Tag Archives: life coach

Understanding ourselves better

“We cannot safely assume that other people’s minds work on the same principles as our own. All too often, others with whom we come in contact do not reason as we reason, or do not value the things we value, or are not interested in what interests us.” —Isabel Briggs Myers

This seems like a simple statement and most would agree. The challenge is how to communicate with others who do not reason as we reason, or who do not value as we value. How do we develop relationships with others, or build teams to accomplish lofty goals? That is where the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) can assist.

I was first introduced into the MBTI while in college. Then again while at the Regenstrief Institute in Indianapolis who offered the MBTI to all their employees. Then last fall I read an article and my interest was again peaked. Earlier this year I decided to invest in myself and become a MBTI Certified Practitioner which allows me to bring MBTI to my life coaching and consulting practice.

The MBTI breaks personaltiy into preferences rather than boxes allowing for individuality among all types. The tool itself is scientifically reliable and valid and is used by many fortune 100 companies. Learning your MBTI type will assist in a wide variety of areas including:

  • Improve team performance
  • Identify gaps in the team
  • Aid in career development
  • Develop emotional intelligence
  • Improve and change culture
  • Develop individual decision making
  • Support individuals in transition
  • Individuals learn to play to their strengths

Watch for additional posts that go into more depth around how the MBTI changes individuals, teams, and organizations.  If you have questions about MBTI, are interested in learning your MBTI type, or want to schedule an MBTI workshop, please contact me.


Failure is not a 4-letter word

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

I am surprised by the number of people ashamed when they fail, believing that success is the only win.  Failure is part of success.  At times, it plays the principal role in success.

When I taught adult students many believed an “A” was the only success and they could not see the knowledge as the win.  A question missed is an opportunity to grow.  At the beginning of each quarter, I explained to students that a “C” grade should be considered the norm (Bell Curve and all).  Research shows that “B” and “C” students typically are more successful as adults.  Yet it remained every student’s goal to receive an “A” with little focus on gaining knowledge.

Even common childhood events are stripped of failure.  Starter bikes allow children to sit low and push along with their feet learning to balance as they go.  Eventually, they transition to a two-wheeler with little struggle and off they go.  The problem is not that they have success, nor that they learn to ride a bike with no bumps or bruises.  The problem is they do not learn to fail, to fall over, to get back up and try again.  Even small tasks like tying shoes is an immediate success with Velcro.

We see it in sports when the crowd and athletes believe winning is the only gain from a game.  Seldom do we hear “it was a great game.”  Crowds leaving often blaming the other team for cheating, the refs for being on the take, the team players for being lazy or stupid.  I can only imagine the locker room banter, but I doubt it has anything to do with learning from failure, gaining from losing, or admitting a better team won.

One can learn from failing, but it is difficult to learn from easy success.  When success becomes the norm, the expectation, then what happens when an individual fails?  They will fail.  We all fail throughout life.  To grow you must learn from both failures and successes.  You must be willing to look at the event through rational eyes rather than emotional eyes.  This week, make your affirmation “When I fail, I will use the knowledge I gain to gather success in the future.”

Are you lost in a maze?

Did you have big plans for your life, but time tripped you up and now you are wondering if you can ever get back on track?

You have tried to redirect your life, but someone or something always derails it.  Now you are looking a mid-life or late-life and wondering if you should just give up?

I can tell you that you should not.  What you need is a coach for team you.  A coach can help you target weak areas, focus you on the game, and cheer you on to the win.  We understand when kids need coaches, but as adults we think we should know everything.  Should we?  Professional athletes have multiple coaches throughout their lives.  Singers and musicians often hire coaches to improve their careers.  A coach by any other name (publicist, agent, trainer, fitness guru, dietitian, tutor) are still coaches in the end.  Many top executives now have coaches.  So why not you?

There are many reasons people are reluctant to hire a coach, the first being coaches are a best-kept secret.  People do not talk about their coach, so there is a lack of awareness.  No one is surprised to find out a young athlete has a personal coach.  We know if they are going to make it onto the varsity or college team, they have to invest time and money in developing their talent.  Most people would encourage students to hire a tutor while prepping for the SAT or ACT if they want an academic scholarship.  So what happens when we enter adulthood?  Why do we believe the adult world is easy to traverse?  Once we become adults, we think we should know everything and be able to navigate work, relationships, and paths to our dreams without assistance.

Hiring a life coach is an investment in yourself.  An investment in your path to success and satisfaction.  Life coaches make a difference just like any other coach.  The word coach typically conjures up an athletic coach, but the original word is Hungarian (kocsi szekér) to define a large carriage.  The word literally means to carry.  In the 1600s it was related to education to prepare a student for an exam and from there it expanded to athletics, railroad cars, and airplanes economy class.  That is what a coach does; provides assistance to get you to your destination.

Do you need a coach?  Only you can answer that, but if you have lost direction, struggle to get beyond barriers, and are settling for something less than you want, then a coach can help.  Coaches do not have the answers; you have the answers.  What a life coach does is ask the right questions to help you determine which path you should choose, help brainstorm options when barriers present, and celebrate every success you achieve. When was the last time someone cheered you on to victory?  Life coaching will change your future.

Penny Dunning is a certified life coach.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kentucky Wesleyan College and a MBA from Western Governors University – Indiana.  She has 30+ years of experience in IT and healthcare management.  Currently, she is the publisher of Chatter House Press and the Director of Career Services for a large workforce board.