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Monday, March 28, 2011

What Has Golf Got to do With The Workplace? Life Coaching Questions.

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed.
Life Coach

Last week I had a wonderful opportunity to watch the best male golfers in the world. The best, the top, the most skilled in this game. As a lover of golf, this was amazing to me. Whatever your area of interest, it is a treat if you get the opportunity to observe the best at work; a chance to watch them display their skills.

As we walked toward #1 tee at the Bay Hill golf course we were preparing to watch the # 1 golfer hit his first drive of the day; finally I would see Tiger Woods in person.

As Tiger and two other greats made their way to the first tee, a loud buzz of chatter and cheers sounded from the hundreds gathered around to watch. Amazingly, just as the first player walked up to the tee box, a lone volunteer raised a wooden paddle in the air and the hundreds of spectators feel deadly silent…all that could be heard was the song of a single mocking bird from a nearby oak tree.

As we continued our walk around this magnificant course, the same process and procedure continued with consistency. I was observing something here that was, I thought, unique in sport. It didn’t happen last week when I went to see the the New York Yankees play. It didn’t happen when I saw the Tampa Bay Lightening. No it didn’t happen in baseball and hockey.

What I noticed, was the large degree of Respect; sure repect happens in these other sports but they are not designed with a focus on creating Respect.

Golf it seems fosters Respect between the players and also within the spectors or gallery. It is said to be a gentleman’s game. Maybe I can freely say a gentle person’s game. It is indeed gentle from whatever gender your focus.

As I began my reflection at the end of my day I was hit with the thought of a comparision between Golf and Work.

1. Does this repect exist in our workplace?

2. Do we all sit or stand quitely when an employer/employee or co-worker speaks?

3. Do we notice the different skills of each of our employees or co workers? Some may be great long hitters, while others maybe good at their short game?

4. Do we cheer when a co-worker figuratively hits a long drive or has a hole-in- one?

5. Is the workplace a gentleman’s game?

6. If each week was a tournament, who would win the trophy this week?

7. How can Respect be increased at your place of work?
I got to see Tiger Woods and I got to observe the best golfers right in their workplace....a respectful workplace. 
There are lessons to be learned from Golf.
Have a respectful week.
Any questions please email me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Soft Skills Let’s Re-Name….Life Coaching Activities

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed
Life Coach

It never fails to amaze me when the term ‘Soft skills” is used to describe the following skills, abilities, intelligences:

Communication Skills

Critical Thinking

People Skills

Problem Solving

Social Skill

Team Work

The focus or task of professional/personal training is the development, enhancement and maintenance of each of these skills.

I have often thought, when I hear the phrase ‘soft skill’ that it must have been invented by someone who worked alone on a big piece of rock or stone.

If you have ever gone into a job interview, had to give a verbal presentation, or make a sale you need to call on several of the above listed skills. Did you know that the most feared event in the world is public speaking? What’s soft about that?

Our world leaders, our doctors, and emergency personnel are faced daily with the ‘soft skills’ of critical thinking and problem solving…it can be a matter of life and death.

Is there somewhere we can lobby to have this term changed?

I would recommend that these skills, abilities and intelligences be referred to as Professional/Personal Skills.
They are needed in all aspects of our lives. Think about it.

You met new friends….you listen to what they say…you respond…you Communicate verbally or in written form.

You have a job interview…you need to be able to communicate about yourself.

A problem arises at home or at work…you must employ your Critical thinking abilities, skills. Your thought process, your skills are necessary to solve the problem…if not solved correctly the results could be disastrous. What is soft about that skill?

People Skills…haven’t we all worked with someone who was ‘difficult to work with,' he/she were said to not have ‘people skills’…. There was certainly nothing soft about having to deal with that person each day.

Social skills are needed both in our personal and professional lives. They too have to be developed. There is a balance that needs to be acquired or you are on the outside looking in….nothing soft about that either.

I believe that more and more the need to develop these skills is being recognized in the work place. They are the essence of the human being. They are the construct of the personality. Without these 'soft skills' we are unable to function in our work places and communities. They indeed define us as a culture. Again I have to ask, what’s soft about that?

These are the foundation of our daily lives. Foundations are strong, secure and hard. Let’s get over the term Soft Skills and replace it with Professional/Personal Skills.

Thanks for listening to my Rant, it is someting I'm passionate about. Is that a soft skill?

Next Blog...Professional/Personal Skills in the workplace.

Have a great day. Think about your Professional and Persoanl skills.

Any questions email me

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Want to Make Spring Changes in Life? Life Coaching Activities

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed.
Life Coach                                                                          

This is a post I wrote two years ago but I thought I would dust off and share with you. Spring is a time of new growth but sometimes we miss the obvious in our serach for 'new lands.'
 Focus on your life. See what you find.

" The real act of discovery lies not in finding new lands, but in seeing with a new set of eyes." Proust

Spring has arrived and for most of us it brings a time for new adventures and activities. We will check to see what new programs are being offered at our gym or local fitness center; we will update our wardrobe; do spring cleaning; purchase new colorful plants.

It is a time of new beginnings and reenergizing.

Many of us may try to new projects for the coming months. To Proust, the real act of finding something new lay right in our very environment. To him it was seeing with a new set of eyes.

How do we see with a new set of eyes?

How can we view our life from a different perspective?

Life Coaching Activities and Powerful Questions for Spring

1.How can you see yourself with a new set of eyes?
2 Look at yourself as if from the eyes of another. Anything there need to be changed?
3. Note how you speak or address others. Need to update your language?
4. Note what you eat. Is it healthy?
5. Are you truly honest with yourself about what you see?
6. How can you come to see work and your workplace with a new set of eyes?
7. What discoveries can you make about your workplace?
8. What opportunities exist for you at work?
9. What opportunities can you create at work?
10. If you have your own business, how can you start to see new opportunities or ventures?
11. Suspend old thoughts and ideas and pretend to be starting your business from scratch.

What did you discover?

Sometimes the new we need in our life is in clear view, while we are searching in the distance.

Reassess what you have. Use a new perspective for viewing. Make the change.

Have a great day.

Coach Phyllis

Monday, March 14, 2011

How Focused are Your Employees? Life Coaching Activities

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed.
Life Coach

Focus: A center of interest or activity, as defined by the Webster dictionary.

How is it that we can stand by a river casting a fishing line for hours, totally focused? Or with 100% focus we can follow a little ball around a golf course for miles?

For a moment think about a time you were involved in either of these activities. What do you hear? For the most part there is still and quite. Your mind is free from white noise and casual chatter. You are on a river to fish or a golf course to golf….activities needing a dedicated Focus.

Your mind is clear of other thoughts. Fishing or Golfing become your center of activity. Your main focus.

Focus or having focus is necessary to each and every individual if we are to be successful in our day to day life.

At work it is necessary to focus on the tasks at hand.
Focus is necessary in getting your ducks in a row. While making those cold calls, they become your center of activity.
Focus is necessary for every successful relationship.

If you are a business owner, how focused are you? How focused are your employees? How do you keep them focused?

An unfocused individual is not going to accomplish much in the work place or in life. What happens if you take a picture with a camera that is out of focus….right, you get nothing but a blur; not a quality picture.

How do we get ourselves in focus and how can we insure our employees are fully focused?

Life Coaching Activities & Powerful Questions

1. At work adjust your focus and attend to what you have to do, you will find work being completed in a more effective timely manner.

2. Focus on yourself. Attend to how you attend and focus. How good are you?

Ask Yourself

How well do I focus at work?

What do I attend to at work?

What should I attend to at work?

Do I set aside time to focus and attend to tasks?

Do tasks go unfinished due to lack of Focus and attention?

Focusing on what is happening at the immediate time is an essential part of any sport. Some may call it concentration but it is Focusing. And just as in sport, to succeed in life and work we have to develop the skills of Focusing.

Have a day of Focus!

If you have any question plesae email me

Monday, March 7, 2011

International Women’s Day

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed.
Life Coach

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate Women around the world.

March 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The day was commemorated for the first time on 19 March 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

The main purpose of this International Day is:

1. to recognize the fact that securing peace and social progress and the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms require the active participation, equality and development of women;

2. and to acknowledge the contribution of women to the strengthening of international peace and security.

Each country may have a different yearly theme.

2011 USA theme: Success in the Globally Integrated Enterprise

2011 Canada: Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality

Google to find your countries theme.

Thousands of events are held each year to celebrate IWD and to reflect the chosen theme.

You may or may not be part of an organized event but you can get involved right in your home or office.

Here are some Life Coaching Activities for consideration.

1. Express gratitude to the women in your life.

2. Make one woman smile today.

3. Think of a woman who had a positive effect on you. Share this story with co- workers or friends.

4. If you are a woman, be extra kind to yourself today….you deserve it.

5. Think of away you can contribute to peace in the work place and home.

Happy International Women's Day!

Coach Phyllis

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Are Your Conversations Only Alternating Monologues? Life Coaching Activities

Phyllis Reardon M.Ed.
Life Coach

Communication Life Coaching Activities and Questions to use with your clients.

Most conversations are just alternate monologues. The question is, is there any real listening going on.”                                                                                          Leo Buscaglia

The technology age has brought with a whole new meaning to the concept of communication. We can phone, email, text, IM, Skype and OOVOO.

Communication technology has made the world a smaller place and has increased the level of and changed the form of communication forever.
However no matter the form, the basic skills of communication need to be acquired and enhanced.

Be it verbal or written, communication is the basis of all relationships at home, at work and in all aspects of our life.

People tend to half listen and then go on pause until it is there turn to speak. Most of us can’t wait until the other person is finished so we can add our piece of information or two cents worth. The common phrase we have all heard, “you think that’s bad, that’s nothing compared to what happened to me.”

How strong is your communication?

Here are a few questions for your consideration….How good are you at Communicating?

Life Coaching Activities and Questions

1. How well do you communicate your ideas to others?
2. Do you enjoy speaking?
3. What areas are you comfortable talking about?
4. How do you feel when you are talking about a favorite subject?
5. What gives you this level of comfort?

6. Would this work when you speak about unfamiliar topics?
7. What would you need in place to make that happen?
8. Do you truly listen to what the other person is saying?
9. Are you a monologue waiting to happen?

Take note of these questions and notice them the next conversation you have.

Check to see how well you do.

If you are a manager, co-worker, spouse or parent,  the next time you converse, think about this quote.

The greatest motivational act one person can do or another is listen.”    Roy Moddy

If you have questions or comments please email me.

Have a wonderful day!