Three Parts of Trust …

Trust Fall - 1 on 1 - Presenter MediaI USED TO HANG OUT IN THE WOODS AND FALL DOWN A  LOT …

At several points in my life, I have been deeply involved in experiential group learning … translated, that means I used to camp out in the woods with my staff or a group engaging in creative and challenging exercises, with hours of debriefing afterward.  We would experience and then process how the group communicated, made decisions, and worked together.

People faced with uncommon issues and problems can gain insight into themselves and their strengths and values, along with learning how to better interact with and appreciate the contributions of others.

Most of the exercises involved some level of trust between individuals.   A trust fall is a common way to display or build trust.  One person falls backward, hopefully into the waiting arms of another or others.  This can be terrifying the first time a person experiences literally letting go and trusting someone else to keep them safe.

Even when a person is on what we call High Challenges (ROPES terminology), all alone on a pole or beam high above everyone else, trust still matters.   You are tethered to a rope which another person on the ground holds, ready to help you keep your balance or lower you safely if you start to fall.

The ability of the person up there to recognize and trust the person holding their safety rope is essential.  Feeling safe enough to risk, since the perception of falling is still strong, even when you have a strong rope anchored to you and are in little real danger.  Trusting that person on the ground is critical.


It strikes me that leadership and life coaching is something like those outdoor learning experiences.  Trust is also an essential ingredient in the coaching relationship, and trust is developed within three related, but distinct categories:


As the coach , I must believe that my experience and skills are adequate to the challenge of helping another grow intentionally and in a positive direction.

As the client, I must develop the belief that I am capable of intentional and positive change, with discernment and support.


As the coach, I must trust the coaching process includes everything needed for me to help another engage in intentional and positive change on multiple levels.

As the client, I must trust the coaching process will help me develop confidence, courage, and clarity of vision.


As the coach, I must trust the client.

As the client,  I must trust the coach.

This is the type of trust we tend to think of first, but in truth, trusting each other is both a combination of the first two types of trust and the interaction of personal chemistry.   

It’s sort of like magic how all this comes together to create a relationship of trust…

Hoping that this provides value to someone today in the Heartland …


Image: Presenter Media



Risking Without Risk …

Risking WIthout Risk -

Well, we ALL want glory, right? …

Not really … most folks are probably more interested in stability, safety, enough to meet our needs and some of our wants, and to be known to those who we care about.

If you are one of those many, you may think this post and that quotation have little to offer you.   I beg to differ …

As we go through life, most of us are confronted by a series of firsts:  First overnight away from Mom and Dad, first airplane trip, first date, first kiss, first day of high school … and so on and so on throughout our lives.  First job interview, first job, first promotion, first challenge at work, first job loss, first time to buy a car, rent a house, buy a house, have a child, adopt a child, watch a child leave, lose a close friend or a loved one.

Every first includes some element of risk that we might not succeed or manage the moment.

Whether we desire risk in our lives or not is immaterial, because risk is already present and very prominent.   Risk is part of what makes life interesting and sometimes very exciting.  We risk every morning when we open our eyes, take a deep breath, and move. Continue reading

“Purpose Junkies” …

Age and Life - Leider -

Thoughts around my continuing exploration of the dual themes of our life purpose and positive aging …

I was struck by this quotation from The Power of Purpose: Find Meaning, Live Longer, Better by Richard Leider.  Okay, honestly speaking, I am struck by something on almost every page of this excellent little book.

I suppose one can say that some of us are Purpose Junkies, people who are on a continual quest for our meaning in life and trying to discern what we should do.  

Some say that this is navel-gazing taken to the extreme, while others dismiss our attempts to discover self by pointing out that we need to “get out into the real world, where things are dirty and brutal.  Just get a job and do it until you have enough money to not have to do it any more … Quit your whining” or similar.


Continue reading

ENCORE POST: Refire! is Hot Stuff …


ME:  Slightly over a year ago, I reviewed this book.  Today I find myself immersed in the concepts of purpose, positive aging, and am spending considerable time figuring out how I can contribute to our generational rewriting of “retirement”.  I keep running into this book, as one of the essential resources for those interested in living a fuller and more meaningful live, right up to the last minute.

The post has been somewhat edited from the original, which posted on February 5, 2015, but my essential feeling remains the same:  THIS BOOK IS READABLE, THOUGHTFUL AND VALUABLE.


promo_03.pngSilly me … based on a cursory glance, I thought this book was about motivating employees to avoid firing or forcing them out.  

Prepared to slog dutifully through the text, notating strong points to share intelligently about the author’s message, I found myself instead absorbed in the perspectives being shared, reading rapidly, with frequent stops for reflection and margin scribbling.  This book engaged me on a very personal level.

Refire, Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz is simply the right book with the right tone at the right time in the right place …

To refire is to approach life with gusto.  It’s to see each day as an opportunity for adventure and learning?  It’s to infuse passion and zest into every area of your life – emotional, intellectual, physical, and spiritual.  Heart, head, body, and soul. (pg. 9)

The authors understand clearly that “retirement age” does not mean what it has in the past for most of us.    We  want to continue to live significantly as conditions change around us and Blanchard and Shaevitz share four essential keys to help us do so:


“You can’t enrich your current relationships or forge new ones if you keep on doing the same things in the same ways.”  (pg. 31)

This section is about energizing our emotional connections and the strength that flows from them.  We know that change is essential to build strong emotional ties, but we are often prevented from changing because change involves risk.  We have to become brave.

Unless there’s a legitimate reasons to say no, you say yes! “ (pg. 41) says The Last-Minute Gang

This idea is the single most empowering concept in the book and challenging for many of us who have built comfortable and predictable lives.  Blanchard and Shaevitz encourage us to break out and risk by doing things we might usually pass on.  

This is especially effective when combined with the Nothing Ordinary rule:  

“ …a commitment to uniqueness … not to choose anything ordinary.” (pg.50) Continue reading

Feet Firmly Planted in the Air …

Dancing - Creative Commons

There is a time for analytical thinking and careful consideration of options, along with detailed planning to insure that all potential barriers or snaps can be dealt with …


Sometimes our days have to be devoted to the mundane and the ordinary.   The requirements of life, not always exciting, but usually necessary and often essential, call us to focus.  We clean, we cook, we balance the checkbook, we sign the forms that we need to sign, we figure and file our taxes … you know, the usual stuff.

Every once in a while, though, we get to experience a moment.  You know, one of those “head in the clouds” moments where we feel like we are dancing and strutting our way through that day.