Wimbledon 2016: What Roger Federer’s marathon five-setter teaches us about champions

What are the ingredients that go into making “Mental Strength”?

How do you tap into this strength, especially when you are in a challenging situation and the odds that you are surrounded by, seem absurdly insurmountable?

What is that magic ingredient that defines a Champion?

In light of Roger Federer’s “Epic” win at The Wimbeldon 2016, I was asked these questions at an interview conducted by First post, Network 18. My views as a Life Coach, from a vantage point of observation, where I have had the privilege to see many leaders unleash their greatness, for over a decade now, are summed up here.

A token of humble thanks to Ms. Sulekha Nair, Features Editor at First Post who has summed up our discussion so beautifully.





‘Life Coach’ Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary

This is a proud moment for the Coaching Industry. The word ‘Life Coach’has now been added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I see this as a validation of an industry which is growing at an exponential speed – and this growth is proof that Coaching is an effective solution in the current socio-economic conditions worldwide.

Am proud to be a part of this profession. Proud to be able to help people unleash their potential. Proud to be able to live my life purpose. Proud to be a Coach.

Here is the news article published by Sacramento Bee. Links to the original article have been provided below.

LEXINGTON, Ky., Aug. 17, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — For the first time Tuesday, the word “life coach” appeared in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. “I think it’s great,” says Michelle Hollingshead, President of the ICF Ohio Valley Chapter. Merriam-Webster picks about 100 additions for their annual update, by gathering evidence of frequently used words over several years. “I think it communicates the legitimacy and the timeliness of our services.” Hollingshead continued, “It’s great to get global recognition as a profession.”

In an economic age where more and more jobs are being cut, the coaching industry is growing. “The industry keeps growing because it’s meeting a societal need to make people more effective, satisfied and able to maximize their potential to help humanity flourish,” explains Dr. Damian Goldvarg, President-Elect of ICF’s Board of Directors. The first-known usage of the word “life coach” was in 1986 according to Merriam-Webster, but since then the professional coaching industry has exploded. The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study* revealed there are 47,500 professional coaches worldwide bringing in a total annual income of nearly $2 billion. The growth in the professional coaching industry is one indication that coaching is an effective solution to the common economic struggles plaguing many companies today.

Major corporations have turned to coaching to improve their businesses, including IBM, Nike, Verizon and Coca-Cola Enterprises. Studies show that virtually all companies or individuals who hire a coach are satisfied. According to the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009), a stunning 99% of people who were polled said they were somewhat or very satisfied with the overall experience.

A key differentiator for the industry is that coaching is seen as an “action plan” rather than an exploratory process. Coaching has become a significant trend in leadership development because it increases productivity, empowers employees, and provides a return on investment (ROI). Professional coaching explicitly targets maximizing potential and in doing this unlocks latent sources of productivity and effectiveness. At the heart of coaching is a creative and thought-provoking process that supports individuals to confidently pursue new ideas and alternative solutions with greater resilience in the face of growing complexity and uncertainty.

The International Coach Federation is the leading global organization for coaches, with over 21,000 members in more than 100 countries and over 7,900 credentialed coaches worldwide. ICF is dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high ethical standards, providing independent certification, and building a worldwide network of credentialed coaches.

* The 2012 ICF Global Coaching Study and the ICF Global Coaching Client Study (2009) were commissioned by ICF but conducted independently by the International Survey Unit of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Full copies of the studies are available upon request.


This press release was issued through eReleases® Press Release Distribution. For more information, visit http://www.ereleases.com.

SOURCE  International Coach Federation

Link to the original article: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/17/4735401/life-coach-added-to-merriam-webster.html

17 tips to double your productivity in 14 days : Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma, leadership expert, author and Life Coach, shares 17 of the tactics he has learned that will help us lean into our productive best in this age of dramatic distraction:

1. Turn off all technology for 60 minutes a day and focus on doing your most important work.

2. Work in 90 minute cycles (tons of science is now confirming that this is the optimal work to rest ratio).

3. Start your day with at least 30 minutes of exercise.

4. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning.

5. Turn all your electronic notifications off.

6. Take one day a week as a complete recovery day, to refuel and regenerate (that means no email, no phone calls and zero work). You need full recovery one day a week otherwise you’ll start depleting your capabilities.

7. The data says workers are interrupted every 11 minutes. Distractions destroy productivity. Learn to protect your time and say no to interruptions.

8. Schedule every day of your week every Sunday morning. A plan relieves you of the torment of choice (said novelist Saul Bellow). It restores focus and provides energy.

9. Work in blocks of time. Creative geniuses all had 2 things in common: when they worked they were fully engaged and when they worked, they worked with this deep concentration for long periods of time. Rare in this world of entrepreneurs who can’t sit still.

10. Drink a litre of water early every morning. We wake up dehydrated. The most precious asset of an entrepreneur isn’t time – it’s energy. Water restores it.

11. Don’t answer your phone every time it rings.

12. Invest in your professional development so you bring more value to the hours you work.

13. Avoid gossip and time vampires.

14. Touch paper just once.

15. Keep a “Stop Doing List”.

16. Get up at 5 am.

17. Have meetings standing up.

Source: http://www.robinsharma.com/blog/05/double-your-productivity/

YAY! My First Teleclass!

Wow !

I did it!      My first teleclass

Venue : International Coach Academy

Class: AC 200

Date: 11 December ’08

Time: 2-3 pm EST : 0030 hrs IST !!!! 

Topic: Moving Forward (Part 1)

How symbolic…..it was a moment which symbolised my personal forward movement to the accomplishment of my bigger goal.

I was paired with Joanne Waldmann, a very able trainer at ICA for years. I have been to many of her classes inspite of them being at unearthly hours (different time zones!!). A day before the class we had a great call where we discussed the outline I had drafted for the class and got great inputs from her to make the class interesting and tips on how to manage if the class was too small or too large! This could be such a variable factor …. I mean I could end up with as many as 30 participants or just 3 ! And further they may or may not be in a mood to share. Here the competency of creating a safe space, acknowledging different adult learning styles and making the class interesting become so relevant for the trainer/facilitator.

10 minutes before the class….A deep breathing exercise, a gulp of water and a run thru my notes. Here I asked myself this question : What is my intention for this class?

Was it : Trying to give an outstanding performance?  or was it getting good feedback from the participants? Well a few seconds of introspection just brought it out …… I wanted to honor the time and commitment of the participants by providing them as much value as I could from this class.

Just then the focus shifted from Me  to Them !!!!

And everything seemed to flow smoothly like it should have.

A warm welcome to the participants from different countries of the world ( 14 in all ) followed by Joanne introducing this new (mine) voice to the group. Then it was all mine.

We did a little warm up meditation to set the intention of the participants and to get them centered in. This took us to the next segment I had planned where they were asked to share their wins or accomplishments if any of the past week be it personal or professional. Wow! there were so many! And this set a tone of positivity and jubilation for the class.This technique of sharing wins was something that I picked up in Bill’s classes.Thanks Bill Turpin.

While introducing the topic I told the group that I had designed “Group Coaching” for them around “Moving Forward”. Getting their approval was important and was recieved promptly.

The pattern was me asking them questions, them pondering over them and then loads of discussion around it. I was armed with so many questions but 4-5 down the line I wanted to dance in the moment with the intention of breaking the monotony by introducing a case study. I picked up an interesting one and guess what again from one of Bill’s classes!! Thanks again Bill (just in case you are reading this, I am referring to the client with the fear of public speaking)

And boy did this open a can of worms!! We had loads of tools from our able coaches to move this client forward. I took notes like mad….am sure others did too.

The case study led to stories and experiences. I had one  which I had planned to share but the baton  never got to me. It was almost the top of the hour when I asked the participants for their take away’s and this was the best part, the part when my intention and effort felt validated. Its only when Joanne reminded us that we are 3 minutes beyond the hour and that she needed to leave for Supervised Coaching that the spell was broken.

I thanked the participants on the discussion board and Lo Behold! I got a beautiful acknowledgement.

Here it is:

Dear Shalini,
I would like to acknowledge your warmth, kindness, enthusasim and grace as a teleclass leader. I experienced you creating a safe and energized space in which we could all participate.
Congratulations on doing so!
Warmest regards,
Nicki “

( Nicki McClusky is a practicing Self Psychology Psychotherapist, Life Coach (www.lifecoachingfromthebridge.com) and Voice Coach (www.findyourvoice.com) in St. Louis, MO, USA and has authored 4 books.)

Thank you Nicki!!

Life-Coaches all the rage : USA TODAY

Life-coaches all the rage

Personal growth is hot. Diagnosis is not. That is one reason America has seen a boom in the number of people offering their services as “life coaches.” These guides give clients the confidence to get unstuck — to change careers, repair relationships, or simply get their act together. They also raise some eyebrows because they work in a field that is virtually unregulated.

“We are not talking about being incompetent or weak. They are everyday, normal people who have their lives together. They realize the value of having somebody to help them think outside the box.” — life coach Laura Berman Fortgang.

Life coaches are a new option for the worried well — those whose lives are only slightly askew. No longer do they need a diagnosis from a psychotherapist who delves into the painful past. Using the telephone or Internet, they can sign up with an upbeat life coach who becomes a partner in defining a better future.

Coaching is especially popular with men, who respond favorably to a term from sports, says coach Patrick Williams, whose Institute for Life Coach Training is based in Ft. Collins, Colo. “Seventy% of the caseload in therapy are women; 60% in coaching are men,” he says.

“It is OK for a man to see a coach,” says Martha Beck, a popular life coach who guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show and writes a column for O — The Oprah Magazine. “It is not OK for a man to see a therapist.”

The latest trend is life coaching for teens, Williams says. He encourages therapists to take his training program and switch careers to life coaching. “We are training people to do family coaching, parent coaching, retirement coaching. There are a lot of specialty niches.”

Some 10,000 coaches of various types are working in the USA alone, according to a review in the current Psychotherapy Networker, a magazine for professionals. Many have signed on in the last five years to what has become a flourishing — and unsupervised — industry that excites some trend watchers but deeply troubles others.

Although many coaches take extensive courses, many others are without credentials. Virtually anyone can declare himself a life coach, says David Fresco, a psychology professor at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. “There are no qualifications, no unified approach to coaching, no oversight board. Basically they fly under the radar screen of any sort of oversight.” And the virtues of what many offer are unproven, he says.

Many experts also worry that untrained coaches will not realize when they are dealing with someone who is truly troubled, someone who needs more than a “good lesson plan and an enthusiastic cheerleader,” writes Psychotherapy Networker editor Richard Simon. “Coaches do not, nor do they intend to, meet us in the dark places where we’re most desperate, lonely, enraged and fearful — home turf to most psychotherapists.”

The need to recognize the wounded is one reason Williams encourages mental health experts to enter the field. A coach must be able to recognize when he is being asked to “step into the realm of therapy — or healing and uncovering — rather than the realm of discovering and creating.” It must be clear therapy is not being offered.

Coaching began as a motivational tool for the corporate world. “It has been OK to have an executive coach for some time,” says the Psychotherapy Networker‘s Jim Naughton.

The business concept was based on organizational research “with intellectual heft,” he says. The practice has proliferated to become the equivalent of having a personal trainer, he says.

Life coaches focus on enhancing the lives of clients, often talking about balancing or “integrating” one’s life, as Beck puts it.

They usually begin by asking extensive, specific questions and honing in on a precise set of goals. Homework may include writing in a journal, doing various exercises including building a “life blueprint,” and reporting on progress with various “action plans.”

There is no quick fix, Williams cautions. Coaching often takes place over the course of several months, often in half-hour, weekly sessions. Costs vary widely. Williams says some coaches charge $300 an hour, while others say charges are more typically $350 to $600 a month. Most insurance companies won’t pick up the tab.

Life coaching is “action-oriented, solution-oriented, concentrates on forward motion,” not looking at the past, says Laura Berman Fortgang, a life coach based in Montclair, N.J. and author of Living Your Best Life. Her clients, she says, “are smart, educated people who want to make radical changes,” many of whom are now reassessing their goals following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

“We are not talking about being incompetent or weak,” Fortgang says. “They are everyday, normal people who have their lives together. They realize the value of having somebody to help them think outside the box.”

Christina Sauers, 33, of Grand Haven, Mich., says Fortgang has helped her “make a leap of faith” to a different career. She is leaving her job in sales with an office furniture company to return to school, concentrating on “something in sports psychology.” She plans to help local athletes, which will help her give “back to the community.”

She feels, she says, “like I have more to offer. Laura has helped me tap into my own genius, what I am naturally good at. This is my life. It is not a dress rehearsal. I might as well be happy.”

Another of Fortgang’s clients is reassessing life after Sept. 11. She has been a coach herself but has decided to delve more deeply into the helping professions. “Laura helped me ask myself the questions I had been thwarting asking myself for 22 years,” says Jennifer Van Zandt, 37, of Princeton, N.J. “She helped me listen to my calling.” Van Zandt enters the seminary at Princeton University in about six weeks.

Many mental health professionals are debating whether to add life coaching to their services. They are drawn to the field in part because they don’t have to deal with paperwork, insurance companies or managed care, Williams says. They don’t have to “pretend something is wrong” with a client to satisfy an insurance company’s demand for a diagnosis, he says.

Coaches can keep their full fee, Fresco adds. The field is sometimes touted by trainers who say coaches can make big bucks. “I am offended by the fact they have emphasized profitability over the efficacy of their profession,” he says.

Williams says life coaching will “change the face of psychotherapy, helping people live a better life without the stigma of needing a diagnosis or a visit to a psychotherapist they don’t want or need.”

Others are much more skeptical on behalf of clients who may not know they need more than a quick fix, Naughton says. “Positive thinking can only take you so far.”

Considering Becoming A Life Coach ? By Devlyn Steele

Considering Becoming a Life Coach?

By Devlyn Steele

As life coaching is gaining popularity, so is interest in becoming a life coach. Many people love the idea of working for themselves and being in a profession that helps others. If you are thinking about becoming a life coach, there are several factors you need to consider.

First, decide what type of life coach you want to become. The word “life” covers a lot of territory so life coaches tend to specialize in specific areas. These areas include career and finance, goal setting, relationships, weight loss/fitness and drugs and alcohol, just to name a few.

What is your passion and how do you want to inspire others to create success in their lives?

When thinking about what type of life coach you want to be, examine your career, education and life experience to find your current strengths.

Once you have an idea of what area you want to focus on, consider what a life coach does. This is tricky because there is no one definition or universal standard so several interpretations exist. You need to develop a format in which you will teach successful actions to your clients.

A qualified life coach can break down goals into manageable, easier to confront steps while showing the client effective techniques for completing them. Just knowing what and how is not enough because clients often get in their own way. The life coach will evaluate their progress and motivate them to implement a plan with consistent action to actually achieve desired results. Before you begin on this path, know that there is a difference between understanding what to do and being able to get someone to do it.

There are three essential elements involved in becoming a life coach and they are training, skills and education. When it comes to training, there are many life coaching academies that offer courses and some even offer accreditation. Many of these courses have actual and practical value. Please note that there is no federal or state agency that has an accreditation for life coaching and schools offering degrees are self-accredited.

If you are considering taking any of these courses first look into the costs involved. Often an inexpensive introductory course is offered only to get you started. Since costs can add up quickly, check into the length of time, the number of additional courses required and make sure to get referrals from other students. Another important point to check for first is whether or not the school provides adequate tools for practical application when working with clients. This will be very helpful for beginners in developing step-by-step methods for life coaching.

There are a few key skills that are absolutely essential. For starters, you need to be a good listener, a creative problem solver and have considerable knowledge of human behavior. You need to be able to set goals and develop plans of action to actualize them. Life coaching requires that you are organized and can keep meticulous attention to detail to monitor weekly results.

Patience and the ability to deal with frustration are critical. Clients don’t always do what they agree to do and getting people to suddenly give up destructive behavior patterns can be a real challenge. You need to know how to motivate and be creative in overcoming obstacles and objections. You have to really like and care about people. You must also be able to accept failure as not all clients will change. There are a few more skills involved but these are fundamental.

A life coach should love education in order to stay informed of current advances and trends. The areas that require consistent study are psychology, goal setting, motivation, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, human behavior, habits of successful people, sleep patterns, relationships, business principles, principles of success, career development, drugs, alcohol, leadership, sales and more. A life coach is a relentless student of these subjects.

Life coaching is a proactive approach to resolving obstacles in an individual’s life and it requires a clear picture of not only why and how, but also of step-by-step implementation and the ability to resolve blocks and setbacks as they come up. You’ll need to combine these factors into a working platform to assist your clients in reaching their goals.

Finally, when you are ready to start life coaching, how are you going to get clients? The idea of working for yourself and helping people may sound great, and it is but it comes with its difficulties. You are not going to simply get business cards made then start filling your appointment book. Schools offering great careers as life-coaches will only be able to give you limited assistance in getting clients. After you spend your time and money either with a life coaching school or developing your own style of life coaching it will be up to you to get clients. You are one hundred percent responsible for your income and success.

You should enjoy networking and self-promoting. You can build a clientele through friends, networking groups, placing ads, professional relationships, and whatever other creative ways you can think of. As you get clients and earn a reputation, your business will grow through referrals. All this takes time, so be prepared.

As you are developing your business, you will have to overcome the obstacle of people questioning what a life coach does. Be prepared by asking yourself why someone would pay you to advise him or her and have a good answer. The answer you develop to that question will be the foundation for your success.

A fter considering all of these factors, if you decide to become a life coach you will be entering a dynamic field. Being able to actually help people create the life changes they want is a highly rewarding and exciting career. You’ll be helping others gain success while creating your own!