Living by design or default – what have you chosen to do?

Would you say you're living the life you want? How happy are you at your current life balance? And if there are areas in your life that may not be quite the way you want them, how prepared are you to change them? The Wheel of Life was developed by Whitworth, Kimsey-House & Sandahl and is in their book Co-Active Coaching. The wheel is a marvellous coaching tool to help us look at all the areas of our life: fun and recreation, our physical environment, friends and family, money, health, significant other/romance, career and personal growth. It requires us to determine how satisfied we are in those life areas and see, at a glance, whether our lives are as we wish them to be. The challenge then, is to change the areas in our life that we aren't satisfied with and in doing so, design our life from choice, not by default. Are you up to the challenge?

We’re all creatures of habit ­ but are they good ones? management coach wonders

There's a road I drive past moderately frequently that about a year or so ago was closed because close by a bigger road with a slightly different route was built as its replacement. Whenever I drive past the closed road, even after all this time, my brain momentarily registers it as the preferred route before it registers the default position, the new road. It happened again the other day and it reminded me that:


* we are creatures of habit

* our habits are automatic, done without even thinking about them

* less than ideal habits are hard to break

* becoming aware of all our habits is the key to changing them

* it takes lots of time and constant application of new practices before they become imbedded and automatic

* change is always possible, with awareness + positive intentions + conscious action + consistent application

Listening sounds easy but is hard to do, management coach believes

It probably sounds ridiculous to say, but listening is easy for those of us with hearing, because we just do it, all the time, without consciously thinking about what we are doing. Yet, even though we may be going through listening process, are we really listening to what is being said? Studies have shown that most listeners:

1. Begin to formulate their response to what's being said almost as soon as the speaker begins speaking

2. Interrupt people when they're speaking

3. Find their minds have drifted off into their own private thoughts well before a speaker has finished their sentence. 

It is possible to develop your listening skills by:

1. Noticing what your listening habits are (this will help you identify what you must rectify)

2. Consciously keeping your mouth firmly shut, when others are speaking (biting the insides of your cheeks can work here)

3. Training your mind to focus on what is being said (bringing your mind back to the speaker when you find it has drifted to a far off land)

4. Listening for what isn't said and using your eyes to pick up other non­verbal language clues

5. Constant practice ­ – you'll improve no end, if you do

Change management occurs at many levels, personal trainer says

How do you cope with change in your life? Would you say you embrace change with enthusiasm or need some time to come to grips with it? There is no right or wrong way to cope with change and every person's way of dealing with it is right for them. One thing to keep in mind is that how we cope with change in our personal world is likely to be reflected in the way we deal with change in our working worlds. In terms of the progression of change, we may be innovators (3%), early adopters (9%), in the early majority (38%), in the late majority (38%) or in the laggards (12%). 

1. Where do you fit?

2. How does that help or hinder you in your personal and working worlds?

3. What, if anything, would you like to alter about your own change management processes?

Life planning good to do, personal trainer believes

I've just finished a refresher teleclass on life planning. I particularly enjoyed the distinction made between intentional living (making choices about how we want our lives to be in areas of career, finances, health, friends and family, significant others, personal growth, fun and recreation and physical environment) and unintentional living (no conscious thinking and planning in key life areas). It certainly does make you stop and think and ask yourself "how do I want to live my life?" and "how do I want my life to be like in one or five years time?" What would your answer be?

Love of Learning

Sue is an advocate of online learning and the opportunities it affords learners of every age and life stage. She's been writing course content for online management courses since 2004 as part of a TANZ team developing management and business-related courses tailored to industry needs.

See page 12 of the 'TANZ Accord, Issue Three: 2007'.

Meaning and purpose in our lives essential, management coach believes

It can be easy to drift along in life especially when we finally achieve the dream job, the perfect house, the material possessions to fill it and have a rich circle of friends, family and acquaintances. Yet for many people, once these goals have been achieved life becomes empty. It could be said that the first half of our life is about acquisition ­ of status, qualifications, experience, material possessions etc ­ and the second half of our life may be more a search for real meaning and purpose. Sometimes the only real clue we are searching for something deeper and more meaningful in our lives is when we recognise the 'things' that may have done it for us in the past, no longer serves us. What about you?

(1) What gives your life real purpose and meaning?

(2) What is your passion?

(3) What do you want your next 10, 20 or 30 years to be like?

(4) How prepared are you to changes things in your life that no longer serve you?

Fear stops and courage moves us forward, personal management trainer says

Have you heard the acronym for fear? False Evidence Appearing Real and how many of us have been stopped in our tracks, because of it? Most people have fears of some sort or other, such as fear of being alone, of failure, of success, of changing jobs, or getting their needs met, yet not everyone lets their fears stop them. The key to working through the fear factor is to give the fears your full attention and consider exactly what it is you think or say about them. Fears can be endlessly reinforced if they're spoken out loud or endlessly play in our heads, in our self ­talk tapes. Pick a fear that limits you and change your negative self ­talk to positive, can ­do talk. Make a conscious decision let the fear go by facing it and doing what it is that you have avoided or dreaded. Ask yourself 'what is the worst thing that could happen if I did this?' and simply do it. Have courage and see what happens. You may be pleasantly surprised by the results.