“Be aware of the negative impact of positive thinking! Don’t just THINK about what you want to achieve… DO something (actually anything!). Any action is better than none and changing direction is much easier when you are in momentum!” — Helen Mac
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Transcript of the Questions & Answers
(1) Have you always wanted to be a coach or was there a PIVOTAL moment in your life that prompted the shift? Talking with people and helping them work through issues and questions has been part of my life since I was in my teens, so it feels like becoming a coach as part of my business was really just a formality!
As a teen, I worked with people younger than me who were becoming disconnected from their school, their family or their community. In my early years in organizations, I would often end up coaching colleagues about their relationships with other staff and managers.
Coaching conversations seem to occur in many parts of my life, including in my business, which is wonderful. I believe that the ideal business combines getting paid to do things you love to do with people that you enjoy working with and coaching fills those criteria for me. It also adds value to the larger projects that I do in organizational change and staff development.
(2) Who is your IDEAL client and how do you support them?
I have two “ideal client” groups and one that I am developing:
(A) I work with managers in organizations, coaching them on how to optimize the results of their team, covering leadership & management behaviours to engage & empower people as well as understanding how to increase the motivation of different people. This is often as part of a bigger project, including staff training workshops and follow-up sessions to maximize learning and implementation of new skills.
(B) I also do one-on-one coaching for small business owners and solo-preneurs wanting to get better outcomes. Sessions focus on the development and motivation of what I call the “Achievement Mindset” – Optimism! We also work on business marketing strategies, particularly on building connections and adding value.
(C) Occasionally I work one-on-one with individuals who just want “more out of life”. I am planning to run both face-to-face and online group coaching in this space in 2015.
(3) If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
You are enough…good enough; clever enough; creative enough.
Do what you are meant to do – avoid getting pulled off path by other people who think they know better.
Every experience has a learning within it – even the bad ones! – so look for the opportunity every time. This has lead to two of my Optimism Principles – “Optimists Learn from Every Experience” and “Optimists Seek Opportunities”.
Look after yourself, not in a selfish way, but so that you can have enough resources to do the work you want to do, with the people who can benefit most from your ideas.
(4) Support from people around you is very important when starting a business – Were you supported from the beginning or did you have “NAY SAYERS” that you had to deal with? I’ve been very fortunate to have lots of support from my husband and many friends & colleagues along the way. My parents, however, are still not sure what I do and wonder when I’m going to get a “real job”! Their doubts were certainly a challenge early on, which I’ve learned to ignore! It’s much easier to find supportive people these days, with numerous face to face and on-line networks to tap into… Another of my principles is that “Optimists are Connectors”, so those networks are critical to any business, particularly in the early stages.
(5) We all have times in our businesses when things get tough. How do you deal with challenges? By applying my principles – Seriously, I have a number of favourite strategies for handling tougher times:
Recognise that most tough times are temporary, so focus on the small points of light that exist even in the darkest of nights (“Optimists Look for the Sun”)
Take a break – go for a walk; phone a friend; visit a library or bookshop – choose a simple favourite activity to change the energy to change the mood (“Optimists Do Stuff”)
Get outside of myself and find someone to help – donate some clothes to a charity shop; write a thank you card; volunteer to sweep the leaves from an elderly neighbour’s driveway – then think about how grateful I am for all the blessings in my life (“Optimists Show Gratitude”)
Final “TAKE AWAYS” to close the show on a highpoint?
(A) Optimism is the Achievement Mindset – upgrade your attitude from Positive to Optimistic to get even better results!
(B) Explore & implement the Three Optimism Activators & Nine Optimism Principles to turn Optimism from a concept to a practice
(C) Be aware of the negative impact of positive thinking! Don’t just THINK about what you want to achieve… DO something (actually anything!). Any action is better than none and changing direction is much easier when you are in momentum!
Watch Helen Mac's TED Talk:
Helen Mac is Australia’s Corporate Optimist, creating optimal performance through systematic improvements in attitude awareness, activity management and achievement focus.
Combining decades of experience in culture change with practical psychology based on her BA(Psych), Helen works with leaders, individual contributors and teams to develop an optimistic culture, delivering better outcomes.
– Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Twitter: @OptimismZone
– Instagram: helenmac369
– Linkedin: au.linkedin.com/in/optimismzone
– Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheOptimismZone
– Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/optimismzone
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