This blog reflects ideas I've stumbled upon in my executive coaching practice helping clients deal with opportunities and problems.

Grow a Good Habit

I’ve been with a number of new clients recently who need to grow their skills dealing with subordinates. These clients are all Type A. That is, they operate at a fast pace. When they need to slow down to listen better or to delegate they actually feel pain from holding back. The pain can help them grow the habits they need.

One client needs to listen better; allowing others to speak their ideas, to stop finishing their sentences and to not fill every pause. Every time she does one of those three things she feels pain. She can’t measure immediately whether her better listening is working but she can measure how much pain she’s feeling and how often. She now knows that when, at the end of a day, she can remember lots of instances of pain that she’s been meeting her listening objectives. She can confidently know that if she keeps a diary and records ‘pain’ every day for 21 days that she’ll have done a good job growing a good habit.

Can you think of some new habit you’d like to grow and the associated pain that comes with practice. Put the two together to help you grow.

Posted by Jerome Shore

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26 March 2014 ~ Comment

Thoughts Into Action

Regular readers know much of my time is spent as a marketing coach. I coach professionals, like lawyers, in their business development activities.

I find that it’s a common human trait to have plenty of thoughts about what to do. In my work my clients themselves, and with my help, have no shortage potential actions to think about and to do.

The essence of success when working with a coach, I think, is to turn thoughts about the right things to do, into action. I often say that it’s my job to help people to do ‘more of the right stuff and less of the wrong’. My job is to help my clients figure out the right and wrong and ways to do more of the former.

Is it the same for you? Do you have lots of thoughts and ideas about what you need to do more of? And less of? Here are three ideas on how to proceed.

1. Get what you know down on paper. Just simply make two lists, side by side; more of, less of. My go to for less of is watching TV. My go to for more of is activities that are important but not urgent; like relationship building.

2. Work on your more of list first thing in the morning before you get side-tracked. If you work diligently on your more of list for a half hour every morning that you’re not sidetracked by an emergency, you’ll achieve a great deal. A coffee date to cultivate relationships a few morning a week can do wonders.

3. Believe in persistence. Much will get in your way. Don’t let it stop you. Give yourself a lengthy test period, like a year, to see what happens. And then commit to turn your more of thoughts into action for the entire time before evaluating. Time on task has never been disputed as a solid strategy to get what you want.

Relationship Between Performance Management and Coaching

I was recently asked about the relationship between Performance Management and Coaching. My response.

1. Performance management ought to grow out of a performance review which specifies objectives [or goals].

2. The objectives might relate to performance [success], productivity or peace of mind.

3. I like to think that objectives are about desired future outcomes [dreams with deadlines].

4. Those outcomes will result from meeting a series of process goals which are baby steps that need to be taken along the way.

5. Coaching firstly helps to clarify the outcome objectives and the process goals.

6. Coaching secondly helps to achieve the process goals by getting them lined up in the right order and tackled in the right way.

Always Be Searching

I’m nearing retirement. My life is pretty good. My executive coaching business thrives. My personal and family lives have turned out very well. But, for a number of months I’ve felt a malaise because something seems to be missing. So, I’ve been searching for an answer to the question ‘what’s the meaning of life’?

I’ve found two candidate answers. Have fun and be lovable.

The first came from the Woody Allen movie Vicki Cristina Barcelona. Here’s the enlightening line from Juan Antonio, the male lead. “The trick is to enjoy life, accepting it has no meaning whatsoever.”

The second came from a book, Winter Journal by Paul Auster. The book is a panorama of his life as he approaches age 65. It includes little bios of his parents and in-laws as they approach old age with all the problems of decline. Auster channels Joubert to note that ‘being lovable’ is one thing you can still work on as you age. I immediately thought that it’s easy for ‘little old ladies’ but what am I to do?

Enough about me. What’s the question and the lesson here?

The question is what do you really want? Not always easy to figure out. I have found in my coaching practice that any halfway successful North American has a pretty robust life, fruitful in excess of what our bodies have evolved to need. That is, some people drop out of coaching because they already have enough and have no real motivation for more. They’ve come to me with the wrong answer.

The lesson is that you have to let your best guess of the question marinate for some time in your subconscious. While it’s marinating, and this is what happened to me, the answer, or some answer, will appear because, at least subconsciously, you’re searching for it. Always Be Searching.

Posted by Jerome Shore

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16 February 2014 ~ Comment

Precise Goals Are Better

I’m reading this golf book called ‘The 30-Second Golf Swing‘ by T.J. Tomasi, PH.D. It’s yet another golf psychology book that, hopefully, will help me reach my goal to break 80.

This sentence seemed apt to what this blog is about; “With a fuzzy set of instructions, your brain is a poor commander in directing your army of muscles to swing the club correctly.”

The implication for work is to get some detailed clarity into your goals. So, say you’re describing your ideal job in the future. You’ll do a better job if you think about more of the details. Think about the kind of work, the kind of boss, the kind of organization, the kind of environment, the kind of organizational culture etc. you’d like to have. All that detail will help your sub-conscious help you make decisions and take action that will propel you in the right direction. Paint a detailed picture.


I’m reading The Signature of All Things, a new book by Elizabeth Gilbert. She also wrote Eat, Pray, Love. Part of the plot in The Signature book takes place in Tahiti in the 1850′s when it was settled, but still pretty primitive.

At the time there was a role certain elders played called Haranguer. The general role of a haranguer was to accompany warriors into battle and, acting like a personal coach, motivate them to fight harder. The method of motivation was for the hananguer to be continuously speaking to [yelling at] their warrior about how good and strong they were and how their ancestors were successful warriors as well.

As a coach myself I like the idea. I sometimes must harangue my clients. My method seems to be more like a cheerleader or a reminder-in-chief letting them know that they ‘can do it’ if only because they have done so in the past.

Posted by Jerome Shore

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14 January 2014 ~ Comment

New Year Resolutions

I can’t imagine why anyone would care, except me, but I have space to fill so here’s three which have helped me in the past and I could do more with.

1: Be more open. I’m usually a careful communicator. I think that’s because I subconsciously fear something bad will happen. But as time goes by I realize not much bad actually happens in real life. It does on TV but that’s not where I live. So I’m consciously trying to move conversations along quicker by being more open. As a coach this is very helpful and is especially handy when I’m on the phone with a client.

2: Have more fun reading. Why slog? I just can’t see it. I’ve been reading a lot of Tom Wolfe recently. It’s easy going and the ideas are very good. I can use them in real life.

3: Transition to more direct helping. I’ve been pretty good with cash charity for the last few years but not so much with direct helping. I realize I’m missing out so I’m going to get some hands on involvement going. I want the pleasure I see many other people reaping.

Posted by Jerome Shore

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05 January 2014 ~ Comment

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