April 2017 
        Vol 10, Issue 4          
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter
"Jan, what will it take for you to show up as a learner?" That question has forever shifted my perspective.

After a lifetime of being the one in charge, the "knowing" one, I was thrust into not knowing when I attended Royal Roads University's Executive Coaching Program in 2006.  Faced with learning a new approach and profession and surrounded by intelligent, successful classmates who seemed to have way more experience than me, my inner critic went wild: Did I have the skills to do this? Did I have what it took to embark on a coaching career? My mind was filled with self-judgment. 

When I expressed my self-doubt to one of the faculty, he asked the pivotal question above. Showing up as a learner meant I didn't have to know it all.  The mental space created by the lifting of that burden was transformational and actually allowed me to learn more.

Where in your life might you benefit by the liberation of showing up as a learner? Read how to nurture a growth mindset in my feature article below.   

To your learning, 
  Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC  
  Professional Certified Executive Coach     
  Creative Coaching Group    e:jan@creativecoachinggroup.com      
The award-winning a cappella chorus I sing with recently held a 4-day choreography intensive with an International coach. For most of the 90 women in the singing group, learning choreography is not an area of great comfort.  On Day 1, anticipatory anxiety spread amongst the group - excitement coloured by a large dollop of self-doubt (Will I measure up?) and self-judgment (I'm no good at choreo) , and I knew that adoption of a "learner mindset" would yield the best results for this learning intensive. I introduced the simple mantra  - "I am a Learner" and asked the chorus members: What if we could all show up as a learner? What if we could give our inner critic a break from the self-judgment that shuts down our learning centres? What if we embraced mistakes as opportunities to improve instead of failures? For the weekend we put "I am a Learner" signs on the walls as a visual reminder. The effect on the group was transformational. The learning was faster, retention was greater and the atmosphere filled with laughter and self-reminders of "I am a learner".
A learner mindset is a growth mindset. When we show up as a learner, we are open and willing to grow. The pressure lifts, self-judgment and doubt evaporate and space opens up when we relieve ourselves of the burden of having to know everything.   
Where in your life could you benefit from showing up as a learner? 
World-renowned psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck offers groundbreaking insights in her book, Mindset - The New Psychology of Success. In it she writes about the differences between the limiting "fixed mindset" and the expansive "growth mindset."
In a fixed mindset you believe that basic qualities, such as intelligence and talent, are fixed traits and you spend your life proving those traits. In this kind of mindset you believe that talent is what creates success, you set a bar of excellence for yourself that you are focused on achieving. You measure yourself against that bar and are constantly judging how you have fared. You may be prone to holding others to your 'bar' as well and being judgmental of others.
In a growth mindset you believe that your basic ability can be improved through dedication and hard work, and that talent and brains are merely the starting point. A growth mindset is focused on getting better, on improvement and developing skills so that you perform better than you did before. A set-back or failure is seen as an opportunity to grow.
The benefits of adopting a growth mindset are expanded creativity, innovation, resiliency, development and performance as well as aiding well-being, stress-reduction, inner peace and contentment. In an organization, a growth mindset will help us tap into, capitalize on, and maximize the talents of the members to create a more positive and engaged
organization. A growth mindset has a consistent generative focus on developing the skills to make things better.
5 Steps to Fostering a Growth Mindset
image credit: www.big-change.org  
1/ Show up as a Learner
Are there any situations /areas of your life where there is nothing more you could learn? I doubt it! As they say, when you stop learning you are dead. If we are okay with the fact that there is more for us to learn in any situation in our life, we start to focus our brains not on what is, but what 'could be'. In those areas of your life where you think you know it all, or should know it all, practice showing up as a learner. Or it could be a conversation in which you traditionally would dominate - ask yourself, what can I learn in this conversation? Adopt the mantra: I am a Learner. By exercising our "curiosity" muscle instead of our "knowing" muscle we allow opportunity for other possibilities.  
2/Develop Self-Awareness
Awareness is the first step to any kind of change. Notice what situations and conversations you go into with either a pre-set judgment or limited mindset. Awareness is the first step. Click here to download your Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Awareness Exercise.
When you notice your self-judge turning up the volume, adopt the cool calmness of an outside observer. The great Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander advises his musician students to replace their judging thoughts with observation, and smile, and then say, "How fascinating!" How fascinating that I missed that choreography move again. How fascinating that I am nervous going to this networking function. Etc.
3/ Move from Judge to Assessor
Self-judgment is a debilitating theme that rears its ugly head in a dramatic way with my high-achieving corporate and performer clients. A judgment is a black and white statement of criticism that implies a good or bad labeling of one's value or worth. Most often our inner judge delivers a negative verdict, and we end up feeling bad about ourselves. A judgment rarely has the effect of making us feel better or moving us into being more successful. To move into a more generative state that will create new possibilities, we must shift from self-judgment to self-assessment.

Self-assessment is an objective process that doesn't support or categorize a good or bad point of view. It simply notices what "is" with the clear, calm lens of a scientist. You become an observer! Ask yourself, "What is really happening here?  
E.g. / Assessment: The financial numbers aren't balanced and I am having a challenge with figuring out how to balance the books. Judgment: I am not good with numbers, I am not good at math, I am stupid.  OR  E.g./ Assessment: I am having trouble remembering all the moves in this choreography   Judgment: I am terrible at choreo, I am clumsy, I have a brain like a sieve.
The judge is reactive; an assessor is a learner who can be responsive. An
assessment simply notices what 'is' and then creates freedom and future possibilities for learning, whereas a judgment closes the door. An assessment keeps the sense of our
personal value separate from the evaluation of our functioning or actions.
4/ Create a Measurable Plan
Now that you have identified where you are now, think about where you want to go, and the benchmarks that will show you have moved to that place. Create a plan with small incremental steps to move you forward and put markers in place to measure improvement.
Nurturing a growth mindset involves focusing on progress over time instead of one finite moment or end point. Our journey to personal mastery is a lifelong process.
5/ Reflection and Celebration
As you reflect after an event or conversation, keep to objective evaluation. Think about how you want to improve the next time; draw on your past experience of success, and move into the future from a place of strength and possibility. What would I do differently next time? What could I change for better results? How could I improve? What is the next step to growth? Be sure to celebrate each signpost along the way no matter how small. It's the power of incremental improvement. Every small step moves you forward. And that is worth celebrating! 

Lightbulb of the Month
"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma"   -Eartha Kitt

Finding Your Overtone - Jan's new book is now on sale worldwide

Finding Your Overtone isn't just a book - it's a system to unleash your extraordinary. 


You will learn:

  *how to build an unshakeable foundation for your life or business

 *how to use a generative approach to move from thought to action    

  *how to live and work in your sweet spot for remarkable results


 NOW ON SALE in print and e-versions at your favourite online bookstore worldwide. More information at  www.findingyourovertone.com    

Bulk Sales for Groups with discounts - contact Jan Carley 

Attention Professional Coaches:  
Want to sharpen your skills? Bring more value to your clients?  

Interested in brushing up your coaching skills? Perhaps you haven't been coaching regularly and feel like you might have lost your mojo?  Or, perhaps you have been coaching for years and would love a brush up on your coaching competencies?  
Mentor coaching is an effective way to hone your coaching skills to enhance effectiveness so you will bring more value to your clients.  You will record a coaching session with your client, and then Jan will debrief your coaching using the lens of the ICF's 11 Core Competencies. You will learn both your  signature strength areas that you can step into fully and also get "feed forward" around your "growing edges" as a coach. 
Single sessions/or Value 3-packages are available.
Contact Jan for more information.                                 For those renewing their ACC Credential in 2017   

Join Jan and do a deep dive into the ICF competencies to enhance your coaching skill set. Perfect for the coach needing Mentor Coaching hours for certification. You will experience 7 hours of intimate online group sessions designed to deepen your understanding and practical application of the ICF core competencies and have 3 hours of individual mentor coaching with Jan including auditing and mentor feedback of your coaching.

This 3 month course fulfills the requirements for the 10 hours of mentor coaching needed to renew your ICF ACC Credential, or for ACC and PCC non-ACTP applicants.  

2017 Course Dates
Spring Cohort:  May 15 - August 15
Fall Cohort:  September 18 - December 18

*email Jan Carley  jan@creativecoachinggroup.com for a sign-up application  
(maximum 10 learners per cohort)  
About Jan Carley  
Jan Carley is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. Known as a high-performance catalyst, Jan specializes in coaching individuals and teams to focus and expand their vision and leverage their signature strengths to open possibilities and maximize their potential.
Jan's new book, Finding Your Overtone -  A Guide to Personal and Organizational Success, is now available in online bookstores worldwide. 
Her first book, Harmony from the Inside Out, has been widely acclaimed and is now in its 3rd printing.  
Jan is Associate Faculty of the renowned Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Program, a Professional Mentor coach and a certified facilitator of the Strength Deployment Inventory .   Jan lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is available for individual & team coaching, workshops and speaking engagements worldwide. PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763    email: jan@creativecoachinggroup.com 
Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's new book:  Finding Your Overtone 
Jan's popular first bookHarmony From the Inside Out
If you would like to reprint any part of this ezine in your blog or newsletter, please feel free to do so as long as you include the following credit information: Jan Carley inspires possibilities and leverages peak performance by coaching from the "inside out." Sign up to receive her free 15 page report, 5 Ways to Instantly Focus for Harmony and Success, and receive a free subscription to Jan's monthly coaching e-newsletter, LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT.   Creative Coaching Group www.creativecoachinggroup.com
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