What do Angry Birds and coaching have in common?

Image

Today I heard that coaching is like playing Angry Birds. Yes, Angry Birds… I have just come back from a very intriguing coaching workshop. The coach was a former game developper, thus the comparison, I believe. How accurate though!

But hey, what is this coaching anyway? And why am I writing about it? I discovered coaching a couple of years ago but officially started using it as a tool some 10 months ago. I just didn’t realize this was such a powerful tool in helping people achieve their (I repeat: THEIR) goals.

Yes, I do coach people from time to time and I feel passionate about it. Whenever my coachee proceeds with the changes in their life (that they have feared for so long!) or gets their dream job, or even cuts off this toxic relationship with their partner, I feel like I’m giving a little bit of myself to this world. The feeling is indescribable. Seriously.

This week, as it is International Coaching Week, I’m attending a series of workshops and lectures dedicated to coaching. It gives me such a pleasure to discover more about this topic and to hear success stories of people who uncovered their own potential during their coaching sessions. I believe in people, I’ve always did. I used to repeat, while working as a project manager in an international corporation, that people are the best company’s asset. Each and every person has a particular talent. It just has to be uncovered sometimes. A good coach is the one who helps with this mystery.

Nowadays, more and more organizations realize the importance of coaching. They send their managers for a couple of sessions each time they see there is a problem (such as lack of motivation, need for self-development or conflict with other employees, etc.). It’s good to see this trend. It means senior management is willing to invest in their people. Or I’m just being too naive 😉

That’s how I got into coaching myself: I started coaching people (business coaching). At work. The change I saw in my coachee after 3 months was tremendous. What’s more important actually is that HE saw that change and was very proud of it. Did I mentor him? Nope, I was just asking questions. All right questions apparently 😉 That success motivated me to continue with coaching sessions. In the meantime, I also discovered the power of self-coaching but I’ll write about it another time.

So coming back to Angry Birds and coaching… Surprised to hear the comparison? I was as well. But when you look closer you will realize there are similarities between both indeed. I didn’t take notes during the workshop this time (shame on me, I know…) but, from what I remember, it goes something like this:

  • GOAL/OUTCOME – what do you want to achieve in the game?
  • BOARD of the game – where are you now? what is the situation? what is the reality?
  • CHOICES/RESOURCES – what can you do now? what do you have now that you can use to achieve your goal?
  • PLANNING – what will you do? what actions will you take? (try different techniques, what works etc.)
  • REVIEW – what went well / not so well? (lessons learned)

This model reminds me a bit of the OSCAR coaching model. OSCAR stands for: Outcome, Situation, Choices/Consequences, Actions and Review.

If you’re struggling with an issue, you might want to check out if a coaching session wouldn’t be of any help to you. Coaching is a very popular tool and there are numerous coaches all around the globe to help you out.

If you have any successful stories to share, whether you are a coach or a coachee, I’ll be happy to hear about them 🙂 Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

PS. Picture taken from HERE.

Advertisements

Start-up? Whazzz that?

startup founders

In fact, most of us have brilliant ideas. Some of them are indeed innovative, some have the potential to change the world. We just lack the courage / time / resources to start implementing these ideas. And after a while we discover that the solution we have thought of already exists or that someone is actually working on it. How come? Damn it!

Well, it’s simple. The ideas flow. If you think you are genious because you have invented an incredible product / service / solution, bear in mind there is at least one person who is thinking about something similar. So… start doing it! But only if you feel strong enough though. Work your butt off to get it done if you think it’s worth your time, money, effort…

Don’t be afraid to talk about your idea with others. You may be surprised how useful it is to gather people’s feedback (your potential users / clients / brand ambassadors?). Most probably you’ll change your concept ten times before you start implementing the plan. And then get ready to do it far more often… No worries, it’s ok. It is even better to verify your idea no. Better sooner than later! The later you gather the feedback and comments, the worse. Why? It will cost you money. Oh, you haven’t spent a $ so far? Well, you have spent your time and time is money. Think about it. Remember that nowadays everything happens faster than 2, 5, 10 years ago. We have to be agile, flexible, responsive. 6 or 12 months of “doing nothing” may cost you. It may cost you lossing the opportunity of doing awesome things simply because someone will soon introduce the same product / service or because it will no longer be needed on the market!

So act quickly! Put a landing page in place. Collect e-mail addresses of users interested in your service. Prepare your MVP, a prototype, you will show to your potential customers. Ask them to test it and get the feedback. Improve the service or pivot the idea. Sometimes 180° changes are necessary. Once happy, launch your product (app or web service… whatever it is). If you need (additional) funding, go and seek investors / business angels. Actually, do it no sooner than your prototype is ready.

Now… Don’t build your start-up, if:

  • you haven’t done any market research and you don’t have any figures in front of your eyes – we all think our idea is bright and that it will change the world, but seriously – will you have clients? that’s what it’s all about after all, isn’t it?
  • you are not convinced that it will work – well, if you don’t believe in your own idea, how will you convince your team / clients / investors?
  • you do not feel motivated – working on a start-up means a lot of work, sleepless nights, weekends away on some start-up events, such as Startup Weekend, various barcamps, Startup Sprint etc.
  • you’re too busy with other projects – as I’ve mentioned, in the fast paced environment it is extremely important to pay attention to all the changes around you and start acting quickly, a start-up project needs your focus
  • you’re alone – unless you are rich enough to outsource the components you need, such as web or app design, graphic design, marketing strategy, project management etc. Believe me, a one-man show in this case is not going to work. Moreover, the investors will never invest in a single person. They want to see a motivated team with all the necessary skills to run a start-up and complete the project. After all, you guys will be doing it all, not the investors… Find a co-founder, if you are on your own. The other person greatly helps. Get someone you really trust though.

So why am I doing all this? Simply because I believe in my idea with all my heart and I have verified my solution to a global problem with hundreds of people from various countries. They are waiting for me to implement it now 🙂 What’s more, I’m ready to sacrifice my time and effort and work on my own enterprise (in fact, I’m already doing it). The good thing is that I’m working with my brother (IT brain) whom I trust and who supports me and tells me whenever my ideas suck. I attended a startup weekend event some time ago where it all started. Since then I’ve been gathering feedback and comments, thanks to which I have modified the concept many times. I am conscious there is A LOT to be done but I’m all excited to go ahead and make sh** real! Oh, and one more thing. I am not afraid to fail 😉

If you’re willing to help from the graphic design or marketing perspective, let me know! 🙂

Enough for now. I’m getting back to working on the landing page…

Jogging jogging jogging…

rsz_1jogging

I have started jogging recently. Yep, this is unusual as I used to hate running. With all my heart. Literally.

So why did I decide to do jogging? Well, there are several factors which contributed to my decision. Let me name just a few:

  1. I wanted to stay fit and healthy. Jogging is the cheapest sport ever. Plus, I live in a nice area with plenty of forests and fields. The green is a calming effect for my eyes…
  2. Jogging makes me happy. It feels so good after the workout. I just can’t stop smiling when I’m done 🙂
  3. Many of my friends regularly run. I’ve noticed their transformation: they became fit, happy, calm and different. Positively different. I’d love to feel the same.

These were the main reasons why I started to jog at all. But each time I run I realize that there’s more than that…

I actually made a plan. I decided to start small. I first went out for 15 min. You might think it’s not much. It was for me. I came back home tired but not exhausted. I was sweating. But I left space for this awesome feeling: “I WANT MORE“! So next time I went jogging I ran a little longer distance. And I spent 20 min out there, running, not walking. It felt great! I was tired but happy. Ready for some more. And next time I noticed that I ran a longer distance again although within the same amount of time as recently! Can’t wait to go jogging soon. Wow, it’s really addictive! 🙂

What are the other benefits of this sport?

The feeling that I’m breaking my own barriers and the walls that I have built throughout my whole life (false conviction that I hate jogging and that jogging is actually terrible). Each time I run, I overcome some obstacles inside my brain or physical obstacles which my body has to fight against. I do more and more. These small successes show me that if I can make it here, I can make it everywhere and it only depends on me.

As my dear business and life coach, Lucyna, rightly mentions in her blog post (sorry, in Polish only), coaching / self-coaching and running have a lot in common. Reaching your goals in the jogging plan can prove you that you are able to reach the goals in your private or professional life, too. And this is what I’ve realized on my own recently. That is why I put my trainers on and go out running.

What is your personal experience? Do you jog or are you planning to start? I’d love to hear your voice 🙂