Nuggets May 2020
“My doors are (almost) always open and I’d love to hear from you.”
This has been the signature to these nuggets since I started writing them some 2 years ago. While I still absolutely LOVE to hear from you (and in fact it’s the feedback that I get from many of you that play a big part in me continuing to make time and send them out), I can no longer genuinely say that my doors are (almost) always open.
Reason for this is that the past month has seen the biggest increase in new clients and more consultations than I’ve ever had in my 10 years of coaching and supervision, the rebranding of the Rocket Supervision website and platform is in its hot phase, and the creation of an incredibly exciting new Online Coaching Certificate featuring many of the biggest names in the industry in collaboration with a US-based school will keep my busy over the next 6 months. Due to these three major aspects of my professional life I currently find myself in the fortunate, yet often difficult position of ‘having to’ say no to lots of exciting opportunities and conversations. And if you’ve ever met me, then you know how easy it is for me to get carried away in the excitement of the present moment and by the opportunities these moments so often generate.
Saying ‘no’ is never easy if you deeply care about other people. But it’s necessary to keep healthy boundaries and prevent burning out and you can say no in a way that the other feels appreciated and respected, in a way that they feel that you’re excited about what they’re asking of you and wanting to support it, in a way that they understand that you’ve made certain decisions that don’t allow you to take on more work than you can handle while maintaining your wellbeing. I’m at a healthy limit right now and I’m loving it. I work hard and I feel inspired every day. I’m writing this to you on a Sunday while the sun is shining, but for me that goes to show where my priorities lie these days: in building something I care deeply about and connecting with my people (that’s you I suppose). Thank you for listening and sorry if I’ll be respectfully turning down your request for collaboration. Do keep asking! I always feel very honoured and I have a list 🙂
Trotzdem, as always, here are a few Nuggets of what’s been going on for me this month, bits and pieces that I’ve come across or thoughts that have been on my mind, as well as a few fruits of that energy. If any of it resonates, make it swing! I do love to hear from you 🙂
What I’m listening to
The first time I heard about Kid Koala was when I read that he sorts large parts of his vinyl collection by main instrument featured. Back then he was a purist scratch DJ and turntablist and I fell in love with his Moon River routine. I then bought his album “Some of my best friends are DJs” which came with a 50 page comic book so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes when I first read it. Also, you’ll want listen to him take apart Louis Armstrong’s Basin Street Blues and scratching it back together (literally) on that album. In the past 10 years Kid Koala had is own kid but never lost his playfulness and his love for drawing and storytelling. His latest album which I’ve listened to a lot this past month is “Music to draw to“, which pretty much delivers what it says on the tin. It’s perfect to play in the background while your mind creates. You can stream it for free via his channel because he’s got people supporting his art via Patreon. If you can afford these days, please consider supporting an artist you like who may struggle to cope with the current Corona climate.
What made me cringe
There’s opportunity in every crisis. Even the Chinese character of crisis has in it the character for opportunity. I had opened an essay on Post-traumatic Growth with this during my MSc in Applied Positive Psychology, loved it and had even gotten a distinction on it. When earlier this month the good folk at Animas Centre for Coaching asked me to write an article on Positive Psychology in times of Crisis and Transformation for their blog I considered opening with this again but cringed when I found this article while trying to dig up the character (or hanzi, rather) again and to find out a bit more information. Turns out that it it’s one of those motivational speaking myths and I just hadn’t looked into it properly but accepted it as a catchy opening that apparently I had communicated so confidently that it had passed the eyes of the assessor back in the day. It made me think about all the other bits of “knowledge” that I’ve been telling people for years before finding out it was bullshit. Sometimes you can rectify this, sometimes you have to live with it. But you know what, that’s life. And it’s okay. We think we know stuff, then we question, get questioned, or find out, or not, and we change our mind. Happens all the time. So after a short period of cringe I was actually quite happy that I know this now. Better late than never. And hey, after all this is the scientific mindset: We know things until we can update our knowledge. Is there some opportunity in crisis? Yes for many there is. Should I have looked the meaning of the Chinese hanzi further before simply accepting this as knowledge before writing it in an academic essay? Absolutely! But this time I did a little bit of research and cleared things up. It pays to spend a few minutes googling.
I recently listened to a conversation by one of the pioneers of Positive Psychology Coaching, Robert Biswas-Diener, and my predecessor of the MSc Coaching Psychology, Christian van Nieuwerburgh. I loved how Robert mentioned that parts of his earlier book had been updated since and he no longer stands by what he had written. Similarly, it had a big impact on me when in 2011 Martin Seligman, the godfather of Positive Psychology, stood in front of a thousand people in the auditorium at the University of Zurich and told his audience “I changed my mind” and went on to present his new, revised theory of wellbeing. It’s okay to be wrong or to not have looked into something too closely. You can change your mind. It doesn’t make you look stupid, indeed it makes you wiser.
What warmed my heart
It was 2006, a time before self-checkout machines at supermarkets. I was waiting in line at Sainsbury’s next to Dalston Kingsland Station trying to buy a pint of milk and two croissants, my regular breakfast at the time on lecture days, and usually a quick undertaking. I had planned my travel very… germanly, meaning there wasn’t much cushion to account for the kind of eventualities I found myself to encounter: a line at every till. Very un-germanly you might say, I chose breakfast over being on time so I waited. But I couldn’t deny my psychic structure either so I tip-toed nervously behind the mum of 23 (I assume judging from the quantity of food she was carrying in her trolley). I had spend enough time in the UK to have learned not to be rude by asking for anything that I didn’t genuinely feel entitled to. And after all, everybody has to wait their turn, innit?! So I stayed quiet, tip-toeing, until this lady, a huge black woman in her 50s with a warm yet very stern look on her face (the kind of look that would allow you to raise 23 kids with healthy boundaries) stopped stacking family packs of milk onto the conveyor, turned to me, made eye contact, said nothing, waited, turned back, looked at me again, a little warmer now and smiled slightly while I waited desperately for her to invite me to cut in front of her, until she finally spoke:
Her: “Son [painstakingly long pause], in this world [another pause], if you don’t ask, you don’t get.”
Me: “May I go in front of you please? I’ll be quick.
Her: “Of course” [smiles] Lesson learned. Thank you, lady. It seems so simple but I still talk about her. I wish she knew!
Two weeks ago I asked those who know me or have worked with me in the past to help me gather a few Google reviews to help me with my SEO and, more importantly, to help those who consider working with me but haven’t met me to create the necessary trust to reach out and have a conversation. I explained that this year part of my mission is to expand my sphere of influence beyond the people I meet in person or interact with on social media so that I can have more of a positive impact in the world and that a strong Google presence seems imperative on this journey and so I reached out for help from my network. I asked. And I got! The response has been so heart-warming, I couldn’t stop smiling as more came in each day. And while a part in me still feels weird asking for help, I’m so glad I did and I’ll continue to do so. Thank you! And I can recommend trying it out. You might be surprised how much you mean to people.
What I’m promoting
This past month I’ve been talking about supervision a lot. Partly because many coaches are finding themselves crossing traditional boundaries as Covid-19 ravages through all layers of society, partly because I’ve been focusing a lot of energy on shaping my new Rocket Supervision website and partly because I’ve recently joined the teaching faculty of the International Centre for Coaching Supervision. I’ve also had two wonderful conversations about the topic with powerhouses Nick Bolton and Cathy Lasher and then noticed that in all the commotion I hadn’t officially opened my supervision groups for new members for more than 6 months. Hence, I’d like to offer anybody who would like to join a supervision group starting end of June the opportunity to get their first month free if you commit to a minimum of 3 months. If you’re keen, please apply here and add a note about this offer so I know you came in through the Nuggets.
Another offer that still absolutely blows me away is the 77% price drop of the incredible Positive Psychology Practitioner Certificate (from $3000 to $690). I used to facilitate the weekly live seminars on this course, which features a mindblowing line-up of teachers (Barbara Fredrickson, Sonya Lyubomirsky, Ryan Niemic, Matthieu Ricard, Mike Steger, Suzy Green, Lea Waters just to name a few). Since the vast majority of students chose not to attend live sessions but work through the course in their own time, we’ve decided to scrap the live sessions and make it a pure online course, hence the huge price drop. Right now during Covid19, on top of the 77%, there’s an extra discount of 25% on top when you use promo code “SUPPORT25”, which brings down the price to $517,50 (round about 17% of the original price).
Dancing in the Moment with Barefoot Coaching CEO Kim Morgan – Kim is a wonderful human being and has been a household name in the coaching industry for decades. We talk about a variety of topics as we’re dancing in the moment.
Talking about Coaching Supervision with Cathy Lasher, author, trainer at the renowned Metanoia Institute, psychotherapist, coach and obviously supervisor. We’ve talked about lots of issues around coaching and supervision and why it’s more relevant than ever in these current times.
upcoming training, Robert invited me to an uplifting conversation about the science of wellbeing and happiness and how it can uplift and elevate people’s coaching as well as life in general.Positive Psychology and Coaching with Animas COO Robert Stephenson – In the face of my
Talking about Coaching with Siawash and Nicki – Episode 11: What’s the best coaching package?” Most coaches work in packages rather than session to session. We’re discussing ways to approach this, different options as well as advantages and potential pitfalls.
International Centre for Coaching Supervision interviewed me on my approach to coaching supervision. We go deep and wide in this conversation as we explore how philosophy and psychology influence my work with my clients.Positive Existential Approaches to Coaching Supervision with Nick Bolton – The Animas CEO & founder of the
Positive Psychology in time of crisis – In this guest blog I’m laying out a range of positive psychology interventions that may help people during difficult times.
- 2nd June: Yannick’s Coaching Lab with Nick Hatter who’s ever googled Life Coach in the UK will know Nick’s name. I can’t wait to see what he can do in this 45min live coaching demo followed by a Q&A and a chance to experiment with new techniques and interventions in triads in the second half of the event. Join our MeetUp or Facebook community to stay up to date with future Labs.
- 6th-7th June: Accredited Certificate in Positive Psychology with Animas Centre for Coaching.
- 13th-14th: An Introduction to Existential Coaching – My popular training weekend is back in June. The Monday evening format sold out quickly but there are a few tickets left for this weekend edition.
- 19th-21st June: Suzy Green invited me to present at the Flourishing 2020 Virtual Summit. I don’t have specific information yet other than that Mike Steger, Ilona Boniwell and Sean O’Connor have been confirmed as keynotes. Knowing Suzy and the good work that’s being done at the University of Perth, this should be a fantastic event.
- Every 1st Thursday of the month 4:30pm: Supervisor’s meetup – I’m offering other coaching supervisors the opportunity to join a free, informal drop-in session, a place to meet, connect, discuss professional issues or just hang out. Drop me a line if you’d like to join.
- Every 1st Thursday of the month 6:30pm: Positive Psychology Coaching live seminars as part of my Positive Psychology for Coaches online course.
That’s it. If you’re reading this, I appreciate that you’re still with me and I hope you found some, well, Nuggets 🙂 If you can’t get enough, I sporadically upload past editions to my website’s blog. As always, if any of it resonates, make it swing! I’d love to hear from you 🙂