FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

Moving You From Surviving to
THRIVING

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I think all of us are aware of the effects branding can have on business. How many of you can see the familiar ‘swish’ and think, “Just Do It”? Or hear a beguiling British accent we now attribute to a gecko selling insurance and smile? Branding has a significant impact on sales by developing an awareness, then an affinity, and then a loyalty from the consumer.

Awhile back, I was offered the chance to do a 360° assessment on my personal brand to discover what others think about me and my value as a coach, leader and team player. I had never engaged in a 360° feedback assessment before so it was a little scary.  Asking others to provide honest, anonymous feedback about you requires a certain amount of courage. There’s also the fear that they won’t think enough of you take 10 minutes out of their day to complete the survey. I pushed the ‘send’ button after much deep breathing and a commitment to learn from the experience, come what may.

Surprisingly, almost half of my candidates provided feedback, which was the first remarkable moment. Next, I discovered that they had really great things to say about me! My most common personal brand attributes were Creative, Socially-conscious, Community-oriented, Intelligent and Supportive. My brand personas were Philanthropist, Caregiver, Self-starter, Expert, Motivator and Giver. Imagine how wonderfully these words penetrated my psyche! My greatest strengths resonated along these same lines.

Then I came to the part I was dreading – the feedback on weaknesses. Short comments spoke to the fact that I overextend myself and sometimes don’t follow up. I get caught up in stress and don’t make enough time to accomplish what I would like. I don’t always trust myself to know when to say no.  Did these comments surprise me? Absolutely not. Did they make me feel bad about myself? Actually, they did just the opposite. They allowed me to see what I already instinctively knew through the eyes of the people I work with, provide service to, and collaborate with on teams, boards and projects. I understood the theory of self care and setting strong boundaries, but I saw the effects on my personal brand first hand. It gave me a lot to unpack and examine in order to improve the way I do business – and my professional persona.

Discovering my personal brand through this lens caused me to begin the process of reshaping my boundaries and dramatically simplifying my life, to really look at the ways I can provide value to others in a new and streamlined way. The process seemed a little daunting at first, but it turned out to be an invaluable experience.  And although I may not continue to engage in such a systematic way of gathering a 360° reach, I can continue to evaluate my personal brand using external feedback and so can you.

I used William Arruda’s 360° Reach assessment and I highly recommend it.  But while I think that everyone should engage in a formalized 360° assessment at some point, there are some quick and informal ways of getting to the heart of what others believe to be true about you. You can create a personal branding survey using tools like Survey Monkey or Zoomerang, which both offer a free 30 day trial and a mechanism for anonymous feedback. Or you can just create a set of questions you would like your closest friends, colleagues or loyal clients to answer for you. Discovering your role on a team or your projective attributes can really assist you in examining how you work best with others and where your challenges might lie. Looking at how you form boundaries or what value you may or may not provide is critical feedback if you perform client services. Do your clients or colleagues have a high level of trust in your abilities? Are you overextending yourself? Chances are, this information can help you understand what others unconsciously or consciously think about when working with you.

Sure, this process can be a little daunting. But it can also be a tremendously rewarding experience. You may not have a catchy slogan or a likable mascot for your business, but chances are the uniqueness of you is pretty beguiling!



When I discovered coaching and decided I wanted to be a coach, it never occurred to me that I would also have to become a business owner. Looking back, I really think there are really 10 simple, not too left brain things I benefitted from or wish I would have known when I was a new entrepreneur.

I recently attended a leadership retreat where we opened the group event with an Ancestor’s Circle. Each participant lifted up someone who had made a significant impact on their life and work. The effect was phenomenal. A group of strangers who had barely introduced themselves become clearly and unexpectedly emotional as they described these amazing people who had believed in them, made them feel special or unique, or provided a foundational framework from which to live, work, and create community with others.

I stand on the shoulders of many amazing people who assisted me on the path I walk today.

Today is 10/10/10, a somewhat magical day in the world of numerology. I learned that a colleague got married today. In fact, many people decided to marry or do other exciting things on binary dates which are unique and memorable. You might not be planning something huge – maybe you didn’t plan anything at all. But it isn’t too late to consider a few things to make the day memorable.

I felt the need to change everything, stop the freight train to the abyss and get control again. So, I tried something new – I conjured up my future self and had a little chat with her.

“There is a book inside of me.” You too? I’ve known it since I was a child. In fact, the desire to write has been the only avocation that has been a constant in my life. This yearning to make a living as a writer is what I call my soul purpose. It is also a source of great frustration when I consider that unfinished book that still roams around the pathways of my brain, looking for a door to open that will lead to completion, or even a whole-hearted beginning.

I decided to hire my 3 year old granddaughter Kandyce and my 3 year old Beagle, Charlotte as consultants in my business.

I am on a continuous awareness journey around strengths, both my own and the strengths of my clients who often hire me to discover what they want to be when they grow up. I have this desire for people to connect with work that makes them come alive. And, I have a desire to connect […]