Mini Episode

Episode 098: Mini: Driving and pitstops

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 098:
Mini: Driving Metaphor and pitstops!

Using the metaphor of a car… this week’s challenge is about reflecting on how you’re currently travelling the highways of life and inviting you to take a pit stop!

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.   Let’s jump right into this week’s reflective challenge. If you think about your life in terms of a metaphor where you’re driving a car, what might you start to notice? 

Are you cruising along a motorway doing a comfortable and steady speed, where you’re getting great fuel economy?  Or are you racing flat out – burning gas and rubber and getting faster and faster?    Maybe you’re currently in a low gear heading up a massive hill and the engine whining noisily as it struggles with the effort.  Or perhaps you’re going over really rough terrain and being jostled violently about as the suspension tries to cope.  Or maybe it’s a smooth ride thanks to the superb off road capabilities of your car?  Or, maybe you’re coasting downhill?  Or flying downhill without brakes and feeling totally out of control!!!  Or driving around in circles – the possibilities with this metaphor are truly endless!

This is the first part of my challenge for you this week, use this metaphor to describe what’s happening for you right now.   Once you have built up a picture of the car you’re in, the terrain you’re travelling along, the speed, the feel of the car and so on, my next invitation is for you to take a pit stop.  

Find a metaphorical spot to pull over for a few minutes.  It be a service station, the side of the road, a viewing spot, the middle of nowhere and if none of those are available, simply pull in wherever you’re at and pause for a moment.     It’s so easy to spend all of our time, especially in the current climate, running flat out – always on the road to somewhere, that we forget to pull over, take a break and simply be.  To be with ourselves and our thoughts for even the briefest of period.  To take a break from all the doing.  And focus on just being.

As you pull the car or whatever metaphorical vehicle you’re driving over, switch off its engine, and step out into the stillness, what do you notice?  Not only, about the landscape around you, but what do you notice about yourself, your own internal thoughts, feelings and sense of being at this moment.   Connect in with yourself and choose two or three words to describe how you’re feeling at this time.

Once you’re ready, you can jump back into the car and drive off again.   And as you do, remember that you can choose how you want to drive, how fast you go, where you go.  All of these things, along with choosing when to take rest stops, and being observant to the landscape that passes by your windows, is all within your control. 

If you’d like to share any reflections or thoughts, please leave a comment underneath this video on LinkedIn, or drop me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening, and until next time, stay curious.

Episode 097: Mini: Photography

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 097:
Mini: Photography

In this mini episode, I incorporate one my hobbies into this mini reflective challenge – photography!  And no, my challenge isn’t about asking you to go out and take a stunning picture.  Rather, it’s about using the metaphor of photography as a model to reflect upon what’s going on 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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Audio Version

Transcript

Hi there, and welcome to this week’s episode of The Curious Coach podcast.  This week I want to talk about another of my hobbies – photography!  And never fear, there’s a reason why this is relevant!  Let me explain….

If you think about photography, it ultimately distils down to capturing images or memories of moments in time.   In the process of doing so, there are various phases involved.  Deciding on your camera setup,  composing the shot, processing the image,  getting the final image and then reliving the memory of the image.

And when you start to use these stages as a model for life, things get quite interesting.   Firstly, let’s talk about the photographic stages…

Are you currently gathering up the necessary tools and equipment to be able to capture that metaphorical picture?   If so, what equipment are you putting together?  Is it the camera on your phone, a vintage camera or something more complex?  When do you think you’ll have the right equipment gathered so that you’re ready to take that special picture?  

Now that you have the equipment and you’re ready to take a picture,  have you found the right location?  And as you compose your shot, what are you choosing to focus on?   What’s the main subject of your picture?  What’s in the background?  What are the lighting conditions like?  What’s the distance between you and the subject of your picture?  What settings are you using on your camera?  So many variables to potentially consider!

Having taken the shot, you now want to process the image.  In the old days, you’d process the film in a darkroom, now, you can do everything on your computer or with an app on your phone.  What do you need to change to get the picture to match the vision of what you were trying to achieve?   What colours are you enhancing? Or which highlights are you reducing or shadows that you are enhancing?  There’s any number of edits you can now make to change the picture you captured before producing your final image.

And now that you have that final image, what are you doing with it?  Are you putting it proudly on display so you can see if every day, do you print it out and put it into an album, or do you never look at it again?    And when you do look at it, what memory does it evoke?   Is it about the time, the place, the feelings or something else entirely?  How has that memory changed?  How does that drive you to take more pictures?

This is an interesting model to explore what’s going on for you in your life.  What stage are you currently at?  Are you still gathering the right equipment, seeking out the perfect location, actively editing the image to make it match your vision or looking back on past memories and experiences?    And taking it a little further, are you trying to capture your own photograph or are you trying to copy someone else’s?  Or are you looking at someone else’s photograph as if it was your own?  Or are looking at the past and working hard to hold on to it?

There’s so many levels to this!  And I hope you have fun taking a little bit of time to reflect this week on where you are withing this model.    As always, I’d love to hear how you got on so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either by leaving a comment below this video on LinkedIn or sending me an email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  That’s it for now and until next time, stay curious!

Episode 096: Mini: Force Fields

The Curious Coach Podcast

Episode 096:
Mini: Force Fields

In this mini episode, I invite you to do a force field analysis on a project or life goal, reflecting on what might be within your control to change or influence as well as gaining more insight into the forces at play! 

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

Video Version

Audio Version

Transcript

Hi there and welcome to the latest mini episode of The Curious Coach Podcast.  This week’s reflective challenge is all about force fields.  And no, I’m not talking about going to ‘red alert’, battle stations and engaging our shields.  Rather, it’s about a force field analysis as conceptualised by change guru Kurt Lewin. 

This reflective exercise is best done using a pen and piece of paper.  Start off by thinking of a project, or life goal that you want to reflect upon.  Now, take a blank sheet of paper, and  draw a line that represents your path towards you desired goal.  Having done that first step.  Take a moment to stand back] and reflect upon the line you have just drawn.  Notice where you’ve chosen to put it on the page, the shape, thickness, direction and so on, and be curious about what you’re noticing.

Now it’s time to identify the forces that are at play and influencing your progress towards your goal.  And for this part, you might want to grab some post-it notes or pieces of paper that you can move around your page.  

Forces also have a direction and intensity.  If you think of a straight line going from left to right across the page, the forces acting from above, and those coming up from below the line, will ultimately cancel each other out resulting in equilibrium.  However, if there’s a mismatch, then there’s potential for the line to change direction.

So now, on each piece of paper or post-it, write down one of the forces that are influencing or affecting your progress towards your goal.  Put an arrow on the piece of paper to show the direction of the force.   Keep repeating this, until you have all the important forces captured.  

Now, start to place them on the page so that they start to act upon the line you drew.  Start with what you believe the current state of things to be and don’t worry about trying to over think it – simply go with your gut.

Once you’ve placed all the forces, step back and once again reflect on what you notice.  What stands out for you?  What do you notice about where you’ve placed each force? The distance between the force and line itself, the distances between other forces, what forces are above or below the line?  

Having reflected, now experiment with moving things around and changing the intensity of some of the forces.   What happens?  And again, what do you notice?  Start to become aware of what is within your influence to control?  What might happen to your line as a result? 

Finally, take a few moments to capture any learning or insights that you might have had about your project or life goal.  What will you now change as a result of this exercise?

Anyway, that’s it for this week.  Good luck experimenting with your own force fields and I really look forward to hearing how you got on.  So please don’t hesitate to leave a comment on LinkedIn, or drop me email to stephen@stephenclements.ie.  Thanks for listening and until next time, stay curious.

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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Audio Version

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!

Video Version

Audio Version

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!

Video Version

Audio Version

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.

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