Posted by: crustynomad | June 18, 2007

Messenger Coaching: The proof it works!

I have been interested in personal development for many years and have read a great number of books on the subject. My favourite authors include Stephen Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People), Jack Canfield (The Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Anthony Robbins (Unlimited Power and Awaken the Giant Within).

In February 2006 I attended the Anthony Robbins four-day Unleash the Power Within event in London. An incredible experience which included me walking across glowing hot coals on the very first day – a truly awesome experience.

Once I’d had the idea for my business Mind Meadow I felt that I needed to prove to myself that I was really serious about it so I searched the Internet for potential courses to develop my skills. So it was that in November 2006 that I gained a Certificate Personal Performance Coaching, an accredited course from the Coaching Academy.

A few weeks later I was able to use the skills from the course, quite by accident, while in an online chat with a friend who is an aspiring author.

What follows is a MSN messenger conversation where I went through basic coaching procedure to help my friend gain some focus for her new writing project. It clearly demonstrates the benefits of asking the right questions, NOT giving advice and providing a clear target and deadline for a particular goal.

It is reproduced with permission and includes spelling mistakes to demonstarte the spontaneity of the conversation at the time.

Jez: How’s the book going?

Pal: ok ish. I’ve just finished work and I’m taking a quick look at it

Pal: printed something off 1st 50 pages. I’ll read it tonight to see if it still amkes sense

Pal: it would be ok if I didn’t have to go out to work!!!!

Pal: I need to have time and motivation!

Jez: Why do you write?

Pal: I enjoy it

Pal: but I know now I have a dead line before I didn’t

Jez: Why the problem with motivation then?

Pal: well space is one problem

Pal: I can only get on the pc when my husband is out….he works from home in the office

Pal: so sometimes I think is it worth making a start only for Neil to come home and I have to get off the pc

Pal: we have a different pc for his work but the office is so small I can’t get in ant the same time……………

Jez: OK, bear with me with this…

Jez: On a course recently they told me this acronym


Jez: G – Your GOAL

Jez: R- REASONS for NOT achieving it already

Jez: O – OPPORTUNITIES for achieving it now

Jez: W – WHEN are you going to do it – Be specific

Jez: Think of 3 things you can do to get more PC time

Jez: It will come but you need to have an open mind

Pal: Later the kids will all be in fighting over it…………………….I need a laptop

Pal: I think also I know I’ve got this deadline… seems more like WORK if you know what I mean

Jez: Don’t think of reasons why you can’t but what you can do

Pal: I must not let it take away the enjoyment out of my writing

Jez: Don’t think of it as work if you enjoy it

Jez: You have an opportunity to do something you love – not many people do that

Pal: I ‘m also a bit worried that the editor won’t like my additions……………

Pal: then I’ll have to rewrite

Jez: Don’t worry about things you have no control over

Jez: You are making additions for the right reasons

Jez: You are doing them because you believe they are correct

Pal: true whose to say my aditions won’t be loved by thousands

Pal: by then won’t I get too cocky if I believe all this……..doesn’t pride happen before a fall

Jez: They say that but it’s belief that gets you where you want to go in life

Jez: If we all worried what might go wrong we’d never do anything

Pal: I know. I do believe that

Pal: but sometimes you just can’t help doubting yourself

Jez: If you feel comfortable you are not challenged so you want to feel a little uncomfortable so that you know you are moving forward

Jez: Comfortable is safe but is it fulfilling?

Pal: I know trouble is I like feeling comfortable

Pal: but you’re right

Jez: Do you want to be a writer full time?

Pal: yes

Jez: OK, what can you do to make that a reality?

Pal: earn enough to give up my job???

Jez: How will you do that?

Pal: no really finish my manuscript and get my first novel in print

Jez: How are you going to make that happen?

Jez: And when?

Jez: Be specific

Pal: well reach my deadline!!!of end March/April

Jez: Not specific enough!

Jez: When will you complete the manuscript!

Pal: but just cos I’ts in print doesn’t mean it will sell well enough to make money

Jez: Is that important in terms of writing the manuscript?

Pal: well I said I had to re vamp up to page 50 today and I have. I want to revamp the rest by end of Jan

Pal: no it’s no important in terms of writing this

Jez: Say EXACTLY what you want to do and by when SPECIFICALLY

Pal: revamp the lot by 30th Jan

Jez: What time

Pal: ermmm6pm????

Jez: OK you have something to focus on

Pal: I will do that I know…….(I have to)

Pal: shall I buy a laptop to succeed

Jez: Not because you have to but because you WANT to

Pal: I’ll tell Neil my motivational coach said it would help me acive my goal

Jez: You do that 🙂

Jez: If you want to do it and he respects your ambition you should at least discuss it

Pal: we have been discussing it but…………..

Jez: but????

Pal: I want to go on holiday

Jez: What’s more important to you?

Jez: Genuine question

Pal: well I feel I can still do the writing even though it would be easier space wise with a lap top and a holiday would be for all the family

Jez: OK, but remember that you need to look for ways to make things happen rather than reasons not to.

Jez: Only concentrate on what you can control

Pal: that’s good advice

Jez: Yours readers may love it or hate it but you can’t do anything about it other than do the best you can with your writing

Jez: On the coaching course we were told not to give advice but to ask questions

Pal: really?

Jez: The idea is to get the person to answer their own questions

Jez: I could say what I’d do in your situation but that’s not necessarily right for you

Jez: Only you know what is best for you

Two weeks later I received the following email.

Hi Jez,

Just wanted to let you know, I’d set the date of 30.01.07 at 6pm to complete the first re vamp of my book……………….guess what I complete it 30.01.07 4pm!!!

Thanks for that.


I felt that I got as much out of this experience as she did – it was very uplifting and fulfilling and encourages me to take these ideas and run with them.

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