What is a personal coach?

It has been months since I last updated this blog! :) I have been occupied with lots of things - freelance assignments, some traveling, attended a couple of workshops, tried selling my own handmade jewelry online, shopping, cooking, etc. Life is kind of busy, but not stressful. That’s nice, isn’t it? :)

My husband has also got himself engaged in a couple of NLP (neurolinguistic programming) trainings. He is also juggling between work and his future career plan (and me, of course, hah!), so he’s even busier than I am. I’m glad he made this career investment for himself, because this is his passion - to become a trainer/personal coach, helping people to transform their lives and to become more effective in whichever area they choose.

Speaking about personal coach,many may still relate it to coaches of basketball or football teams. Actually, coaching is no longer reserved to sports teams; it is now one of the key concepts in leadership and management.

There can be team coaching for an organization or company, with the aim to help its staff members to work towards a common goal despite their differences in competency and levels of commitment. Team coaching involves, among others, aligning the staffs’ personal values and goals with that of the organization so that long-term directions can be pursued.

Individual coaching or personal coaching is more of a mentoring relationship at work, operated on an one-to-one basis. Personal coaching aims to build up the confidence of the person being coached, by affirming good performance with regular feedbacks, and increase competence by helping the person to assess his/her strength and plan their professional development.

Personal coaching is not about providing solutions to the person for his or her problems. Instead, personal coaching helps the person to realize what he or she should do or could do to resolve the challenges they encounter at work or in life. It’s no wonder that increasingly more people, especially corporate CEOs and company managers, are hiring personal coaches to assist them to become more effective and successful.

If you are interested to become a personal coach, you may want to first get yourself enrolled in some courses, such as leadership courses and NLP courses. Or you can first read up some books or information from the internet.

One minute happiness - 8 simple ways to happiness

By doing simple things and appreciating the people in our life, we will be a little bit happier than yesterday. :)

If you have one minute…

1. Before you leave your spouse for work, at least give him or her a warm hug or a sweet kiss before you step out the door.

2. When you are at your busiest moment at work, take a one-minute break to give your lover a phone call, even if it is just to say a simple ‘hello’.

3. If your child is calling for you from his or her room, do not hesitate to stop what you are doing and go to your child’s bedroom.

4. After eating out during a weekend dinner, take the stairs with your wife or husband instead of taking the elevator.

5. Spend an extra minute to cut your husband’s favorite fruit into small pieces and feed him.

6. Even if you know he is faking his headache, be willing to massage his head for one minute.

7. Listen to a beautiful song while making your cuppa.

8. When you leave a sticky note on the fridge, scribble a smiley face for your children, or draw a sweet, sweet heart for their daddy. :)

Creative thinking, creative problem solving

How many times have you thought that there could be no other solution to a problem, and that no matter what you do it will lead to a dead end? How many times have you felt hopeless realising that the problem laying before you is one you cannot solve, even after you have exhausted all possible options?

The pressure of having to solve such enormous problems may be overwhelming. It feels like you were hammering against a steel mountain, doesn’t it?

Do not fret though. There is still hope.

By learning some creative problem-solving techniques you may be able to look at your problem in a different light, which might just be the end of the tunnel that leads to possible solutions. But before this could happen, you should be opened mind about two things:

  • There may be more than just one solution to the problem
  • There may be solutions to problems you thought unsolvable.

When equipped with this optimistic mindset, you can try to be little bit more creative in solving your problems.

1. Have you really taken a hard look at your problem?
Having a concrete understanding of your problem is integral in solving the problem. If you know how it works, what the problem is, then you have a better foundation towards solving the problem. Try to identify the entities involved and what their relationships with one another are. Take note of the things you stand to gain and stand to lose from the current problem.

2. Are you constraining yourself with assumptions?
Sometimes it is these assumptions that obstruct your view of possible solutions. You have to identify which assumptions are valid, in which assumptions need to be addressed.

3. Are you trying to solve everything at once?
Try to solve the problem by parts. Solve it going from general view towards the more detailed parts of the problem. Write down a question for each little part, and then come up with a one-sentence solution to that. It should be a general statement of what will solve the problem. From here, you can develop the solution further and increase its complexity little by little.

4. Do you have both analytical and creative minds working?
Although it helps to have analytical thinking aboard as you solve a problem, you must also keep a creative, voice at the back of your head. When someone comes up with a prospective solution, tried to think how you could make that solution work. Try to be creative. At the same time, look for holes in the solution and improve it.

5. Are there any back up plans?
Remember, there may be more than just one solution to the problem. You can develop more than one solution at one time, and try to keep track of all the solutions and their developments.

6. Are you trying to be a solo hero?
Two heads are always better than one. Always be open to new ideas. You can benefit a lot from listening to all the ideas each person has. This is especially true when the person you’re talking to has had experience solving problems similar to yours.

One creative thinking exercise to help you in your quest in creative problem solving:
Take a piece of paper and write any word that comes to mind at the center. Now look at that word then write the first two words that come to your mind. Continue this until you build a tree of related words. This helps you build analogical skills, and fortify your creative processes.

So, next time you encounter a seemingly unsolvable problem, think again. The solution might just be staring you right in the face. All it takes is just a little creative thinking, some planning, plus a whole lot of work. Remember, every problem has a solution.

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