Jason Waddell [silahorizon]
What types of coaching do you do? Who are your clients?
Life, Business and Conflict. While Conflict covers both it is a particular focus area for me as I find a great deal of our challenges in life come from poor communication, misunderstandings and general attitudes towards each other.
My clients to date are generally those looking for answers and assistance with fundamental life challenges; How to be happy, live without stress/worry, feel value etc etc.
Can you provide a link to a site where we can get to know more about you, the type of work you do and/or the place where you do it?
How did you get into coaching?
It was definitely not something I was looking for. A few years before I started I made some stark realisations about how closed and scared we are culturally and this in itself contributes to a great deal of suffering. So while I wasn't looking for a new career I started being more and more involved in people's lives and challenges; helping them in whatever way I could was hugely satisfying.
Do you have innate qualities, or is it something that you learned?
I would have to say it is a mix. I have spent many years focusing on people, people skills, personalities, psychology and philosophy. I still have a lot to learn in all these areas but training and learning has definitely shaped my skills. As a person I think I have a certain understanding of people and approach with helps.
Can you describe briefly the technique or methodology you use?
Common sense and experience. There are a million certifications out there which some people find important to have and I understand why. However I have found great majority of theories and techniques to be more or less the same. techniques and methodologies take you so far but in the end coaching is about people and we are all different.
When the coach is confused or lost, where does he/she find a guide?
One of the beauties about coaching is that it is actually the client that defines the path. It is an interesting balance because at times there are concepts, thoughts, reflections shared which are designed to shape that path. However in the end it is the clients path; it is rare for it to be wrong.
Other coaches are valuable sounding boards on approach and reflection.
What must the person you are helping contribute?
A lot. Coaches are not counselors, psychologists etc with a purpose to diagnose and treat. Our clients come to us with some level of motivation for change and the need to be supported and guided in it.
How do you work on the emotional plane?
My experience is that EQ is still poorly represented in organisations and society in general. I feel we need to continue developing EQ and then learn when and where to apply it without becoming dissolutioned; it isn't appreciated or valued in a lot of contexts (e.g. profit oriented business).
Like all things in life I think emotion needs to be balanced with fact and in a lot of cases focusing on the emotional side of a clients challenges doesn't help them.
Can positive thinking can be developed into a habit?
Absolutely. The mind really is a powerful thing. An easy example of the top of my head is visualisation, where an athlete pictures in their mind's eye their success, how they will move, or a routine. It has been proven that visualisation in many cases provided equal if not better results than actual physical practice.
Training our thinking to focus on certain aspects of experience, react to challenges in certain ways and manage stressful events are well within everyone's ability.
How does one learn to listen?
A: An open mind, an honest interest in others and understanding that the speaker is always right from their perspective.
B: Training in understanding what is being said based on the person saying it. And also in making the speaker feel comfortable you have heard.
Both of the following are necessary, but how are dreaming and realism balanced?
Good question. A quote comes to mind that I may get slightly wrong - "dreams are free, so dream big". I subscribe to this thinking and refuse to settle for what others directly or indirectly suggest I should be.
There are too many examples of people in our lifetimes that succeed at their goals against great odds. Naturally there is a reality those dreams/goals need to be seated in; it isn't realistic to want to be an all-star basketballer if your already in your 90's with arthritis.
I have found that most people have dreams that are realistic. They may be a massive stretch or have a long path, but really the only thing between today and those dreams are themselves.
Is it necessary at times to reorient a person’s desires and expectations?
Not deliberately. If you did you would be presuming you know better and I don't believe anyone who can claim to know what is 100% right.
I think the following applies to both performance and expectations of the word around us. Society has a great way of making people adhere to "the bell curve". Depending on how many different social/professional groups you participate in you may be subject to numerous bell curves. Others don't really appreciate you sticking out above the bell curve because it makes them look bad. So we are forced to adhere to the bounds of performance and expectations of those around us; don't do better and don't expect more.
Desire what you think is right and expect what you believe is deserving. Destroy the bell curve and define your own.
Discipline and creativity: are they two forces in opposition, or are they complementary?
No I don't think they have to be mutually exclusive. And even the most highly creative people I have come across have a great deal of discipline in many aspects of their lives. It may sound strange but discipline existing in the creative approach isn't uncommon.
The two characteristics are definitely complementary. I find that constant creativity rarely produces results non-creative people recognise. Having the discipline to take creativity through to actualisation is success.
For highly creative people, the discipline may be found in other people. So as with anyone, the key is to understand how you operate, how others operate and the differences and the impacts that may cause. This helps people work together to combine these characteristics.
What are your personal relationships like with the people you work with?
There are always areas to improve on. In general I believe I am a respected contributor, leader and friend to some extent to a lot of the people I work with.
What is usually the main obstacle your clients face?
Themselves. I mentioned previously the brain is a powerful tool. And we have an amazing ability to convince ourselves of whatever we need to. So that everything makes sense and so our self image stays intact.
The client breaking down their own false rationalisations can a challenge.
How do you know if a challenge is the right one for a person?
What's the risk if it is not? Life is full of success and failure. And some of our greatest lessons are taken from failure and mistakes. A coach's role is to aid a client achieve their goals, a significant part of that is them realising which challenges/goals are the right ones for them.