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Are You Causing a Swarm?Mar 27
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Thu, March 27


Client Spotlight with Valerie


Frame of Mind


Today's Client Spotlight:
Valerie Van Cleef

Job: Branch Manager at Signature Premiere Properties

Coaching period: 10 weeks of group coaching with Coach Adi and Coach Dave

Why did you decide to get coached when you did?

I was in a state of uncertainty and dissatisfaction in some areas of my life. I was in a marriage for 33 years that wasn't working. I had been with a company for 22 years that wasn't sustaining me financially. I was a real estate manager and knew I wanted to bring my agents to a higher level of production and recruiting. Kim was a guest speaker at a company event, and I was introduced to Adi and David after I expressed interest in signing up for FOM coaching. I felt like coaching would benefit me; I had no idea at the time how much it would benefit me.

What did you learn about yourself through coaching?

I learned that I want to lead an honest life. It's important to me to be honest about how satisfied I am with my career, relationships and finances. Instead of covering things up and hoping they would change on their own, I started taking control of what I wanted. After 33 years of marriage, I separated from my husband. After 22 years at my job, I decided to take a job elsewhere that could sustain me better financially. I came out of coaching feeling like the truth sets you free, and I had what I needed to make change.

How has coaching affected your personal and professional life?

Coaching was tremendously insightful; it helped me clarify what I really wanted. I learned that it's true - what you focus on grows! I now recognize when my beliefs and attitudes are negative and negatively influencing my actions. I learned how to address my limiting perspectives, attitudes and behaviours, as well as how to identify and push through my fears. Coaching helped me build my confidence and recognize the value I bring to the table.

I have enhanced my leadership style and relationships at work by taking what I've learned at FOM and teaching it to my agents-- helping them identify the self-limiting behaviours preventing them from success.

What made this coaching program unique for you?

I think that compared to other coaching programs, Frame of Mind Coaching distinguishes itself because it gives you the tools to learn how to coach yourself. After finishing my 10 weeks, I found that if I got emotionally distraught about something, I would say to myself, "What would Adi or Dave tell me?" This allowed me to separate my emotions and look at the situation from a better perspective. Going through FOM Coaching made me a stronger, more self-aware person so I could better help myself with some of my personal issues. Some other coaching programs are designed so you will lean on them forever.

Where are you now?

Three years later, I can say that this is the happiest I've been in many years. I recently took a new job position that puts me in an even better space professionally. I'm working with people I love and I'm working within a culture I love. I've been thinking about starting to date, as I work through my fears about being in a new relationship...I'm open to one day getting married again.




Are You Causing a Swarm?


Amy McGrath

My daughter came home from school the other day with some facts about locusts. One of those facts caught my attention. Locusts are actually grasshoppers that become dangerous when they swarm. I looked it up and discovered that the main difference between locusts and grasshoppers is that locusts have the ability to live in either a solitary or "gregarious" state. When locusts are in this gregarious state - all riled up and full of serotonin - they find other locusts more attractive and form swarms. In these swarms they continue to breed and search for food. This is when they're most dangerous from a human standpoint - when they are devouring vegetation.

What I found fascinating at that moment was how a mild-mannered grasshopper could easily become a terror-inducing insect associated with a plague. Sometimes it doesn't take much for us humans to make that same conversion. All it really takes is one person who's fired up and another person who is drawn to them. Things grow from there.

Have you ever spent time with someone who feels strongly one way or another about a certain issue? Their mood can be contagious. Recently, I was telling a friend about some behavior issues my daughter has been having at school and how her teacher has handled them. Upon hearing my story, my friend became very passionate and told me that I needed to speak to the school principal. If she were a locust, you would have seen my friend's hind legs really start to move, much like a locust's before it becomes gregarious. Had I been attracted to her zeal, I would have gotten all riled up too and our swarm would have begun.

Like a swarm of locusts, passionate people can eventually change the landscape. That can be a very good thing when it creates necessary change. Yet it can be a very bad thing when it spreads unnecessary strife, fear, or discontent. You can see swarming happen in classrooms, in the workplace, with families and congregations. If you pay close attention, you'll notice little groups of people forming who feel that the teacher is boring at school, think management at work is unfair, believe that all kids are spoiled, and are convinced that the congregational leadership is lacking. Conversely, you will find people being swept up in movements that enhance school spirit, recognize star employees, rally for later bedtimes, and create a stronger community.

Which groups do you find yourself in? And, if you think deeply about it, what kind of thinking has led you to be in these particular groups? Are you aware of the impact that your thinking has on those around you? Our thoughts and beliefs ultimately have a major impact on ourselves and on our surroundings. Even if we don't purposefully and forcefully do it, each of us naturally transfers our views to those around us.

All it takes is one other person to be on board for a group to start. If you are dissatisfied with work, you'll attract other dissatisfied coworkers. If a relationship with a family member is off, you'll recruit other people to take your side. If you struggle with money, you'll find other people with money issues to hang out with.

In these groups, we search for food to feed the swarm - evidence to support our beliefs. That's when things can get dangerous. That's usually the point when we notice that life isn't how we want it to be - and the potential to go from being a harmless grasshopper to a swarming locust increases dramatically.

Do you find yourself in harmful, dangerous swarms that ruin the landscape? Are you making your environment the place you want it to be? To answer this question, all you have to do is take stock of your Frame of Mind.











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