness, I believe.

Have a great week. Happy reading.

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership,leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.

Nahant Simplified

Nahant Simplified

It’s always fun to spend time in the Boston, MA area, where my husband grew up. More specifically, he was raised in Malden, where his parents still reside. Even though Boston is not my home, it “feels like home” if you know what I mean. In fact, when I travelled there with my husband (my boyfriend at the time) for the first time in 1994 it was meeting his parents and extended family that sealed the deal for me. Family was everything for them. We still joke that one of the similarities between our families (mine: Cuban; his: Irish/Italian) is that we all are so family oriented (and love to dance!). We both love spending time with our family members.

It wasn’t until our trip this June 2009 that I really got to thinking how going home was a way of “plugging in” for my husband—recharging his battery, especially since we don’t visit as often as we used to. The things we do when we are in Boston are things that for him are essential to charging his spiritual energy. It goes something like this…

  1. Arrive at Logan and be greeted by Mom and Dad.
  2. Tune into the local stations for “the best music ever”.
  3. Come home to homemade chicken wings, meatballs and sausage in “gravy”, and homemade pizza (among many other delicious goodies).
  4. Sit out on the deck with the lighted palm tree decoration and drink a few cold ones (usually Sam Adams) and talk about “the days” while taking in the cool air.
  5. NEXT DAY…the itch begins…we must go to Nahant (40 Steps) to see, hear and touch the ocean. This is the place where my husband’s dreams were born—his love for the ocean, what’s underneath the ocean, and scuba diving.
  6. Having a Maine lobster or “lobsta” roll.

You get the idea. The list continues for us…a check-off of sorts of things to do (whale watching, seeing old friends, a Sox or Pats game, etc.) before we head back home. This time, however, I noticed how truly important these activities are to my husband, as small as they may seem.  It’s almost like he’s on a mission—quiet, yet excited; eager, yet meditative, until he’s filled his cup. These are things “of the soul” that keep him charged so he can go back to his “adult life home” in Miami and get back to living. During our trips, I know not to say “no” or ask “why”—it’s clear that it is something he truly needs, an hourglass that continually empties and needs to be filled again.

And isn’t it the same for us all? I compared my husband’s experience to my own and I do believe that there are times in our lives that we all must reconnect and fill our souls so that we can continue on our journeys. For me, since I live in my home town, it’s more about connecting with those things about my life’s experiences that were meaningful to me and helped to make me who I am today, like spending quality time at least once a year with my middle school girlfriends, eating my favorite childhood meal or dessert  when I feel I need “soul food” (arroz con pollo and arroz con leche—yum!), listening to music that reminds me of the “old times” especially the music my mom played, driving through my grandparent’s old neighborhood (Little Havana), etc.

So why not plug in when we need it? We all need to recharge at different times, perhaps when we are feeling a bit disconnected, unfulfilled, or when things just seem a bit mundane. What is it about these experiences that recharge us? It seems to me that the feelings we are trying to reconnect with are those of love, belonging, familiarity, comfort and excitement. So when you need a dose of these feelings, here are at least 10 ways you can recharge your soul:

  1.  Take a trip! If it’s been a while since you’ve visited your home town, why not take a few days and make that trip. Or, if taking a trip is not a possibility, how about picking up the phone and having a nice conversation with a loved one? If you live in your home town, why don’t you take the time to visit with a relative you hardly ever speak with or see? Web cams provide another great way to connect with those you love and/or miss.
  2. Girls/Boys Night Out! Same concept here, but with your childhood or close friends. Even if it’s for a few hours, schedule a dinner or cocktail with one or more of your close friends you don’t get to see too often. Reminisce and catch up. Have a few laughs!
  3. Have some soul food! Gosh… there is nothing like some good soul food! If you can’t actually make it out to that favorite restaurant or to your mom’s house where she can whip up your favorite dish, how about making it yourself or ordering out? It’s the feeling of eating the special dish that you’re after, so eat up and leave the guilt at the door.
  4. Visit that favorite place. For my husband that place was Nahant. What is it for you? Can’t visit? How about find a photo, frame it and hang it up in your home or office?
  5. Rent a movie. We all have that favorite flick that get’s us going. For me, it’s either Grease or Footloose. I have very distinct memories of reenacting these movies in front of my living room wall-to-floor mirror! What movie makes your energy soar?
  6. Turn up the dial! Does music lift your spirits like it does for me? What songs from your childhood/youth do the same for you? Find them and play them.
  7. Scrap. Photos have a way of instantly creating that connection once again. If you’re anything like me, you probably have many boxes stored and filled with photos from childhood and up. Why not sort through them, pick a few favorites that recreate those feelings you crave and create a scrap book? It also feels good to create photo albums or scrap books for others.
  8. Blog. There’s no better way to reconnect these days than through the internet. If you have not yet connected with those dear friends or relatives on Facebook, you can always use a blogging tool, like Blogger or WordPress to create a personal blog to keep you connected with your family and friends. You can share photos and keep everyone up-to-date on your life’s happenings.
  9. Take up a hobby. This doesn’t have to be too time consuming; a simple game can do the trick. What board game did you play with your relatives or friends that made you smile? How long has it been since you played it? Dust it off and get going. Or, was there something you truly enjoyed doing that you wouldn’t mind doing again, like playing an instrument, or taking a dance class. I’m all for finding some time to do those activities that create excitement and purpose for me. What are they for you?
  10. Journal or write a letter. Writing can be a soothing and healing process for many. When our lives are too hectic and we long to create or connect with something more meaningful, jotting down our thoughts, remembering experiences that put smiles on our faces, listing those things we are grateful for today, or writing a letter to someone who we miss dearly or appreciate can send our energy right back up again. Purchase a simple, beautiful journal—one that calls out to you—and give it a try.

Remembering the past doesn’t always mean living in it. It’s important to make that distinction as I’m a believer in living in the moment. This brings to mind Daughtry’s song “Home” where he says… “I’m going home, to a place where I belong, where your love has always been enough for me.” Going home means different things to different people. For some it is literal and for others, a cup of coffee, a song, or a conversation can create that feeling that will put us back in balance and provide us with some needed energy to keep moving forward in our lives with a sense of meaning and with a smile on our faces.

What creates that feeling of home for you? Add to my list! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

All my love to our family and friends in Boston who always make us feel at home!

With gratitude,

Monique