TIER(c) System Expanding to TIERS(c)

October 30, 2007 § 4 Comments

Quick Note

Through the work with clients using the TIER(c) system I realize that there was another element that needed to be added to it. Using the TIER(c) system we explore the client’s Temperament, Intellect, Expectations and Reality but there’s one more thing that’s necessary in order for people to attain a Work/Life Symmetry that works for them. I will refer to it as Satisfaction for the purposes of the TIER system but it encompasses satisfaction, meaning and purpose.

More on that later, but in the meantime give some thought to the things in your life that give you satisfaction. That doesn’t only mean what makes you happy. Happiness is great and no one is discounting it but it can be fleeting. It comes in moments or times and can’t possibly be sustained 24/7. In addition, if that’s the goal and the focus what happens during the rest of life? You know, the daily life stuff that isn’t always a smile a minute, grand, fun, over-the-moon great.

What sustains you?
What gives meaning to your life?
What gives you a sense of purpose?
Who is important to you and why?
What is important to you and why?

So Many Questions – A couple of answers…

October 30, 2007 § Leave a comment

I ask zillions of questions myself and have lots of patience for answering other people’s questions (hey – I taught first grade and kindergarten, it’s a job requirement “thou shalt answer zillions and zillions of questions during the course of the school year”). Having said that, I must say that some of your email questions get me thinking about why the information might be important or of note. I’m not sure why I’m going to write the following but here goes. Maybe I’m just exhausted and know not what I do…

Now, professionally speaking when working with clients I don’t necessarily answer all their questions because the questions are not always relevant to the coaching and sometimes the question is information.

What do you want to know and why? It’s a great exercise to try with yourself.
What information are you looking for and how will it help you to know it?
Will it inform a decision? Provide more information about whatever? I read a great line recently which I wish I could attribute but in true “reading overload” don’t remember where I read it. It was something like “information can insulate against shock”. Sometimes people want the information as a protective device, insulation as it were. There are more and more reasons people ask questions, too many to mention here. Then again there’s something to be said for “sometimes a question is just a question”.

So here are a couple of answers.
A number of you wanted to know why I mentioned taking the seat near the door at the doctor’s office (I would have been curious too). Occupational hazard in addition to personal preference.

Dan asked here what many of you wanted to know and a question that comes up in workshops and seminars. What do I read for inspiration? It depends on what I’m working on. I devour books of every sort on every topic. I read vast amounts of non-fiction as well as fiction and when working in, or learning, a new genre I read everything I can on the genre, topic and works in that genre. That goes for fiction, short stories, essays, scripts etc. I also recommend reading current magazines on the topic. You’ll find out what’s going on, what the new trends are, what’s being picked up or published etc. Subscribe to internet newsletters as well, there are tons on most topics – look through them and see which ones match your reading and information style.

Don’t forget to go back to the classics in the area you’re trying to learn about. Also, I recommend books that describe people’s experiences when they were first starting. They’re very helpful as far as finding out what to expect, what’s considered “normal” and what should set off warning bells.

What am I reading now? Professionally….well – at the risk of your eyes glazing over, and knowing that talking about it can clear a room pretty quickly, I’ll leave that for another time – or perhaps for The Dramatic Mind sometime in the future.

For fun – I’ve been devouring books by Douglas Kennedy. He wrote “The Big Picture” which is one of the few books I read and re-read. I like some of his themes and having started out as a playwright his dialogue is spot-on. He relocated to the UK and his books are only printed there now so I just tracked down a whole slew of them and have been inhaling them.

The William Zinsser book I mentioned in an earlier post is
Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel by William, Editor; Allende, Isabel; McCarry, Charles; Piercy, Marge, Contributors Zinsser (Paperback – 1989) .

About movie recs. You are correct that I haven’t mentioned any lately, as far as writing, editing, character, story etc. That’s because I have been soooooo underwhelmed by anything I’ve seen recently. That includes lots of the over-hyped movies we’ve been hearing about. Most recent DVD? An Israeli film called “One Small Step” or “Tza’ad Katan” which is the last film produced by someone I knew very well who passed away a couple of weeks after the movie was released in 2003. It’s a sweet movie with some wonderful dialogue, characters and insights. In all honesty, I can’t be very objective about this one but I loved it.

That’s about it for now.

Enjoy the day,

Resolutions for a New You

October 25, 2007 § 3 Comments

Can it be that time of year again? (almost….) Well, the summer is really over, the holidays are on the horizon and along with planning for Thanksgiving, the new year is on its way. People are starting to think about New Year’s resolutions and with it the panic of “ohmigodIcantbelieveIdidntdoxyorzresolutionfromlastyear”. Yes. In one breath. It can feel that intense.

This year why not resolve to change the process of resolutions? I’ll start here with a general outline and we can take it from there in the next couple of months.

We can use the holidays that are approaching as markers and ways to begin.
For Halloween imagine who you’d like to “dress up” as.
Who do you want to be?
What kind of life do you want to be leading?
How much of it matches up to what you’re currently doing?
What needs to change?

During November we’ll focus on the things we’re grateful for. What’s working in your life? What do you want more of? What do you want less of?

During December we’ll focus on the specific changes that you might want to make and strategize different ways to go about making them.

By the time 12:00am January 1st rolls around (ok – cut yourself some slack – January 1 or 2 is good) you’ll be ready. You’ll know what you want to keep, what you want to change, what you want to add, subtract or multiply and how to go about doing it.

Ready? How about ready to get ready? Good enough.

Some More Answers to Nanowrimo and Writing Questions

October 25, 2007 § 2 Comments

Sometime in the near future the writing and creativity blog, q&a and other information will be on The Dramatic Mind . Until that gets going I’ll post that information here. Many of you sent in questions about Nanowrimo. I’ll try and answer them in general here. If I haven’t answered your question here feel free to email me at kiki at dailylifeconsulting dot com. To current clients – we’ll be able to discuss which option is best for you at greater length but you can use these suggestions as a starting point.

Scriptwriting For those of you who wanted some sources for scriptwriting this month’s MovieMaker magazine is the annual issue chock full of information. They have a list of different software and describe them pretty well. FinalDraft is a great program and saves you a lot of the formatting work. There are also great storyboard programs available now that make the storyboarding process easier. For Nano and first draft purposes don’t focus on editing programs. The goal now is to get the story out of you and on to the page.

Fiction One of the best books I’ve come across on writing fiction is The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop: A Guide to the Craft of Fiction (Modern Library Paperbacks)by Stephen Koch . It’s dense and full of great information as well as writing exercises and resources.

Children’s Stories – An amazing and inspiring book on writing for children is
ORIGINS OF STORY: On Writing for Children by Barbara Harrison, Gregory Maguire, and Erik Blegvad

Another good one is William Zinsser’s Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children

Playwriting I did most of that reading back in the day when I was doing my MFA but there’s a great book on the three act structure directed at screenwriters which I think is amazing for playwrights as well Aristotle’s Poetics for Screenwriters: Storytelling Secrets From the Greatest Mind in Western Civilization . (Yes – I spelled “one who writes plays” differently both times – long, old discussion…)

William Zinsser also wrote some more great books on writing. One of them on writing political fiction and essays whose title escapes me now. I’ll find it on my bookshelf later and post it. It’s very very hard to get – took me forever to track it down but really great reading.

Memoir I gave my 90 year old professor/mentor the book Your Life as Story by Tristine Rainer which I had seen and thought was a great way to explore organizing a life’s story in different ways. She likes the book but still isn’t sure she wants to write her autobiography even though everyone is begging, begging her to. But the truth is one should only write what one needs/wants to and the story that doesn’t let you go.

Ok – as for inspiration and why bother and how to books – that’s for another time. And for those of you who asked about the “Authorship and Authority” system/program that I developed, that’s based on journal writing and self-exploration more than story, fiction, children’s stories etc.

Whew! That should be enough to get you going. Let me know how it goes!

Enjoy the day and live a great story!

Quick Answer to Questions about Best-Way-To-Do Nanowrimo

October 24, 2007 § 1 Comment

Ok – Nanowrimo is starting next week and many of you have been asking about the “right way to do it”. Dingdingdingdingding there is no “right way”.

What works for you? Does an outline help you focus on the story? Go for it! Does automatic free writing work for you? Go for it! Do you write better in a coffee shop surrounded by strangers? That’s where you should be. Do you write better in a dark room with soundproofing and blinders on your eyes and ear plugs?(Could I make this up? Jonathan Franzen said he needed something of the sort while writing The Corrections)If that’s the case, do it.

You might find that different pieces or parts of the story require different internal or external stimulation. You might be the type (pardon the pun) who writes for 24 hours straight and then collapses. You might be the type who writes for an hour and leaves the thought hanging so you can begin again the next day. WHATEVER WORKS!

Some of you wrote that you find Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer is a bit too pure and artsy and internal and touchy-feely. Try Stephen King’s book On Writing. It’s down to earth, fantastic, real and really gets you going whether or not you’re one of his rabid readers.

And for those of you who have asked me whether or not I’ll ever compile all the workshops and writing into a book on creativity and writing. Thanks for asking – it’s in the works but no idea when it will be ready… and that’s a workshop for another day…..

Enjoy the day,

Coaching and Orthopedic Medicine

October 24, 2007 § 2 Comments

Huh? Yes I know what you’re thinking. Something like “huh”? I get lots of emails asking what goes on in coaching and how I could coach in so many different areas and with people of different ages and how is it different than the one-size-fits-all and do-these-ten-things-and-your-
life/career/schooling/creativity/relationship-will-be-completely-fixed-and perfect. I never would have thought of Orthopedic Medicine as a metaphor to describe the coaching I do except that I broke my foot and had the opportunity of spending time in the Orthopedist’s office and see the things that he does. First of all my deepest gratitude, respect and thanks to my doctor. He is the best.

So the waiting room is jam packed, I take my usual spot right near the door, take the latest issue of Outside magazine and wait. People of all ages, shapes and sizes come in. From senior citizens to juniors in high school to babies. People in lots of pain, moderate amounts of pain or discomfort. People walking in on crutches, being wheeled in in wheelchairs, walking unassisted but limping, walking in leaning on someone else. People at all stages of their injuries, just happened yesterday, fell last year but still bothering me, healing very well and even a pair of mirror injuries.

What’s different about everyone there? The people are all different, at different stages of their lives, the circumstances that brought them there are different, the injuries are different, the way that they’ll heal is different, what they’ll need to heal will vary, how long it will take them to heal will vary.

What’s the same about everyone there? For the most part the people’s internal musculature is the same, bones, ligaments all the internal stuff we can’t see.

What else is the same? The doctor’s knowledge of that internal network and the ways to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it. How to get people back on their way. Whatever way that was/is and whatever way they want that to be going forward.

Not everyone came in there needing to be able to walk for hours and hours every day like I do. Some people might have come in because they want to do the Ironman (I’ve often wished I wanted to….) some people might just want more range of motion, flexibility, to lessen pain, to increase mobility and on and on.

I didn’t even know how many things an orthopedist does until I left and took a look at my receipt. It was a full page of all the different areas and treatments that a patient might need treatment for. Truly I had no idea. The doctor is trained to know those areas, the injuries, how to detect them and how to treat them. Everyone left his office in better shape then they were when they came in.

How does that relate to coaching and TIER(c) coaching in particular? Well, I work with people of all different ages, at different stages of their lives, who come in with different life experiences and want different things moving forward. How could that possibly be one-size-fit-all? How could there possibly be a magic bullet that works for everyone? Believe me I wish there were, I would have tried it myself years ago.

The TIER(c)system is an outgrowth of my training and experience as an educator, mental health professional, director, planner and developer of programs, the creative arts and a vast vast insatiable curiosity about people, what they want and how to help them get it. TIER(c) stands for Temperament, Intellect/Intelligence, Expectations and Reality. Everyone has different combinations of them and they work in different measures at different stages and depending on what people want.

One of the great challenges for most people is figuring out what it is that they want. For example last week I was speaking to a journalist for an article on work satisfaction. She asked terrific questions and mentioned the one-size-fits-all how-to articles about how to know when to quit a job. I was telling her about two of my clients who work at the same company and are struggling with that issue in their lives yet the coaching experience is so different for both of them. One of them is at her job as a stopgap, she’s focusing on building a business on the outside and needs her current job to support her until then. Her level of tolerance for unpleasantness is much higher than the other woman who is searching for meaningful work, thought she’d found it and now realizes that she was looking for something else.

With one client the coaching task is to manage the discomfort and continue to have energy and drive to build her business. The other client’s task is to explore alternatives and not take any measures until such time as she’s able to do what she needs to do and know what that is.

Using the TIER(c) system we find out WHO you are, WHAT you like and want, WHERE you want to go, WHEN you’d like to be there and HOW you’re best able to get there. Whether that’s work/career, transition, education, creativity whatever your unique set of circumstances and desires are.
(Yes, yes it’s that all I needed to know about coaching I learned by teaching first grade again – can’t seem to get away from that.)

Coaching helps you manage your life today, explore your dreams, options and wishes for the future, focus on the tasks necessary to achieve them, and get you on your feet to, and into, the life you want to lead!

Enjoy the day!

Barnes and Noble Writing Workshop – Rescheduled for November 12th + Nanowrimo Info

October 22, 2007 § 1 Comment

As I mentioned, tonight’s Barnes and Noble Writing Workshop has been cancelled due to foot breakage. The next one is on Monday, November 12th at 7:00pm.

I was going to talk about Nanowrimo and many of you have been asking about it since I posted on it last week. NaNoWriMo is an annual (November) novel writing project. It’s a great way to kick-start your writing, break through some blocks, practice some automatic writing, try out new styles or a new genre and all around have some very intense and creative fun.

I’ve gotten some emails and questions asking for suggestions. Here’s the rub. Every one of you has a different style of writing, a different writing process, different reasons for writing, different subject matter that you’re writing and lots of other differences. What you have in common are the tools of your creative endeavor. Words. Even the way you go about putting them down is different. I work with writers who use pen and paper, some dictate to someone or to a tape or podcast, some type on old favorite typewriters or computers, some on newfangled PDAs or even their phones.

The challenge is to assist YOU whoever you are, in getting what you want to say on the page. In articulating your thoughts, emotions, ideas and anything else and getting it from inside to the outside. Ok. That means you’ve got some thinking to do about the who, what, where, when and whys of your material and process. Having said that – I can answer generally here – Susannah H. posted a comment and question about it last week.

Susannah, thanks for the kind words and comment. The first thing I would do is check out Nanowrimo and register. As for getting ready. A great book that I recommend is Becoming A Writer by Dorothea Brande. It’s great for beginning writers as well as experienced writers and it’s the kind of book you can go back to over and over.

It was written in 1934 and isn’t a how-to or about the ins and outs of fiction or other forms of writing. It really is about becoming a writer. Harnessing the inner and getting it out there. It has a beautiful purity about the process and writing, in my opinion because it was written in 1934 when writing and reading were so culturally different than they are now. Especially since the advent of personal technology and the immediacy of writing and electronic publishing that it has brought with it.

Brand’s book is a great place to begin. Please email or comment with more questions – I’m not sure what kind of writing you do or how you go about getting it on the page. It’s easier to make recommendations if I have more info.

As for Nanowrimo if you decide to do it – have fun! I’m doing it this year and looking forward to the insane pace of it and to see if I can accomplish what I’d like to.

Enjoy the day,

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