Saturday, 14 August 2010

Coaching on Time Management

Time management has to be one of the most popular problems that people want to improve through life coaching. Clients might be looking to improve productivity, increase sales, get a new job, or get fit, but the coaching often involves an aspect of time management. A fitness analogy is that members of health clubs nearly all want to lose weight. This comes in different guises; tone up, fight the flab, drop a size, etc, but the basic goal is the same for many.

People who are new to coaching are often looking for advice or expertise; in other words they want the coach to provide the solution. This is not what coaching is about, because 9 times out of 10, it will not help the client. And I believe that this is also why time management is such a common problem. Many managers impose their ways of doing things on employees, or when people ask a friend or colleague for help, they’re often given a solution that works for the friend, which may be a short term fix, but doesn’t normally stick.

Different strokes work for different folks. There are a lot more distractions these days, but there are also more tools to help us to manage time and focus. Making lists works for some, while others use prioritising, planning, scheduling… personally, I’m a big fan of eating frogs. The key is to find what works for you.

Coaching helps with the motivation to make a change and to keep up momentum. We check on the desire for change (if it’s not there, it’s not time to change yet). If the time is right, we set smart goals, investigate options, identifying what might work, gauge the way forward, and move towards the goal with purpose and belief. Good coaching is non-directive, i.e. the client comes up with the options and solutions themselves, and 9 times out of 10, these stick.

Helping people to seemingly create more time is very rewarding!

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Rewards for existing members

How many times have you been embittered by new member offers when you are already a member? To sign up afresh would actually get you a better deal than the one that you are locked into.

Department stores (e.g.
Debenhams) often give new cardholders a 10% discount offer for signing up that day. These are advertised on banner displays around the store, but not available to existing cardholders. Sky TV offers fantastic bundles to new subscribers, while existing customers need to (try to) cancel their subscription and start again to benefit from similar deals.

Compare this to the mobile phone industry, which rewards users on contract renewal with discounts of 20% on new call packages, in addition to free handset upgrades. In this highly competitive market, phone companies know that loyalty is key and focus on the positive existing customer experience, knowing that it will bring more friends and family onto the network.

Unfortunately, the health club industry is still like the former in general. Banners call out to new members as they arrive in the car-park advertising “no joining fee”, “August for free”, “2 for 1 membership”… none are aimed at the existing member. A highly motivated, positive thinking member might tell their friends about the offer, but most will just be disappointed that new members are getting a better deal.

The existing member must feel that they are equal if not better off than the new member. Paying last year’s rate is a safe, revenue protecting strategy (if fees have gone up this year). More audacious clubs will offer a month or more free after a year or two, a less exciting offer might be a free bag. The key is to make the existing member feel really appreciated for staying for another year, and to keep rewarding them and turn them into members (and fans) for life.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

BHF London Jogs - GG Fit raise £1,535

We’re really pleased to announce that GG Fit raised over £1,500 for the British Heart Foundation by taking part in the London Jogs Trilogy in 2010.

Justgiving page closed today, and our total sponsorship was £1,205, with an additional £333 in good old Gift Aid.

The London Jogs Trilogy are three 10k runs around London’s Hyde Park (
April), Tower of London (May) and Canary Wharf (June). The main reasons we take part are to raise money and awareness for the BHF, but the trilogy is also a great excuse to set some fitness goals, get colleagues together, and to motivate others to exercise and raise a little money for charity. Asking for sponsorship for all three events ‘allows’ us to send 3 or 4 e-mails to our contacts, maximising donations for the BHF, which is a very important charity.

On the subject of motivation, it is a big help knowing that you have 3 or 4 team mates that are relying on you to help them through the 10k. On the loop circuits, it’s great to encourage each other on, or to try and catch and lap team-mates. Looking forward to the team beers afterwards is more of a motivator for others, with the inevitable “I wasn’t sure at the start, felt worse in the middle, but feel fantastic now!” The finish buzz always feels great.

Well done to BHF for organising such great events (
more here). If you know of any other interesting 10k runs that we should consider taking part in, please let us know in the comments below.