Posts Tagged ‘goal-setting’

Leadership Coaching-Shifting from Entitled to Empowered

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

shutterstock_66132007(1)Have you ever worked with a coworker, employee, or coaching client whom you just wished could shift from “entitled” or “victim” thinking to “empowered” and “victorious” thinking? How different would our lives be–our careers, companies, families, communities, nations be–if we defaulted to the latter (empowered, victorious)?

I often hear managers and coaches ask the question, “How do I get someone to shift from ‘entitled’ to ‘empowered’?” Here are a few ideas:

shutterstock_131766014LEAD: Lead first. Live it yourself. Start by being a role model. See possibility and provision in every challenge, every routine, every everything . . . everywhere and all the time.


shutterstock_164791667LOVE: Love them. I know. It sounds a little politically incorrect to use the word “love” in the workplace, so let me explain. Care about the people you are coaching or managing—be interested and intrigued by who they are, what they can become, how they can contribute. Be selfless—do not be concerned about potential negative consequences to yourself if the person you’re coaching/managing gets what he wants (e.g., a manager who doesn’t want his “golden goose” producer to get promoted because it will leave the manager in a lurch).


shutterstock_158356859LEVERAGE: Leverage them. Leverage their strengths. No one can or will move forward when focusing on what’s wrong with them, what’s missing, what isn’t up to par. But when they look at their strengths—when you help them focus on their strengths—you’ll see a visible change happen…a hope and confidence that wouldn’t be there otherwise.


shutterstock_131706869LOOK: Look into the future with them. Explore what they want, whether today, tomorrow, ten years from now. Note: It’s best to do the looking forward after you’ve done the prior tip of “leveraging,” because people will be in a more optimist place to dream about what they want to create when they’re operating from their strengths.


shutterstock_109555592LEARN: Explore with the person what she needs to learn to move forward, to do things differently, to gain new ground. All too often, if we haven’t achieved a meaningful goal, it’s simply a matter of learning new skills, new thinking, new feelings that will support the goal. Look for opportunities to apply the learning, whether in a stretch role, with additional responsibilities, in a special assignment, or in an existing role.

Enjoy empowering yourself and supporting others in the process!


What’s your Wiring–Growth and Gain or Drought and Drain

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

garbage-in-outGIGO. Garbage In, Garbage Out. The same can be said about the wiring in our brain. Wiring that we have created over the decades, whether intentionally or unintentionally, may be good and helpful, or it may be bad and draining/disruptive.

The good news is that if you’ve got a negative habit or thought pattern that you’d like to get rid of, it’s just a matter of creating new wiring. That allows us to change the GIGO acronym to Good In, Good Out. Sound good?

So how do you create new wiring? Here are four ways to flip the “on” switch in your brain. There are 2 F’s and 2 R’s, or F2R2 for short:


shutterstock_1327892121.       Focus: What we focus on grows. Research showed that participants who were blindfolded for 30 minutes began growing new neural pathways in the auditory processing areas of their brains.  So choose where your focus will be this week: is it on growth and gain or is it on drought and drain?


shutterstock_1047168292.       Future: Looking into the future kicks our brains into the prefrontal cortex where we can envision the future, see possibilities, explore options, and create a picture of what we’re moving toward. Whether you want to look  years down the road or 6 minutes into the future, think about what you want to create.


shutterstock_1265292593.       Reward: When you are expecting a reward, your brain will be more attentive. What’s the reward you want as a result of your future focus? Is it more income, more clients, more job opportunities, more peace? Name the reward. Explore it. Flesh it out in your mind. What’s your reward?


shutterstock_929713214.       Relevance: To create new wiring, the topic must be relevant to your needs. Learning how to speak Chinese (if that’s a goal) will not be easily attained if there isn’t some relevance attached to it. It (learning Chinese) will quickly be drowned out by the barrage of other competing priorities. So make sure your goal is relevant for this time-and-space in your life. Rate it on a scale of 1-10. If it’s not a high score, what needs tweaked in order to make it higher?


If you’re working with job seeker clients, this one question can encompass all four of the above F2R2 elements: What do you want to focus today that will you move you toward your rewarding and relevant goals?

The question can also work for us individually as coaches. So what’s your focus?


Put On Your H.A.T. to Succeed in 2014

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

This month’s posts have centered on creating G.O.A.L.S. and how to W.I.N. by staying calm, focused, and perseverant. Here’s one more acrostic to support your success this year.


HopeH – Hope: It’s easy to set goals, get excited about them, and then a few days or weeks later, lose hope that they are possible to achieve. Hope is essential for survival. As I’ve quoted before (thanks John Ortberg), “We can survive the loss of anything, except hope.” At its core, hope means that we want something. We want tomorrow to come and for it to bring good things . . . something better, something more, something different. What do you hope for?


ActionA – Act: Take the next right step. Then take the next right step. And then again. As Joe Girard quipped: “The elevator to success is out of order. You must take the stairs, one at a time.” Act strategically. Do it right. Do everything humanly possible. One of my coaches, James Malinchak, was asked how he continues to fill his Big Money Speaker seminars with 700+ people several times a year. He’ll tell you: “I don’t know one way to get 700 people in a room. But I know 70 ways to get 10 people there.” What’s the next right step for you?


trustT – Trust: The first two steps make sense, don’t they? Hope involves visioning. Act involves responsible action. But trust? Doesn’t that sound a little irresponsible? Yes—IF you haven’t done steps one (hope) and two (action). But if you have done your hopin’ (visioning) and your actin’ (responsibly, thoroughly, repeatedly), it’s time to rest. Trust that things will turn out. I cannot control the final outcomes, nor can you. I can control what I hope for and what I take action on. I hope you will, too.


hatH.A.T.’s off to you and your success this 2014!



Enjoy this tip? This is just one of hundreds of tips, tricks, and techniques we teach in the Certified Career Management Coach program.

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How to W.I.N. in 2014

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

2014 Goals

If you’re like a great number of people, you penned some goals for 2014. If you missed my “A Fresh Take on G.O.A.L.S.,” be sure to review it here.

And, if you’re like me, those goals, as appealing as they sound, can collide and conflict with the very busy and full life that you already lead.



So how do you make progress when things can feel overwhelming?

Do the next right thing.


I heard a speaker, Dr. Bill Dorfman, author of Billion-Dollar Smile and celebrity dentist featured on “Extreme Makeover,” once say that we need to focus on the “WIN.” His acrostic for WIN stood for “What’s Important Now?”

What's Next?So what do you do when you feel like you have multiple “importants” sitting in front of you? Let’s face it. It’s rare when we don’t have multiple “A” priorities vying for our attention. That’s when it’s important to remember one of my favorite mantras:

You have everything you need … right now.

Holding an “everything-you-need” mindset shifts our perspective from fight-flight to possibility-empowerment.

Assuming you’ve already got your “to accomplish list” (aka “to do list”) in written format (if not, pick up a copy of David Allen’s bestseller, Getting Things Done), then consider this simple process (trust me, we need things to be simple when we’re in overwhelm mode!):

  • First, breathe. It’s so simple, of course, but we forget that our brains need oxygen in order to function. With your hand lightly on your heart, take 3 or 4 deep breaths, 3-4 seconds in, 3-4 seconds out (or whatever pace is comfortable). Feel better already?
  • Second, revisit your priorities, whether they be for the day, the week, the month, the year, your lifetime.
  • Third, quiet your mind and ask yourself, “What’s important next?” I will often simply whisper a prayer, “Show me what to do next.” Invariably, an answer comes to mind.
  • Fourth, do it. If the task at-hand is big, consider breaking the task into smaller steps.
  • Fifth: Rinse and repeat.

In coaching and mentoring hundreds of career coaches over the past decade-plus, I rarely see a dearth of dreams. More often, I see an inability to execute. Make this new year a year for executing, following through, WINNING.         Win Win

Do the next right thing . . . even if it’s a seemingly small step. You’ll be surprised how they can add up.


A Fresh Approach to G.O.A.L.S.

By Susan Whitcomb | No Comments »

goals-1-2-3As many of you are doing in December, I’m working on my goals for 2014. In doing so, I wanted a fresh approach to the process.

Here’s what I came up with . . . maybe there will be an idea or two in here that inspires you!

G – Gain | Grow | Get More Of

  • In what ways do you want to gain, grow, get more of? Consider traditional categories of Career, Business, Finances, Health, as well as nontraditional categories such as Character, Relationships, Reputation, Perspective.

O – Overcome | Oust | Less Of

  • What do you want less of this year? What situations, bad habits, negative thinking, toxic relationships do you want to overcome or oust from your life?

A – Allow Life to Lead | Abide

  • How will you invite Life to unfold this coming year without striving, worrying, or working too hard? For those with a God orientation, how will you invite Him to love you, lead you, guide you, provide for you this year? How will you abide in Him?

L – Limelight

  • What is/are the major initiative(s), project(s), theme(s) you want to keep in the limelight/spotlight for 2014?

S – Service

  • Whom do you want to bless with your talents, gifts, and services this coming year? How will you do so?

And, please receive my heartfelt wishes for a year of significance and success!


P.S. If you’re a careers professional doing some last-minute year-end tax planning and thinking about write-offs, there’s still time to take advantage of our holiday special pricing that ends 12/31/13. Check out the savings of up to $400 here – and yes, payment plans are available!


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