podcasts

Episode 094: Mini: Inner Scientist

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 094:
Mini: Inner Scientist

This week’s episode is about unleashing your inner scientist to move from simply reflecting to forming theories, creating experiments and having new experiences…. otherwise known as Kolb’s experiential learning theory! 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to this week’s mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  This week’s challenge to about creating your own experiment by channelling your inner scientist. 

Let me explain what I mean.  In some ways, we all reflect on past events and feelings.  Some do it more deliberately through daily journaling, or regular periods of reflection.  Others might do it when after some major event happens that rocks our world – such as a bereavement, redundancy, separation or such like.  Some might even move into ruminating on past failure or things that didn’t quite go according to plan. 

And when we think of how we learn.  Being reflective and reflecting on what’s happened, is a really important step in that process of learning.  However, it’s only one of a number of steps.   If we only ever reflect, then we’re not really learning. 

Whilst there’s many models covering how we as adults learn, one of the most popular ones is Kolb’s experiential learning theory.   It was developed by David Kolb back in 1984.  And it has four steps laid out in a never-ending circle.

It starts with a concrete experience.  Something happens and we experience it.  The next step is that reflective observation where we reflect on the experience and ideally, reflect on it from multiple perspectives.    Now, this is we really start to channel our inner scientist.  The next step is to use our reflections to integrate those observations around the experience to create theories or as Kolb calls it, abstract conceptualizations.   Finally, with those theories, we move into the final step in the loop – active experimentation.  This step causes use to do something different so that we might get a different experience next time around.   With that experiment, we’ll then move back to the start of the loop by having a new concrete experience, and then the process repeats.

So my challenge for you this week, is to be consciously aware of applying kolb’s experiential learning theory and deliberately move from reflecting about an experience, to forming a theory, creating an experiment and having a new experience. Be deliberate about it and see what happens.  

Whilst this might sound quite challenging.  One suggestion is to take one experience you have had, and focus solely on it.   For example, it might an interaction with your boss or a team member or family member.  What’s your reflection about that experience.   Then, what are your theories around what worked or didn’t work.  And from those theories, how can you experiment to do more of what works and less of what didn’t work? And then, notice the new experience that happens as a result.

That’s it for this week and as always I’d love to hear how you got on, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either leaving a comment below this video on LinkedIn, or by dropping me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie Happy experimenting and until next time, stay curious!

Episode 093: Mini: Locus of Control

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 093:
Mini: Locus Of Control

This week’s mini reflective challenge is about a psychological concept called the locus of control and noticing whether you’re internally or externally oriented and what this might mean for you. 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to this week’s mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  This week’s episode is about your locus of control.   This is a fairly simple psychological concept that refers to how strongly people believe they have control over events and influences on their lives.   It was developed by Julian B Rotter in 1954 and essentially there’s two dimensions:  An internal locus of control and an external locus of control.

Those with an internal locus of control have a strong belief that they are in control of what happens to them and the resulting achievements or mishaps.   They might believe or say things like “If I work hard, then I’ll achieve my goal”, or “I messed up because I didn’t know enough to consider all the options”.   

Someone with an external locus of control might have beliefs where what happens is more down to luck, change or other people rather than themselves.  They might belief that success might be a case of being in the right place at the right time, or blame someone else if they don’t achieve a goal.  

It’s also important to note that it might not be clear cut between one or the other, but more of a continuum towards one way or thinking or another.  You  might even notice that your locus is orientated differently depending on the situation.  

So my challenge for you this week is to become aware of the locus of control and notice whether you tend to be more internally or externally orientated.  And to be curious about how that be impacting your behaviours and thought processes.   

For example, if you’re externally orientated, an extreme view is that you might end up being a passive bystander in your own life as what happens is outside of your control and simply down to fate.   If you were to move along the continuum to be a little more inner orientated, how might that show up for you, how might that affect your thinking or behaviour?

So that’s this week’s challenge – simply start to notice your own thinking around situations and events in your life and be curious about where you own locus of control lies and reflect on what this might mean for you?

As always, I’d love to hear how you got on.  So please leave a comment on LinkedIn or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie – And until next time, stay curious

Episode 92: Mini: New Experiences

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 092:
Mini: New Experiences

This week’s challenge is about two thoughts:  Doing the same things over and over again and getting the same results, and experiential learning and doing something new! 

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome the latest mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  Before jumping into this this week’s reflective challenge, just a quick reminder – if you’d like receive my weekly newsletter where I share a little more detail on topics covered in these podcast episodes along with other ideas and themes, then pop along to my website at stephenclements.ie and sign up at the bottom of the page!

Back to this week’s episode which was sparked by the thought that if we keep doing the same things, we’ll get the same results.  There are numerous quotations out there that encapsulate this thought, many of which are wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein, but that might be a topic for a separate discussion.

Now consider another thought:  that one of the most effective ways to learn something new is through experiential learning.   If we combine those two thoughts together, we arrive at a very simple hypothesis:  if we try something new, we’ll learn new things.   And through discovering new things, we’ll have new experiences. 

 

Now think about your routines and experiences.  Where are those repeating experiences showing up for you?  Maybe you always have the same brand or type of coffee or tea.  Or eat the same breakfast every day. Or commute the same way to the office.  Or organise your desktop in the same way?   Or go through the same routine when you fall out of bed in the morning.    As you think about it, there’s probably lots of repeating routines and patterns that show up for you everyday.

 

So my challenge for you this week is two fold.  Firstly, start to become aware of those repeating experiences.   And then, take one and try something different so that you create a new experience.  Have a bit of fun and see what you notice from doing something new. 

 

For example, rather than going straight from breakfast to starting your laptop, take a walk outside first.  Or rather than going straight to your emails when you first log onto work, do something else instead.  Simply experiment so that you create a new experience for yourself and take a moment to notice whether you learnt anything new in the process.

 

That’s it for this week.  Have fun noticing and experimenting and let me know how you got on;  either through sending me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie or leaving me a comment on LinkedIn.   Until next week, thanks for listening and stay curious.

Episode 091: Mini: Mind your language

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 091:
Mini: Mind your language!

This week’s episode is about being aware of your language and whether you’re using rigid or flexible language!   Listen or watch to find out more…

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to this week’s mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  My challenge for you this week is really simple – it’s about minding your language!  And no, I’m not asking you to mind you P’s and Q’s although being polite and having good manners never hurts!

 

Rather, I’m asking you to watch out for those times when you say to yourself or others, sentences that begin with “I should”, “I must”, “I need to”, “I have to” and so on.  These are phrases that are fairly common in our everyday communication and we probably use them without really being aware of what the implication is.

 

For example, I might tell myself on a Sunday afternoon that I have to record a podcast episode because I must have it ready for being published first thing Monday morning on apple podcasts and Monday lunchtime for the LinkedIn video version.   By saying things like ‘I have to’ and ‘I must have’, I’m unconsciously putting myself under pressure and it’s a form of rigid thinking.   As a result, I may start to feel a little anxious because maybe I haven’t got a topic ready, and that I’m not in the humour to concentrate or that there’s lots of other things going on today and so on.  And then I might start to get a little resentful and angry as a result for “having” to do this.   

 

In reality, if I stop to challenge that I have to or that I must do something, then it becomes a little more interesting, more flexible rather than rigid.  No one is forcing me to release an episode on Monday.  For the podcast, I’m not accountable to advertising sponsors or a boss with a release schedule that I have to meet.  In fact, it’s just me and in reality, it’s my choice whether to record and release an episode or not.  It really comes down to a question of underlying beliefs and consequences.   If I don’t record an episode today and I don’t release it on Monday, the world won’t end.  However, I’m choosing to do so because I want to maintain a reputation for being reliable and dependable and to deliver something that people will hopefully find valuable.  So rather than saying I have to record the episode… I could say, “I’m choosing to record the episode” or maybe even “I want to record the episode”.  I can actually feel a difference within myself when I rephrase and take ownership of my choice.   This was a fairly example. However, sometimes this form of rigid thinking can have fairly serious consequences.   What if you regularly said something like “I have to work late…”. How might that be affecting your behaviour, your life, your sense of wellbeing and so on.  And what might you be believing in that moment?  What choices might you be ignoring?

 

So that’s my challenge for you this week, notice when you’re using rigid language such as “I have to”, “I must”, and so on,  and see can you catch yourself in the moment and rephrase it to something else.  And be aware of how you feel when you do or what beliefs you might surface.  And maybe, just maybe, when you realise you have a choice, you might find that you make a different choice, providing of course, you’re ok with the consequences!

 

That’s it for this week.  Let me know how you got on and until next time – stay curious.  

Episode 090: Mini: ANTS

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 090:
Mini: ANTS

This week’s mini episode is about ANTS and no, I’m not talking about those amazing little insects but rather Automatic Negative Thoughts – something that’s completely natural and something that we all do.  

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the latest mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  In this week’s episode, my reflective challenge is about ants – and no I don’t mean those amazing little insects that can lift up to twenty times their own body weight.  However, the ANTs I’m talking about can be equally strong.  ANTs or automatic negative thoughts are something that we all do.  These are the negative thoughts that pop into our mind automatically and often without any rational foundation although they may also seem perfectly reasonable and logical at the time.  The term was first coined by psychologist Dr Aaron Becks back in the 1960’s.  For example, you might make a small mistake in something you’re doing and suddenly you have a thought that you can’t do anything right.  Or you find yourself thinking the worst when someone doesn’t reply to your email or turn up to lunch date on time, effectively becoming a fortune teller.  

ANTS are perfectly normal.  However,  sometimes, if we let them take over, we’re letting them control us and drive how we’re feeling.   Dr David Burns, Stanford professor and author of books such as feeling good and feeling great, summarises this as we feel how we think.  And if we’re not aware, or not challenging these automatic negative throughs, then we may get very real feelings  then can lead to increased stress or anxiety.

So my challenge for you this week to start to become aware of the ANTS that you come across during your typical week.  Maybe write them down as they come up and become more aware of them.  As you do, start to challenge whether they’re true or not. Maybe ask yourself – what’s the evidence for or against the thought being true, or look at what other ways can you reframe the thought?  

So that’s it for this week.  Good luck with watching out for those ANTS, and thanks for tuning in. As always I’d love to hear how you got on.  So please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment on LinkedIn or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie   – and don’t forget, that’s Stephen with a ph!  Until next time, don’t forget – stay curious!

Episode 089: Mini: Surviving or Thriving?

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 089:
Mini: Surviving or Thriving?

This week’s challenge is about reflecting on whether you’re surviving or thriving?  And what’s the difference!

Listen below or search for The Curious Coach Podcast on Apple podcasts, spotify or wherever else you normally listen to podcasts!

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Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the latest mini-edition of The Curious Coach Podcast.

This week, my reflective challenge is about identifying where you currently are between surviving and thriving.   Imagine that in front of you, you have a large dial.  You can rotate this dial between two extremes – at one end, there’s surviving and at the other there’s thriving.   You’re in control of the dial.  So, where is your dial currently set to?

In the first half of 2020, I’d imagine many of us turned the dial fully around to survival.   We stocked up on the essentials, took shelter and focused on surviving what was happening to us and the world around us.  And that’s totally understandable.  We went through and continue to go through a period of immense change and uncertainty in the world.

I’d imagine our ancestors felt something similar when they rushed back into their caves having first discovered the predatory threat from dinosaurs.

However, imagine what would have happened if they’d stayed in full on survival mode.  Never being tempted to alter the setting on that dial.  Would they have ever ventured back out of their caves to explore, to develop, to evolve… and ultimately to thrive?

As you picture your dial in front of you, and notice where it’s currently set to, reflect on how might like to adjust it?  If you were to adjust it, even by a small amount, what difference would that make?  Imagine that you’ve made a change to the setting on the dial, what are the changes that would happen as a result?  What do you see yourself doing differently?

So that’s my challenge for you this week.  Not to necessarily rush out and make a major adjustment to your surviving – thriving dial – but to simply be aware of where you have currently set it to.  To be curious.  And to be conscious of the choice that you have made.  And then to be equally conscious of the choices you might want to make.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and reflections.  So please don’t hesitate to get in touch either by leaving a comment below this video if watching on LinkedIn, or dropping me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie and that’s Stephen with a PH.  Thanks for tuning and until next time, don’t forget… stay curious.

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