Through positive relationships others can spontaneously assist you in achieving goals you may not have dreamt of. You need to focus on your personal strategy yet be open to using peripheral vision to notice opportunities arising.
Here is an example of how a person helped me to progress. The context involves a webinar, ‘How to be a more productive coach’ which I’ll be presenting on September 20th 2018, from my base in South Africa. This will be for the International Coach Federation (ICF), Australasia Chapter. How did this opportunity materialise? Tracing the ‘golden thread’ to what made this possible was an interesting exercise.
We could go back further to building positive relationships through coaching, but let’s start in 2012, the year when I asked Janine Everson, Director of the Centre for Coaching, University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) if she could recommend coaches whom I could connect with on my next visit to Sydney. Joe Fischer and I met and immediately recognised common bonds and co-incidences through work and family. On my following trip we met for coffee again and he mentioned that Janine would be running a 6-month coaching course (training coaches) in Sydney. As I was currently mentoring emerging coaches for the GSB in Cape Town, I offered and became the pod-mentor for Joe and his group of 6 other participants engaged in the ACC course. I really enjoyed my interaction with that group and we continue meeting during each of my trips to Sydney.
The story evolves and continues to span two continents: When I began studying an M Phil (Management coaching) degree at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa in 2015, I presented a mini-workshop to Joe’s group of coaches at Stephenson Mansell Group in Sydney and discovered that evening that he knew Prof Anthony Grant from the University of Sydney’s Coaching Psychology Unit. This was an amazing co-incidence and Joe spontaneously offered to set up an appointment with Professor Grant, the person who coined the term ‘evidence-based coaching’. This was particularly relevant as I was battling with a Stellenbosch assignment on that aspect of coaching! I was so very grateful to both of them for the inspiration Prof Grant provided.
Each trip to Australia, which took place roughly twice each year, I was delighted to meet with my 2014 Australian coaching pod at a lunch organised by Joe. Whenever we met, I was rewarded with new exciting opportunities offered to me. For example, my interest in Positive Psychology had been ignited and when the group mentioned a forthcoming Positive Psychology conference in Adelaide, South Australia, I was able to plan my next trip around attending that conference. Positive Psychology and my learnings from that conference helped a great deal with my research.
In May 2017, following Joe’s instigation, I presented a workshop highlighting my M Phil findings to 40 coaches in Sydney for the ICF Australasia chapter, ‘The role of coaching in developing character strengths in leaders’. That workshop led to the June 2018 workshop, ‘The Productive Coach’ also held in the city center in Sydney. The ripple effect spread and that is how it came about that I’m presenting the webinar version: ‘How to be a more productive coach’ on Thursday, September 20th 2018. This new unique work is adapted from my new learnings at the African Doctoral Academy where I attended ‘The Productive PhD’ presented by Prof Sebastian Kernbach in January this year. I have taken some of the techniques which he presented as being helpful to PhD’s, expanded on them and adapted to coaching. Introducing these new, unique techniques into my own Executive Coaching and Leadership Development work over the last 6 months has achieved rewarding outcomes in my own developmental process and helped to achieve positive shifts for my clients. In the forthcoming webinar I’ll be sharing 3 of those techniques.
That was a long story but shows the essence of my opening statement: ‘Through positive relationships others can spontaneously assist you in achieving goals you may not have dreamt of.’ I am very grateful, not only to Joe, but to the many people who have enriched my life in different ways. I do hope I have been able to be of benefit to them.
Network, build relationships, nurture and cherish the beautiful friendships arising. Meet people with an attitude of ‘what can I do for you?’ and you’ll reap bountiful rewards. I’m reminded of one of my favourite quotations:
“The people you meet should excite you, inspire you, make you grow. That’s why you should endeavour constantly to add to the number and variety of people you meet. Each one will polish a different facet of your mind and stimulate you in ways you may not anticipate.”
Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen: Dare To Win
My questions for you are:
- Have you sincerely thanked those people who have recognised opportunities for you?
- If you look at the exciting things happening in your life right now, what is the ‘golden thread’ running through the networking you do?
- What gives you the courage to risk accepting new opportunities?
- How often do you provide opportunities for others that show that you believe in them?
- How might you have reciprocally impacted on the life of the person who helped you achieve your goals?
- How might your interaction in turn have created new opportunities, connections and inspirations for that person?
For more information on the coaching and leadership development services offered by Brenda Eckstein International please contact me, Brenda on +27 82 4993311 or firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you!
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