This Smart Woman Online Thursday we're so proud to bring you a lady of great intellect and dedication. Sally Ward of Wellspring Coaching and Consulting has inspired us on many an occasion. Her warm, friendly smile is one of the things we like most about her. The approach she has to time management, setting boundaries, and just learning to deal with life, is worth studying, and that's why we asked Sally to participate today.
Lucky Jane, to have a flourishing business, and to know someone like Sally, who shares her valuable coaching in a monthly newsletter than reminds us where to put our focus: on US, because once we do that, we can handle family, friends, business, and pleasure. Take her quiz to learn more about yourself. And, read on for an impromptu coaching session:
Lip-sticking: You're an especially busy lady, Sally, but you still find time to write a newsletter. The most recent issue, which Jane was so impressed with, gave pointers for busy folk on time management. This seems to be a huge issue today -- can you shed some light on why time is getting away from us?
Sally: A big reason why time slips away is that people are so busy rushing, multi-tasking, and loading ever more onto an already full plate that they don’t take the time to plan and prioritize. Only 3% of adults have clear, written goals. But those folks accomplish 5-10 times as much as people with equal or better education and ability who haven’t taken the time to get clear about their goals and write them out!
Lip-sticking: Time management...what is it, really? We're puzzled. Business professionals have always been busy. There are still only 24 hours in the day...and the Internet is supposed to make life easier. What's wrong with this picture, in your opinion?
Sally: You can’t manage time. What you CAN manage is your beliefs and actions within a period of time. It’s not possible to create another hour in the day, but one minute of planning can save up to 10 minutes of execution. So the idea is to look at how you can use time more effectively. When I ask people to identify where their time goes, they often discover they’re spending too much time managing e-mail and surfing the net. I use the banquet principle: focus on the main dishes and try not to get too seduced by all the sides and desserts!
Lip-sticking:Tell us a story -- our readers really like stories. Do you have a story about helping a client move forward...manage time better...get more connected to their inner self? How do you help folks do that?
Sally: I help busy, hard-driving people work smarter, not harder. The main thing is to drill down and discover what’s most important. What one goal, if they completed it, would have the greatest impact on their professional life? on their personal life? It’s a process of helping clients identify what they value, noticing what works and doesn’t work for them, and magnifying their strengths so they can tap into their full potential.
One of my executive clients came to me complaining about a lack of work-life balance and rocky relationships at work with subordinates. We worked on her leadership and communication skills. Lo and behold, once she was performing better at work, she was able to cut herself some slack and enjoy more free time.
Lip-sticking: Coaching -- recently at RPCN, we talked about the differences between coaching and consulting. It seems as if there's a thin line there. Can you shed some light on why you call yourself a coach instead of a consultant?
Sally: I do both coaching and consulting. The main difference is this: a consultant comes in, studies the situation, and makes recommendations as to what a client should do. Coaching is a powerful partnership that enables the CLIENT to find answers. It deepens the lifelong process of learning and effectiveness, and maximizes human potential. As a coach, I provide tools that help successful people achieve their goals faster and easier than they would if they were working on their own.
Lip-sticking: Do you think women are really better at communicating? Does that make a woman a better coach? What do you do that is different from what a male coach would do, if anything? We're sure you don't position yourself as any specific 'gender' in your work (though you are a specific gender), but we're wondering if you find your work more rewarding because of your gender?
Sally: I get fired up about my work because there’s nothing more satisfying than partnering with people to achieve their most meaningful goals! It doesn’t have a thing to do with my gender. Great coaches excel at listening, being curious and asking powerful questions, acknowledging, challenging, and holding their clients accountable for their goals. It has to do more with the person and their training than with gender.
Lip-sticking: So...let's talk technology. We think your website is fab! The color is especially welcoming. How did you decide on this design and color scheme? Would you consider it 'female-friendly'?
Sally: Thanks, Jane! Glad you like it. I used color and curved lines to convey the dynamism and energy that characterize the personal change and forward momentum in coaching. I test-marketed it with a group of executive women whose feedback helped me get it right. So yes, it’s female-friendly! [we agree!]
Lip-sticking: Speaking of being female-friendly, can you give us a short lesson on how to set boundaries. We feel that's an area women are not clear on. Most women think they have to take on the whole world. What can you offer us to help us know what boundaries we can set and how to set them?
Sally: Boundaries are the lines you set to protect your time and energy. The place where something annoys you or upsets you is the place where you need to set a boundary. Many women run themselves ragged trying to please, being nice, and meeting everyone else’s needs. They end up feeling resentful and angry. It’s OK to ask for what you need and to say NO. The more competent and successful you are, the more people will ask and expect of you, and the more you need good boundaries in place in order to stay at the top of your game.
Lip-sticking: Naturally, we are not into male-bashing at Lip-sticking, but we do think there are many men out there who still don't get it. In your work, do you deal with men who are still stuck in that old Dick and Jane world of the 20th century? Do men call you 'honey'? How do you handle it when that happens?
Sally: !Coaches "get it", so I'm fortunate to have an enlightened bunch of colleagues. But every now and then, I'll run into a man who likes to diminish women. My husband and my parents can call me ‘honey’. For everyone else, it’s ‘Sally’ and I have no problem telling them!
Lip-sticking: Now, we have to ask...one lady to another, do you like shopping? How about shopping online? What was the first thing you ever bought online and how has your online shopping changed since then?
Sally: I enjoy shopping on vacation when I don’t have to find something in particular. I use online shopping when I have a specific item in mind and want to access it quickly. The first thing I ever bought online was a book. Now I’ve graduated to buying services online. I sampled and purchased my client management system over the net and it’s great.
Lip-sticking: Share an inspirational quote with us: then tell us how this quote has impacted you in your life.
Sally: "You get what you decide." I’m not sure who originally said this, but I can tell you it’s true. Where I am today is based on the decisions I’ve made (or lack thereof) and the goals I decided to set for myself. I can and do make conscious choices about how I want my business and personal life to look. Then I go about creating that, and I help my clients do the same.
What's left to say, dear readers, except: what's not to like about Sally Ward?