How Do You Use Your Voice? – Rhoads Life Coaching

In recent coaching conversations, I have encouraged individuals to speak up for themselves or others when a conflict is not being resolved or values are not being met. That has me thinking this week… how do you use your voice?

If we think of each of the many roles we play on a daily basis as each being able to speak, then we have as many voices as we do roles. Sometimes those voices don’t speak up, aren’t heard, or are trampling over other voices both internally and externally.

It is critically important to be able to observe ourselves in how we treat ourselves and act around others. In a world where it is so easy to sound off on social media, what voices are not being heard and what voices are too loud? OR, does your voice match the values and priorities you say you have? If not, why? Does your voice need to be softer? Louder? More certain? Less negative?

Taking a look at a bigger scale, your voice has a role to play in your family, career, community, and world. What is that role? Are you speaking up for yourself and others about what is important to you? The world needs your voice, whether that is a community level, or privately to an individual in need.

You have a voice! How are you using it?

Interested to learn how coaching would work for you? Message Rhoads Life Coaching to sign up for a FREE consultation! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Trust Styles (How We Trust) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Have you ever thought about HOW you trust something? I have written previously about the components of trust. But, did you know there were different trust styles? Robert Fisher created a model for describing them and it is a useful tool in coaching around the topic of trust.

The four trust styles are:

Trust Until – A positive approach of looking for the facts until I see data to prove that I can’t trust you.

Trust Still – A positive approach of believing in something even if there is data that does not support trust.

Suspicious Until – A negative approach where I am reluctant to trust until I see data that supports being able to trust something.

Suspicious Still – A negative approach where I am unable to trust even in the face of data that says I can.

What style do you use? It should depend on the situation, your personal experiences, beliefs, and personality. You likely use all four in some fashion. But do you rely too heavily on one? What styles do your customers and clients use? Your employees and coworkers? Understanding why you (or someone else) is using a specific trust style may help in building trust in that relationship! Which style is your default, and which style do you need to practice developing? Are you using the appropriate style at the appropriate time? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

The Parable of the Driver, Horse, & Carriage – Rhoads Life Coaching

Quebec City gave me the opportunity to tell an old story! There is a parable describing being human in relation to a driver, horse, & carriage. This story is about being human. The driver is our brain and thoughts. The horse is our emotions. The carriage is our body. We have to have our head, heart, and body present and in good working order to be fully human.

In the story the driver wakes up hung over in a tavern and stumbles out into the street to find his horse and carriage in disrepair. He doesn’t remember how all of this happened or how long he has been there. Have you ever had this feeling? How did I get here? How long have I had this problem? Will things ever change?

Each of the three characters has a purpose. They can’t function without the other. Our emotions power us through each day. They are the source of our motivation and willingness. Emotions must be cared for, fed, watered, and bridled to give us the courage to go after our hopes and dreams (don’t interpret “bridled” as “suppressed”!).

If the carriage is not kept in good working order, it won’t carry us throughout the day. Patrons will not hire a carriage that is broken down. If we don’t keep ourselves healthy, it doesn’t matter how driven or intelligent we are. Our bodies are just as important as our minds and emotions.

All three of these centers require health and continuous care to be fully human. The critical part of the story is the driver waking up and taking responsibility for getting all three centers back in working order.

So which part of the story are you in? Are you still passed out, numbed out, mechanical in the tavern? Have you wandered out into the street, wondering how you got into this mess? Have you taken responsibility for your situation, regardless of how you got here? If you are blaming others for your lot in life, you are stuck in the hung over state, waiting for the world to change. It is up to you to get your thoughts, emotions, and body back in working order. Which part(s) need to be developed in you? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Scales of Perception – Rhoads Life Coaching

We took a break in Quebec City this week! While enjoying the history, sight seeing, and food, I was struck by the number of different scales of perception encountered in one place. By scale of perception I mean our human ability to see the bigger and smaller picture of how we fit into the story. Scales could be time, history, culture, economy, spirituality/religion, etc. There are a lot of different scales to measure and each has the ability to perceive micro to macro levels of significance.

It is possible to experience Quebec City on a historical scale. Millions of people visit each year to review the significance this location has played in Canadian, U.S., and world history. It is also possible to experience Quebec City on an economic scale, cultural scale, ecological scale, religious scale, and on and on. Even the poutine can fit onto a scale of simple, filling bar-food to an elegant, gourmet dish! What struck me in standing in front of the Chateau Frontenac, looking out over the St. Lawrence River, was how many different scales could be perceived at once.

So that got me to thinking, do you pay attention to the scales you live in and on? What scales of perception are around you? More importantly, are you paying attention to them? YOUR PERCEPTION OF SCALE MIGHT INFLUENCE YOUR DECISIONS! The Chateau Frontenac plays a role every day in representing Quebec City, but it has also played significant roles in much higher scales of world history. Your decisions on your scales are doing similar things. What scales are you measuring now in your choices? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Self-Confidence – Rhoads Life Coaching

What is self-confidence for you? Where are you confident in your ability? Where are you not? Just like any other skill, self-confidence can be developed.

Have you ever taken the time to look at the elements of confidence? How do you define it? Does it include experience? Flexibility? Comfort? What are the things you are confident in outside of yourself? The weather forecast? Your local sports team? Taco Tuesday? What creates that confidence? Reputation? Repetition? Experience?

How is self-confidence different for you? Are there things you trust others in more than yourself? How about yourself more than others? Why is that? Self-confidence can be a tricky thing based on how we define it. I may be confident in my ability to make a sarcastic and unhelpful observation, but not confident in my ability to speak in front of a live audience. Understanding the different arena and levels of confidence in myself is helpful in figuring out ways to build higher levels of confidence. Understanding the mechanisms through which your own confidence is build goes a long way toward building it more effectively. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Where Is Your Castle? (100th Video) – Rhoads Life Coaching

I am taking my own advice and pausing for a few minutes to celebrate my 100th video this week! It is hard to believe! If you look back to June 2017, there was no indication that I would make it this far! Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that 100 different conversations was possible. Thank you so much for following along and sharing! This would not have been possible without you! Thank you for watching!

This video was shot at the Loveland Castle in Loveland, OH. In visiting and recording here it was hard to miss the overlap with lots of different topics I have presented previously. Harry Andrews had a very clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish and that vision continued to grow and develop in the 50+ years that he worked (almost single-handedly) on building the castle along the Little Miami River. None of the castle would have been possible without a clear sense of vision, values, priorities, goals, perseverance, motivation, and sense of connectedness and being a part of something bigger. The castle, and its story, embody many of the core themes of my coaching philosophy and practice.

Having said all of that, where is your castle? Where do you fit into the world and what is the role you are intended to play? If some one can see where a medieval can fit into the landscape and story of a river in Ohio, or some one else can start working next week on the path toward the next 100th video, what are you working to create? Where do you find meaning and purpose in your life? How are you building that up? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Stages of Change (The Transtheoretical Model) – Rhoads Life Coaching

Change is not an instantaneous process. It happens in stages. Knowing which stages of change you are passing through may assist in navigating your next step of growth.

Prochaska and DiClemente developed the Transtheoritical Model (Stages of Change) in the 1970’s. It has 5 steps:

PRE-CONTEMPLATION – We need to think about thinking about change before we begin. I want to stop smoking, but I’m not really serious about it. I just wish I could stop. Nothing changes.

CONTEMPLATION – I start to seriously think about what changing would look like. I want to lose weight. But instead of dreaming about it, I start to sort out which diet strategy I might use and how much weight I would like to lose.

PREPARATION – All change involves making plans. Something may be gained and something will have to be given up. I have decided I want to take a trip. Now I have to buy the tickets. Who will take care of the dogs? Did I submit my vacation request at work?

ACTION – This is the implementation phase. After sitting empty for more than 50 years, the Peters Cartridge Factory is being renovated to become something new. Change is happening!

MAINTENANCE – Once I stop smoking, hit my target weight, use the vacation time, or renovate the building, each will have to be maintained. The cartridge factory has been through multiple renovations since it was built in the mid-1800’s.

RELAPSE – Every change will develop into something else. Some changes have to be done again. Others will create a different change. If not maintained the building will relapse back into an abandoned shell.

So what changes are you facing? Which stage are you in? The model is not linear. We may vacillate between stages (for long periods of time). What are you working on next and how will this model help you figure out your next step?

AND OH BY THE WAY, Please forgive me. In the video I say that the factory is in Loveland, OH. It isn’t. It is obviously in Kings, OH. My most sincere apology. –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Creative Spark (Erasing the Blank Page) – Rhoads Life Coaching

How do you spark creativity? Are you intentional about trying to find sources of inspiration? What tricks do you use to make a creative spark?

Just like any other skill or strength, the ability to generate that creative spark can be developed. Some of the most innovative businesses and people in the world intentionally spur themselves to be creative. They go out of their way to create new ideas.

I recently heard the phrase of using that creative spark as a means of “erasing the blank page”. The image comes to mind of the writer stuck in front of a blank screen or page, searching for inspiration. Stalled out with nothing to say. The idea of putting something, ANYTHING, on the page erases the blank page and allows the words to flow. This could apply to your career, a relationship, eating better, searching for a new job… just about anything.

So how do you do that for yourself? The belief that we are not creative is false. Everyone has some form of creativity. When you get stuck, what do you do? Do you go for a walk? Talk to someone who is creative? Find an inspiring place to sit? Search a completely different topic or industry for ideas? Find ways to intentionally make a spark and keep being creative! –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Psychological Country – Rhoads Life Coaching

Your Psychological Country is the internal world you live in. Have you ever thought of it that way? I have written previously about each of us standing between our internal and external world, but have you considered that internal world as its own country?

If that is true, do you know what is there? Have you ever explored it? It is as big (or bigger) than the external world!

If you took some time to describe it, what would it look like? Are there vast open spaces? Is it crowded? Does it vary? Are there places it isn’t safe to go by yourself? Who lives there? Are there spots that are abandoned or dilapidated?

The benefit of being able to see your Psychological Country is there is an opportunity to develop it! Are there potholes of negativity that need to be filled in? Where are the impoverished areas of your internal world that need development?

The reality is the more we develop and enhance our internal psychological country, the more effective we are at navigating the external world. What part of your Psychological Country needs to be developed next? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life

Interruptions – Rhoads Life Coaching

Every interruption (big and small) causes us to reset; reducing attention, efficiency and effectiveness. Personally or professionally, interruptions cost a lot of time and energy. Take a minute and estimate – how many times do you get interrupted in a day?

Microsoft studied its Excel users to determine how interruptions impacted their ability to efficiently work. They estimated it took 18 minutes to recover from an interruption and regain full effectiveness at a task. In addition, they estimated that each worker was interrupted every 11 minutes. Because of this, there was never a point during the study where the user was at full effectiveness due to interruptions.

Our lives are full of this! We are constantly bombarded by phone calls, emails, text messages, notifications, etc. These constant distractions prevent us from being fully present for just about everything we do. Interruptions drive through our day, just like the cars in this video, forcing us to reset. At what cost? Getting all of the details for a task? Completing a task without errors? Being able to complete a task on time or early? Being present when talking to your spouse or children? Driving safely in the car?

I am as guilty as anyone else of being distracted by interruptions. My challenge to you is to reduce them. Put the phone away when talking to someone. Turn the notifications off on your phone and computer when working on a project. Disconnect the notifications from your phone to your FitBit. Close the door to your office when having an important conversation. Schedule blocks of time on your calendar to complete a task. Anything to reduce the number of interruptions at work and home will lead to more fulfilling and meaningful work and fun. What will it take for you to start reducing interruptions? –

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finding meaning and purpose in daily life