Tag: creative

8/1/11 “Phone Therapy”

Good day, team.

Last week, I wrote about love and the importance of it in our private and professional lives. In response to the challenge, my good friend and fellow coaching associate, Kate Dwyer,* sent me the following wonderful poem. This week’s challenge is within her message:

“This poem reminds me of how my best coaching works and why — especially the last stanza. Of course, it’s an extreme example. But we often make tiny self-destructive decisions all day long, and the coach is there to help us choose something else, to choose something more creative, intentional, bold, openhearted. On a tiny scale, it’s like choosing life over death.”

Phone Therapy 
by Ellen Bass

I was relief, once, for a doctor on vacation
and got a call from a man on a windowsill.
This was New York, a dozen stories up.
He was going to kill himself, he said.
I said everything I could think of.
And when nothing worked, when the guy
was still determined to slide out that window
and smash his delicate skull
on the indifferent sidewalk, “Do you think,”
I asked, “you could just postpone it
until Monday, when Dr. Lewis gets back?”

The cord that connected us — strung
under the dirty streets, the pizza parlors, taxis,
women in sneakers carrying their high heels,
drunks lying in piss — that thick coiled wire
waited for the waves of sound.

In the silence I could feel the air slip
in and out of his lungs and the moment
when the motion reversed, like a goldfish
making the turn at the glass end of its tank.
I matched my breath to his, slid
into the water and swam with him.
“Okay,” he agreed.

Your challenge this week is to reflect upon the times you offer your coaching skills to your teammates. See if you can find ways to do more of it. Think about the times you offer advice to help others be more creative, intentional, bold and openhearted. See how the coaching transforms them and opens up new doorways. Find ways to have a positive impact on others. Explore new ways to help them see the same set of circumstances differently. Be the steady hand for them when they’re suffering with a problem at work.

Nothing is more meaningful than tapping into our ability to help others. This week, like the woman on the phone, be the person on the other end who is a lifesaver.

Have a good week!


* Many thanks to my wise woman friend and colleague, Kate Dwyer, for this week’s challenge.

“Phone Therapy” by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love. (c) BOA Editions, Ltd., 2002. Reprinted with permission.
© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

1/24/11 “Innovation and online video”

Good day, team.

This week’s challenge is about innovation. Recently, I read an article in Wired magazine titled “Film School — Why online video is more powerful than you think,” by TED curator, Chris Anderson. It’s all about the significance of online video and the impact it’s having on society.

Anderson’s theory is that online video is creating new global communities, granting members the means and the motivation to step up their skills and broaden their imaginations. He writes, “It’s unleashing an unprecedented wave of innovation in thousands of different disciplines, some trivial, some niche, some central to solving humanity’s problems. But, all in all, it’s helping the world get smarter.”

Here’s an example. Last week I was thinking about starting a new knitting project. My friend’s mother-in-law gave her a pair of hand-knit socks for Christmas, and I was quite impressed with them. They were soft, durable and extremely well made —even pretty. She and I were talking about where we might get a good pattern for knitting socks. What shop in Portland or what book or magazine might give us some good ideas for making socks? In overhearing us, my friend’s young daughter said, “You just need to go on YouTube. I’m sure there’s a good video of someone making socks that would teach you.”

In that moment, I realized what has happened in my lifetime. The old ways of accessing information and getting input have changed drastically. Some say that the print media revolution has become the video revolution, and it could quite possibly have at least as much if not more impact. Watching someone make socks, along with providing instructions, is a much more effective way for me to learn. And, it’s also fun.

Herein lies your challenge this week. Spend some time thinking about fun ways to be innovative and find ways to introduce them at work. It could involve making a video related to your work, but it doesn’t have to. The point is to do something innovative. Maybe you change the way your team conducts meetings by adding a fun exercise at the beginning. Perhaps you suggest new ways your team mates can work together. One coach I know uses old “I Love Lucy” videos to show how Lucy and Ethel often worked together to get themselves out of challenging situations. Another consultant leads weekend retreats during which his clients play games such as bridge, chess, Monopoly, cribbage, horseshoes and so on. He videos his clients while they compete and then in the evening, their entertainment is watching how they play together. This allows them to experience different aspects of each other’s behavior as well as their own.

This week, try being more innovative in your approach. You might find that it wakes everyone up and helps them access more of their creativity and brainpower. And, as the following YouTube video shows, you might just have more fun!


Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search, Inc., all rights reserved.