Letting go to let come…

I’ve never been a planner. My favourite quote is the following: I would like to live as the river flows. Opening to the surprise of it’s own unfolding. – John O’Donohue (Conamara Blues) It is only as this year comes to a close, and I find myself in the pause created by the few days of Christmas, that I realisz how truly I’ve lived this river-like philosophy this year. On first January 2016, I did not anticipate that I would give up my car – simplifying my travel by utilising our newly launched public transit and thinking more carefully about
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Questions for your New Year

As you know, my superpower is asking questions that make you stretch, squirm and salivate with challenge and possibility. So here’s a set of questions that came to me for a client group stepping into an exciting new year with their business. I’ve already shared them with some other people and posted them on Facebook and they seem to be getting quite the response. It’s true that there’s power in asking the questions you don’t want to ask yourself. It’s these questions that make the difference between what master coach, Rich Litvin, calls living a default future (just jogging along
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Starting Over (or not stopping in the first place)

I’m starting over with my blogging practice. Yes, it’s been some time since I’ve written (eight months!) And the longer I waited, the harder it became to start over. The interference got louder and louder. The Resistance (as Stephen Pressfield calls it in his book The War of Art) was fully in charge. I had let it take hold. I’m pondering that sometimes the secret to success is not in starting something — rather it lies in not stopping something once you have got it underway in the first place. I didn’t even realise I had stopped blogging. I certainly
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I never met a client ….

…..whose potential I couldn’t see. I’m parodying the advertisement for our local Calgary YMCA whose slogan I just heard on TV “we’ve never met a child whose potential we couldn’t see”. Coaching is about more than seeing that potential. It’s about reflecting it back for my client  to see it, embrace it and turn it into an action for moving towards their desired state of being – at work and in life. John O’Donohue (one of my favourite sources of inspiration as you know from previous posts) has this great phrase in one of his podcasts: no human being ever
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Beautiful Trepidation

OK so I “borrowed” the title of this post from David Whyte, interviewed here by Krista Tippet as part of her podcast series ON BEING, which I love as my weekly source of inspiration. In this interview they are talking about conversation and questions and it really resonates with me when David uses the phrase “beautiful trepidation” to describe that moment when we might hesitate to ask a question that wants to be asked. It’s a mixture of fear – that you are going to hear an answer you don’t want to hear – and hesitation – that you are
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Keep your channel open

Just because I like this today as I start the week: There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you will block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is; nor how valuable it is; nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep
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I can’t say this any better….

STOP MICROMANAGING ME : Corporations have hired me to come in and train their managers on how to coach their people. They understand that coaching is different than managing.       Have you ever been managed by someone?        Managing is most often an attempt to control other people, while coaching’s intention is to empower other people.       Coaching empowers you. It finds and develops the power in you. When you are finished with your coaching session you have more power than you had before. Whereas, when you are finished being managed you have no more power, you’ve just been controlled.       When
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See and Hear Yourself

  “I’m trying to shut off the video, Aileen, so that I don’t have to look at myself” We were starting a coaching conversation via skype – you know how you see yourself in the small box on screen as well as the person you are skyping with? My client was trying to close it so she didn’t have to look at herself. Hmm…..I said “Isn’t that the whole idea though. We’re coaching so you can take a look at yourself and at your life?” We both laughed and my client relaxed into our conversation and to seeing herself on
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One True and Trusted Conversation at a Time

One True and Trusted Conversation at a Time was the message I chose for my recent TEDx talk in Canmore, Alberta (my home town). Little did I realize when I set out to do this talk that the message was to be a powerful learning for me personally. I’m not a speaker as such. Apart from my appearances on behalf of the IAC at the annual WBECS online conference for the past four years, I haven’t taken the stage as a keynote (or any other kind) of speaker. I have however, facilitated leadership groups and teams for many years. The largest
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