Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts
Showing posts with label encouragement. Show all posts

Monday, February 6, 2012

An Accountability Coach Can Help You Get Results

Do you have an area in your life that you need to improve, but for some reason you’ve lacked the motivation or commitment to make the change? Maybe it’s being more productive at work or scheduling more time with your family. For your long-term health, you may want to establish a regular exercise program or eat more nutritious foods.

It’s the rare person who can change a habit or master a new skill without the aid of a coach or support system. All athletes have a coach who shows them how to do the skill the right way, gives feedback, and offers encouragement along the way.

One of the most effective strategies you can implement is to get yourself an accountability coach. This is someone who will hold your feet to the fire to make sure you do what you say you’ll do.

You want to choose this person carefully. You have to be able to count on your coach to keep appointments and be committed to your success. Because you may expose your imperfections and vulnerabilities along the way, there also needs to be strong trust. And your coach needs to know how to give encouragement since you’re likely to hit some rough spots along the way.

Schedule daily or weekly contacts, whatever works best for both of you. Just make sure it’s often enough that you’re motivated to take action and make real progress between phone or in-person conversations.

Be clear about what you want your coach to hold you accountable for. You can even create the questions you want the person to ask you.

In his book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There, Marshall Goldsmith describes how he works with his own accountability coach. His coach calls him every night, no matter where he is in the world, and asks him a series of 12 questions that Marshall gave him. Here are just a few:

-  How happy are you?
-  How much walking did you do?
-  How much time did you spend writing
-  How many times did you try to prove you were right when it wasn’t worth it?

These questions keep Goldsmith focused on aspects of his life that he’s identified as important. They serve to keep him on track as he goes through his day, because he’s keenly aware of the answers he'll have to give later.

You may have just one area you want to improve. In that case, you can structure just a few questions for your own coach to ask you. Here are a couple of examples to stimulate your thinking:

To get more done in your work:
-  How many hours of uninterrupted time did you devote to your #1 priority project?
-  How often did you check email and phone messages? 
-  Did you let anyone call you or come into your office and just chat without an appointment?

To become more physically fit:
-  How much time did you spend on cardio workouts?
-  What strength training did you do?
-  Did you eat at least 6 fruits and vegetables?
-  How many high-fat foods did you eat?

In the opening words of one of my favorite books, The Road Less Traveled, author Scott Peck states that “Life is difficult.” As you grapple with the challenges you’ll inevitably face on your journey, you’ll find the path easier to navigate with an accountability coach – someone who will support you and make sure you follow through on your commitments.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Composure - Control Your Emotions in Stressful Situations

It's hard to stay calm when you're really upset. But if you manage your emotions, you're able to think clearly and do what's best for yourself and the people around you. These insights can help to keep your cool in difficult situations.

If this topic resonates with you, check out this post from Denny Coates, “Tip Clip #6 – How to Develop Mental Toughness.”

This video was featured recently in our multimedia ezine, Golden Eggs. To subscribe and get inspiring content delivered to your Inbox each week, just enter your email address in the box above.

Please post a comment: What do you do to calm down and keep your cool when you're upset?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Susan Boyle - It's Never Too Late to Achieve Your Dreams

As the years pass by and you find that you haven't accomplished what you'd hoped, you may feel disappointed, frustrated and unhappy with yourself. At those moments, think of Susan Boyle, who at age 47, shocked the world with her magnificent voice on the TV show, Britain's Got Talent, which aired last spring.

Grab your favorite beverage, sit back and watch how she transformed the attitude of the audience and the panel when she began singing "I Dreamed a Dream."

Since her debut on this program, Susan has achieved international fame. Her debut album, "I Dreamed a Dream," sold 701,000 copies the first week of its release, giving her the best first-week sales in 2009.
Remember her patience, persistence, and belief in herself when you find yourself wondering if you can achieve your dream. It all starts with a burning desire and the belief that you can do it. And then you must take ACTION.
"It is never too late to be what you might have been." 
- George Eliot

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Encouraging Children: My Mentor John Rosemond Got It Wrong This Time

I've been a fan of parenting expert and psychologist John Rosemond for more than 10 years. His books were a beacon of reason and practical parenting for me, especially, Teen-Proofing: Fostering Responsible Decision Making in Your Teenager, during my daughter's pre-teen and early teen years.

But when I read his recent column Living with Children in the Sunday paper, I found myself saying, "No, no, John, you've got it wrong this time."

Friday, December 4, 2009

Self-Confidence - The Strength to Achieve Is Within You

Your self-confidence affects your attitudes, beliefs and actions. It's natural to be unsure of yourself when you're taking on something new. Apply the insights and suggestions in this video to successfully overcome your fears and self-doubts.

This video appeared this week as one of the features of our new multi-media Golden Eggs ezine. It appears weekly and each issue focuses on a single aspect of personal strength. Three experts contribute articles, videos and podcasts.

We've gotten rave reviews from subscibers about the format and content, so I encourage you to get it, too! Just enter your email address in the box above.

Also, I'd really like your comments about self-confidence. Which events in your life have boosted your confidence?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Feedback: A Gift Many People Reject

If you're like me, one of the hardest things you have to do in life is listen to someone tell you that you're not perfect. Now they don't come right out and say that, of course. Most take a more subtle approach. They point out something you've done - or haven't done - that they don't like.

The problem is, when you're receiving this kind of feedback, your natural inclination is to defend yourself. Explain your rationale for doing something. Make excuses. Often you're not listening because you're waiting for your turn to talk so you can justify your actions.

What you're really doing is rejecting a gift that someone is trying to give you. We all have blind spots, and this person is attempting to remove the scales that keep you from seeing yourself as others see you.

Think for a moment what's going on in the mind of the feedback giver before he speaks with you. Most likely, what you said or did has been bothering him for a while. He's spent time rehearsing how he's going to approach you and what he's going to say. It takes courage for him to bring a problem behavior to your attention, and he's not sure how you're going to react.

What if you simply said, "Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I didn't realize I did that."

Now you've defused a potentially confrontational situation and made it possible for dialogue to happen. You can calmly explore what aspects of your behavior have caused problems and what that person would like you to do differently.

Next time someone gives you constructive feedback, take this approach. I guarantee the outcome will be more positive than what you may have experienced in the past.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Inspiring Others: Wisdom from Harvey Mackay

I love these words from Harvey Mackay, one of my favorite business leaders:

"A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves."

Too often, well-intentioned people give advice and think they're truly helping another person. I've certainly been guilty of doing that. And I have to admit that "mediocre" accurately describes the results I got from that approach.

When we were children, most of us didn't like to be told what to do. And as adults, we often interpret such an approach as condescending or corrective. It shuts down communication and prevents further learning by either person.

Today I'm eager to help "others to see for themselves." I believe the key to achieving that goal is asking questions. Not simple "yes" or "no" questions either. Questions that causes others to reflect on their situation and discover answers for themselves.

Next time someone is discussing a problem or challenge with you, resist the urge to tell them what to do. Instead, listen carefully to what they're saying and then ask questions to help them explore their feelings...their needs...and the possibilities. They will feel understood at the end of the conversation and will be more likely to act upon the insights they've discovered for themselves.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Encouragement at the Gym

I work out almost every week day at the gym. Twice a week I attend a class called Body Pump that uses a bar with weights to provide a solid workout for all parts of the body. As I've experienced different instructors, I realized something important about how encouragement works, even at the gym.
One instructor gives no feedback during the class. She simply describes the mechanics of what we need to do during any given set. But another one constantly watches us and shouts out positive statements like, "You guys are awesome, you look great!" or "Just one more set, I know you can do it!" At 5:00 AM, I can tell you the difference in the response from the group is remarkable. Everyone seems to be more energized by the second instructor, and I certainly enjoy my workout more when she leads the class.
That experience shows what a difference encouragement makes. We all have opportunities to offer encouragement throughout the day. And you never know what impact you might have on someone else. A word of encouragement you give today can live in another's heart for a lifetime.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What You Don't Know about Anger Can Ruin Your Relationships

Many years ago I learned two things about anger that have impacted my relationships ever since.
The first was a working definition of anger: Anger is an expectation that hasn't been met.
More specifically, your anger stems from an expectation that someone else has not met. They surprise you by their words or actions. Maybe they say something negative about you in front of others. Or promised to do something for you but forgot. Whatever occurred, you're now unhappy about the outcome and you're somewhere between irritated and ready to explode.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

About Me - Meredith Bell

I love encouraging action-oriented people to make changes that help them achieve greater success, both personally and professionally. I've been doing that as president of Performance Support Systems for the past 26 years and as an entrepreneur since 1982.

I'm very excited that our latest product, StrongForPerformance, gives leaders the tools they need to take their performance to the next level. This unique online coaching system combines assessment, learning resources and a self-selected network of support coaches to help people ingrain skills and new behavior patterns.

For many years, my business provided management consulting services. Then, in 1994 we published 20/20 Insight, a software program for hosting a wide variety of surveys. We later introduced Surveys for Small Business, designed to help small organizations get feedback from their customers and employees.

During the past 25 years, I've coached and encouraged hundreds of consultants and learning & development professionals who use our programs. I'm passionate about helping people discover how to leverage their strengths to achieve their goals.

On a personal note, my husband Lee and I have a grown daughter, Alison, who lives nearby with her husband and 2 children. They all bring tremendous joy to our lives, and we relish our role as grandparents. Lee and I are avid bird watchers. Observing nature at work is my favorite way to relax and be "in the moment."

You can reach me at: 
Performance Support Systems, Inc.
8270 Little England Rd
Hayes, VA  23072
800-488-6463 x201 or 757-656-4765