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The Results Part 4

The Results: Part 4

The Results Part 4

The WHO I coach is perhaps the most inspiring part of my work. AND one more favorite part?! Experiencing the incredible transformations that my clients realize. I am regularly awed by the scope and magnitude of change my clients create and the growth in their capacity for courage, wisdom, resilience, and grace. One of many joys in this work is seeing my clients blossom and succeed.
Last month I shared the incredible success stories and challenges that my clients have navigated through from my perspective as a coach. Now you can hear from the people who truly matter – my clients!
Here’s what my clients have to say about their coaching:

#Sales #rejection #values #actionplan

“For sales people in general a great coach is an asset because we are forced to deal with negative emotions every day – there is a lot of rejection and fear. The resilience needed to withstand that is greater when you have an asset like Mary.
She helps me think through what is going on. If there is conflict with my values, she helps me articulate what is going on. From that we trade action steps to progress through a challenge, or take on an opportunity. She takes what is within me and helps me make sense of it and create actionable steps.
Mary does not bring a one-size-fits-all approach – this is a customized approach we have worked on over the years.” – Gabriel Harren

#empowered

“Mary established trust and empowered connection from the very start, she held me “big” and made me feel that “I can do it”. I left hungry for more – and it was what I truly needed.” – Leonid Frolov

#choices #change

“She rerouted my auto-pilot so instead of following same old road signs – you’re not enough, you’re dumb, you’re ugly, you’re a jerk – she helped me to try different routes. I learned about choices. Not just thinking about possibilities but actually living them.” – L.S.

#happiness #values #change

“The values exercise was the core upon which everything else emerged. Without the explicit listing and discussion of my values, I probably would still be at my old job not knowing why I was so unhappy and what I needed to do about it. The mind-map simply helped me further develop my understanding of my core values (the reflection of who I really am) and to bridge it with my skills, experiences, and actions with the world around me.” – M.M.

#happiness

Coaching with you helped improve my overall sense of well-being. You are a warm, stellar human being with a sharp wit and superior coaching skills! I continue to feel much gratitude for our time together. – P.C.

#accountability #intuition

Mary really supported me. When I was questioning my own confidence she did not let me get away with it. Mary coaches from her heart and intuition. She always held the bar for me higher than I could picture it for myself and pushed me to get there. Mary, to me, is an angel on earth. – Jane

#authenticity #clarity

“Working with Mary has helped me have much more authentic conversations with people in my life, whether those are people I’m dating, or my relatives, friends or colleagues. She’s helped me get a clear sense of my voice in all those types of relationships.” – Annemarie E.

#happiness #challenges

“There were two big main issues that Mary and I worked with: I had too much on my plate, and my marriage was blowing up. So we worked on both.
I gained a good sense of not only who I was but trusting that I had the answers, which is really where you want to get to: That you can trust yourself with the way you are feeling and that the decisions you are making are right for you.” – Dayle Q.

I hope in this month of showers & flowers, that you have an understanding of what I do and why I love it! Maybe you’ve even been inspired to turn your own showers into growth. Or perhaps you thought of someone in your life that could benefit from finding balance instead of burnout. If you know of anyone who is navigating life’s challenges and wants a partner to foster their growth, please do pass on my name. Word of mouth brings me the clients that fit me best and that’s why I appreciate YOU!

May you bloom and grow! 😂☔🌸
Mary

Who I Coach Part 3

Who I Coach: Part 3

Who I Coach Part 3

We talked about the WHAT of my coaching work.
You learned about the HOW of my coaching work.
Now let’s get to one of the most inspiring parts: WHO I coach.

My clients are changemakers yearning for balance, not burnout.

Does this describe you?

  • You’re a “smart cookie” — maybe from book learning but mostly from the school of hard knocks!
  • You know investing in your own personal growth is critical for success
  • Living and leading on purpose is important to you
  • You have the resources (money, time, brainpower, energy, motivation) to dedicate to the change making process
  • You love to laugh! Yep, you got have a sense of humor and a readiness to experiment and play

Coaching is a partnership. It’s crucial that you find the right person to work with – Someone who fits your style of learning, someone who will challenge you, someone who will inspire you AND hold you accountable with compassion.
If this sounds like you (or someone you know and love) – then I might be the Coach for you! Email me and let’s find out.

HOW I Coach

HOW I Coach: Part 2

HOW I Coach
Even though I’m a coach who is a cheerleader for positivity and possibility, I know that LIFE IS HARD — it isn’t always sunshine and butterflies and unicorns and rainbows. The old saying April showers bring May flowers is an apt analogy for life and coaching. We all have gray, rainy days and thunderstorms that pop up. Sometimes even seasons filled with them.

My job as a coach is to help you learn how to navigate those uncertain, challenging, rainy days so you can learn and grow from them. Coaching through those grey seasons can evoke transformational change and here’s HOW…

AWARENESS

The starting place in every coaching engagement is self-awareness. Life throws us curve balls that we often exacerbate without even knowing it. Through exploration, self-reflection and some data collection, coaching helps clients discern what are the real challenges and what are the manufactured obstacles; what is it I can control and what can’t I control; what is most important, what is urgent and what can wait.

One of the biggest obstacles for anyone amid any transition is a personal pattern of mental gymnastics that creates stress and negativity making it almost impossible to respond to the challenges of life with strength, resilience and confidence.

Thank goodness for my friend and mentor Rick Carson who pioneered Taming Your Gremlin® over 30 years ago to help us FREE ourselves from the monsters of the mind! His simple, not to be confused with easy, three step process begins with SIMPLY NOTICING how I’m adding to the misery of a current situation. Once I get good at noticing, step two — I can fool around, play with different options to reduce the misery. Step 3 – repeat as needed!

Twenty years later, another friend and mentor, Shirzad Chamine integrated the research findings from neuroscience, cognitive psychology, performance science and positive psychology to create Positive Intelligence (aka PQ) – a simple operating system to help build the mental fitness to respond to challenges with a positive mindset instead of a negative mindset. Guess what – there are three muscles that strengthen our PQ: The Saboteur Interceptor (catching the monsters); Self Command (directing the focus of your mind) and The Sage Perspective (looking without judgment for the opportunity in the challenge.)

ACTION

Once a client gains clarity and awareness, that’s when your coach asks – what are you going to do with that?! Transforming learning into meaningful action is the purpose of every single coaching conversation. And both of the above-mentioned tools are critical in coaching because they integrate AWARENESS with ACTION!

ACCOUNTABILITY

Did you just cringe? Accountability gets overused and abused but in coaching it’s your friend – helping you to stay true to what you want to do. Transformational change only happens when you have some way of calibrating your success.  Accountability is so misunderstood and so critical to lasting change that I wrote a whole other blog post about it!

AWARENESS + ACTION + ACCOUNTABILITY = SUCCESS

That’s my secret formula for HOW I COACH!

My Work as Coach- Part 1

My Work as Coach: Part 1

My Work as Coach- Part 1

My April theme of the month is Showers and Flowers. This month always gets me thinking about the powerful transformation that happens between April showers and May flowers. Those gloomy, rainy days create the bursting blossoms of Spring. And these Spring words of change, transformation, blossoming, and growing are so rooted in what I do as a coach, I thought it would be a perfect time to share about my work. The what, the how and the who. Today I’m going to dive into what I do.

To me, coaching is a partnership with my client dedicated to EVOKING transformation – yep, instigating great big, lasting change.

Clients usually hire me because they’re at a significant transition point in their career and/or in their personal life. Sometimes they’re stuck in a rut. Or perhaps they’re stepping into a brand new, big-gulp challenge and want to do their best. And sometimes they’ve arrived at an important milestone and aren’t sure what the next leg of the journey entails.

Coaching gets my clients through these transitions “FASTER, HIGHER, STRONGER – Together.” Ok – I borrowed that from the Olympics. My clients would navigate these transitions without me or coaching but in partnership with a coach, the transitions are smoother and the results are better than either one of us would imagine.  A coach is a powerful, collaborative accountability partner who helps clients harness their naturally creative energy to move through the flux & uncertainty to create deep awareness AND powerful, confident action.

Here are the cornerstones of the Co-Active Model of coaching that are at the heart of every single coaching engagement:

#1. EVERYONE is naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. Nothing is broken or needs fixing. People have the resources to naturally resolve the challenges they encounter. Coaching helps clients discover, recover and make the most of all available resources.

#2. Coaching addresses the WHOLE person. Every aspect of a person’s life is fundamental to creating lasting.transformational change. Professional & personal facets; strengths & weaknesses; body, mind, & spirit; past, present, & future experiences – everything is considered.

#3. Every moment contains an opportunity for learning and growth – use this moment!

#4. The purpose of every coaching engagement is to EVOKE transformation. Yep, it’s my job to provoke and instill lasting, sustainable change.

This is a small segment of the Co-Active Model that is central to my coaching approach. I hope it gives you a little peek into my coaching philosophy and the work I do with clients.

Change is in the Air

Change is in the Air

Change is in the Air

Transitions are tough and exhilarating at the same time.

Just take a look at our Midwestern weather this time of year: you can leave the house in the morning shivering in your sweater and by lunch time, you are sweltering, ready to shed those socks and shoes for sandals! You just never know what the day will offer.

That particular lesson from Mother Nature helps me become aware of how my mindset creates struggle or ease in the midst of transition. When I hold tightly to my expectations and things don’t turn out the way I planned, I get pretty cantankerous. It is really hard to delight in a surprise October snow shower when I had my heart set on shorts, sandals, and a t-shirt.

So when I start to feel that cranky, agitated feeling, I step back and notice how I am contributing to the stress of this moment. 

I can choose to ruminate on my disappointment (I really wanted it to still be summer!) OR acknowledge my disappointment and focus my attention on something within my power (oh goody, I get to wear my cozy fleece jacket and wool socks!)

What is your attitude when change is in the air? Try this if you are feeling cranky:

  1. Stop whatever you are doing
  2. Soften or even close your eyes
  3. Take 3 nice, easy breaths — giving your breath your full attention
  4. Open your eyes and go back to whatever you were doing
  5. REPEAT AS NEEDED until crankiness subsides

Ready with socks and sandals!

Comment below or send me an email (Mary@coacholk.com).

Warmly (with a deep, easy, full breath),
Mary

Coach Olk Breathe

Breathe Into Daily Transitions

Coach Olk BreatheWelcome to September – a season of transitions! The weather is changing, the school year is beginning, the new quarter will soon be starting at work. If you’re feeling more overwhelmed than usual… you are not alone! Almost every area of our lives is in transition right now.

Just think about this — From the moment we wake up, we are moving from one thing to another. Everyday tasks are full of little transitions. If you’re like me, you’re usually thinking two steps ahead – and feeling 3 steps behind. 😉

I’m brushing my teeth, thinking … I am running late; I’ve got to get that presentation finished before noon; Remember to send an email reminder about the back-to-school get together; Don’t forget to schedule the doctor appointment I’ve been putting off. I quickly say good morning to my family while rattling off the list of the day’s To Dos I want them to remember.

Sound familiar?! My mind is spinning just writing that!

Planning ahead is useful and necessary, but it often means I am not present in the moment. Life feels HARD and full of tension! So, what is a busy person to do? How can we move through transitions with more grace and ease?

BREATHE!

If I anchor myself by breathing in those moments in-between and really pay attention to where I am right then – the transitions become smoother and I’m more centered.

Want to give it a try? Here’s some ways I experiment:

  • Take a deep breath when I’m done brushing my teeth.
  • Take a breath (and smile) before I say good morning to my family.
  • Pause for a deep breath before I open my computer.
  • Deep inhale/exhale before I take the first sip of my morning coffee.

I discover a quiet joy in those precious moments – even if it’s fleeting.

So this month, as you navigate the transition from August to September and all that brings, experiment with your breath. And notice…how does this one small thing make a difference in my daily transitions?

I’d love to hear the results of your experiments. Comment below or send me an email (Mary@coacholk.com).

Warmly (with a deep, easy, full breath),
Mary

The Transformative Power of Accountability

A lot of factors come into play when we’re trying to move forward on something in life. One valuable tool for making progress is accountability. In its simplest form, accountability is just making a promise to do something, then having some way to track whether you actually do it.

Instead of tracking it yourself, it helps when someone else tracks it with you.

An accountability partner raises the bar. You might have tried this with exercise plans. While you might be tempted to skip a solo workout, you definitely think twice about rescheduling a tennis match because someone is counting on you.

When the stakes are higher or the goal is more complicated, an accountability partner does more than tracking and/or showing up. And that’s where an experienced coach comes into the picture. Being the perfect accountability partner is a coach superpower!

What Makes a Great Personal Accountability Partner?

First, there has to be mutual trust and respect. It’s got to feel safe, because it always feels vulnerable to invite accountability.

We have to be willing and committed to giving honest, direct feedback. We can be gentle, but we need to be truthful or else we’re no help at all.

We offer encouragement without judgment or attachment about the outcome.

It’s More Than a Checklist

Coaches know accountability is more than simply checking tasks off a list. We like to get in deep with all the subtle dynamics around your efforts. While we help track your progress, we also ask important learning questions to shed insight into your passion, your skills, your resistance. We help you rethink the steps you’re taking, offering fresh challenges and new slants. We help you re-engage with your goals when you’re struggling to focus.

A coach will dig a little deeper to help you understand your successes and your flops. A coach will ask you to reflect on what you are learning from those actions and inactions, and help you apply those insights going forward.

Accountability is quite a dance, and everyone has a different rhythm. As a coach, I’ve learned how to tune in to who you are and what makes you tick, so I can help you, with direct compassion, make progress on your goals and integrate the lessons you are learning along the way.

Mary

 

Transition Time

Picturesque Autumn landscape of sunset colored trees and warm colored leaves that covers the ground  ** Note: soft focus, best at smaller sizes

After a glorious summer filled with plenty of adventures (planned and unplanned), it is time for me to transition into the routines of fall. Sometimes the return to routine is refreshing; the predictability and regularity keeps me grounded and moving in the right direction. Other times it’s disorienting and overwhelming because it adds another layer of deadlines and time pressure.

In this month’s Your Growing Edge teleclass, I will share what I have learned about effectively navigating this transition.

I am looking forward to fall. How about you?

Warmly,
Mary

Navigating Transitions – Free Teleclass

TRANSITIONS: Successfully Navigating the Moments In-between
Thursday, October 14 at 10:30 AM CT

It’s Fall in the heartland. The trees are changing from vibrant green to shades of red and gold. The days are shorter; the air is crisp. We are slowly and surely moving from the heat of summer to the chill of winter. FALL is a season of TRANSITION.

This month The Growing Edge Teleclass will explore TRANSITION. Sometimes they are challenging, sometimes they are graceful. They are inevitably part of the natural rhythm of life.

Join me on October 14 as we tap our collective wisdom and knowledge about navigating transitions.

• Why are some transitions smooth and easy?
• How come some are rough and require lots of effort?
• What makes a transition exciting?
• What has you dreading a transition?
• What resources do you count on when you are in the midst of a transition?

I will share some strategies for staying sure-footed as you dance with the rhythms of life’s transitions.

I promise that you will leave our conversation inspired and ready for any transition that comes your way (or is already underway!)

I am looking forward to growing with you this month!

Click Here To REGISTER

My Mom, My First Life Coach

Happy Mother’s Day Everyone! (one day late). I hope that you are taking some time to celebrate the wonderful women in your life. This week I was thinking about my Mom and appreciating the gifts she has given me over my lifetime, and then it hit me …

My Mom was my first life coach!

She was the first person who created a safe space for me to be all of me. She showed me that life was full of learning and that learning could be FUN! She saw my greatness when all I could see were my limitations. She nudged me out of my comfort zone, giving me opportunities to try things she had a hunch I would love. Most of all she loved me with out reservation or conditions.

Thanks Mom for giving me the best foundation for my life and my career!

Who was your first life coach?
What would a partnership with a coach give you today?

Call me and let’s get to work!