Setting Goals for Your New Year’s Resolution?

As the festive season approaches and everybody is busy with their Christmas shopping it becomes natural for many to sort out and complete just the essential tasks while postponing the rest to the New Year.  Don’t we all feel as if, in the New Year, days will have 30 hours and weeks will be 10 days long?  We are all convinced that we can catch up with all things we left behind and postponed.  A sad fact of life is that many plans do not even get into execution mode or, when they do, they get overridden by more urgent activities: by mid or late January we are back at square one.

New Year’s resolution for some businesses might be the implementation that new strategy, growing sales, cutting costs, gaining market share, improving morale, resolving personal conflicts, launching new products and contributing to an early end of this recession.

Personally we want to be better organized, loose those extra pounds accumulated with excessive drinking and eating, spend more time with friends and family and even having time to plan that long awaited holiday.  In the current economic climate we might have to plan about dealing with redundancy and finding a new job.

Setting goals, powerful goals, for your business and life is difficult and it is even more difficult to focus and achieve them when we have busy lives with lots of interferences.  A promise you made to yourself it is often a commitment that can be ignored when you feelfading away the energy that initially inspired it.

This is why an increasing number of individuals from all walks of life seek help from a professional coach. Being a specialist in setting goals, helping you to formulate and define them so that they can be inspiring for you, the coach can improve dramatically your focus and ensure you will achieve or even surpass your expectations.  Each goal should be realistic, e.g. you know you can achieve it, but at the same time it should be stretching your will, e.g. if it is easy to achieve there will be no challenge in going for it and little satisfaction once you achieved it.  Whether the goal is business or life related it is important to set proper strategies to define how it will be achieved and build, week after week, a set of actions to be completed toward the goal achievement.  Professional coaching, with its inspiring and self learning approach, truly involves you and your commitment to a more successful career, business and personal life.

At MaGa Coaching we are offering our experience and expertise to people in senior management positions that would like to achieve more in their professional life and in their company together with individuals that are equally inspired in achieving more and look for professional help to do so.

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This post was written by massimo on 19 December 2008

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Help for business management: consultant or coach?

Many businesses, from sole traders to medium and large organizations, are taking measures against the recession facing us. Some of them will thrive, others will carry on business as usual and others, perhaps a percentage larger than average, will eventually close down.

Those directors and business owners who are analysing their businesses to formulate a strategic plan are often encountering some recurring, well known problems:

  • Inadequate organization that sometimes duplicates tasks, costs and generates inefficiency
  • Malfunctioning communication that causes information overflow for certain people and lack of information for others
  • Inefficient management that often lacks on focus and correct prioritization of tasks
  • Personal conflicts that cause friction and further lowers the already strained morale.

In many cases hiring an external professional (EP) to help with current management issues has its advantages:

  • The EP can offer a detached view to problems and the daily routine that most employees and managers usually have
  • The EP will be unaffected by the “we always did this way” kind of mentality
  • The EP will be willing to solve problems and sort out the causes involved in them irrespectively of historical events within the organization

For many years the a business consultant was synonymous with the above indicated EP. More recently a growing number of professionals moved toward a different way of helping companies and their business: becoming a business coach.  A business coach can help identifying, addressing and solving company problems. This is done by supporting the business owner or the management team to implement a solution that suits their company, management style and available resources in terms of people and capital.

A consultant, whether an independent freelance or part of a consultancy firm, tends to be highly specialized and specific in the tasks to be carried out. Nonetheless many people that used a consultant for their organization have complained about one main aspect of consultancy practice: consultants are in fact analyzing problems very well, with tools and methodologies that are not necessarily obvious or well known, but then they deliver a report that states what wrong and eventually how to address it. Another aspect of consultancy that can be often overlooked is the quality of people found in the organization they are consulting. Not every manager or entrepreneur has the same business school preparation that most consultants have. The suggested solutions might be difficult if not impossible to implement with the available resources and so the whole plan falls apart.

In a coaching approach problems are truly solved by the manager or the executive being coached. The coach will not simply suggest a solution expecting an automatic implementation. In fact suggesting is definitely the last thing that coaching offers: it supports the client to reach the solution with a structured and properly organized conversation, guiding the client to take action and ensuring these actions deliver the expected results.

While consultants are an excellent way of addressing business issues and problems providing specialized help in very specific sectors the business coach will help focussing on existing, perhaps under utilized skills and talent pulling the solution from the inside, in a very cost effective way.

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This post was written by massimo on 27 November 2008

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New web site for MaGa Coaching

MaGa Coaching announces the launch of its new web site in November 2008.  Four essential requirements dictated the significant restyling. The new website now:

  • offers an easier, more intuitive user interface improving navigation
  • reflects the latest change of company logo and corporate colours
  • enhances SEO (search engine optimization)
  • sets the basis for further growth in terms of pages and content

This new site, based on WordPress that is the best CMS (content management system) for blog development, carries a number of important advatages for both visitors and publishers.  The Blog section contains all news, article and other PR published by the company and, in perfect blog fashion, it is possible for viewers to actually leave comments and establish a true, two ways, conversation with the company and its people.

Massimo Gaetani, managing director of MaGa Coaching, stated:

“I am very pleased with the overall result: I hope our customers and viewers will appreciate the new look and let us know by leaving comments on the site itself”.

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 22 November 2008

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Coaching For Redundancy

Cambridge is one of the strongest business centres in the country: nonetheless many companies are and will be affected by recession more than others. While some of the best known names in the high tech scene have firmly locked their head count others realized they need to reduce costs, often by laying off part of their staff.

It is a fact that only about 20% of people, 1 in 5 individuals, actually enjoy their job. It happened that many of us, at some point in our lives, fell into jobs almost by accident or (lack of) opportunity and then get stuck with them for a long time. On the other hand most of the clients I have worked with in my career, once they have been made redundant have moved on to something better. For some people redundancy can have detrimental effects on their self confidence and hinder their future employability.

Redundancy can push individuals out of their comfort zone but many of them, with a little help, can transform an unpleasant experience into a positive change. Going through a challenge makes you even more resourceful: coaching is great to capitalize on the positive and thrive.

Coaching is an excellent tool to help staff being made redundant and the results are all positive and measurable. A coach can help the employee to set goals within their working and private life and explore those possibilities that were perhaps hidden or latent. The coach can also be:

  • Inspiring them to think out of the box and explore what he/she really wants to do
  • Supporting them in the low moments that can be caused by uncertainty and discomfort
  • Encouraging them to go the extra mile, to be bold and challenge their own pre-set limits

To date our company helped people on both sides of employment: organizations that wanted to help their personnel and also individuals that once made redundant felt they needed a boost in their confidence and possibilities in order to move on and look for new challenges.

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This post was written by massimo on 4 November 2008


I Shall Be a Coach

Coach is the buzzword of the last few years. All of a sudden we are literally surrounded by coaches. A term that was once used just by sport trainers and team managers is now synonymous of many more professions. A non exhaustive list includes Life Coaches, Personal Coaches, Career Coaches, Speech Coaches, Voice Coaches, Performance Coaches, Crisis Coaches, Team Coaches, Business Coaches and Executive Coaches just to mention the best known ones.

For many people the transition between Instructor, Trainer or Consultant to Coach was just matter of changing their business cards. For others, arrived at an age when they feel they have enough experience to be Mentors in some discipline, they also call themselves Coach. So what happens to us coaches when we get mixed and confused with people that, with all due respect for their professionalism and experience, are not coaches as such but they manage to confuse our prospects? We are going to meet a misunderstood and uninformed audience.

When attending networking events I find interesting that some people are surprised of finding out how I work and the kind of outcomes that they should expect from my services. I explain that “I help managers and business owners to improve their business, develop their staff and increase their sales”: the fact is that some people simply cannot do all by themselves.

Coaching, at least the coaching methodology that I practice is about asking questions, listening to the answers and asking more questions until a solution emerges. Solutions always involve actions: that’s the most effective part of coaching.  Finally coaching is about getting you into action: rather than leaving a should do but…” attitude that simply helps procrastination and stress derived from lack of results, coaching instills a “do by such and such date” mind frame that gets you moving and achieving results.

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This post was written by massimo on 30 October 2008

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Coaching What?

Coaching has been around for some time, many decades: the term is usually very common and well understood when talking about sports coaching. At the same time definitions like life coaching, personal coaching, business coaching and executive coaching are much more recent in history: many people fail to recognise the term or have a very vague, often incorrect, idea about what that mean. While in the US the concept of personal coaching has been around for 20 years or more the in UK and the rest of Anglophone countries people with 10 years of experience are considered absolute gurus.

The sport coach is usually not the super expert or the retired champion: he is somebody that surely knows the sport but also has the right knowledge, techniques and personality to inspire and motivate the people he/she is coaching. We know of football, tennis, rugby or other sport coaches and some of them are real celebrities: behind a great champion or team is always a great coach.

A professional personal coach is an individual that usually mixes a broad background of experiences with one, often several, coaching qualifications that allow him/her to coach effectively a range of clients. Some coaches specialize in very specific subjects like career or self esteem while others tend to have a more general approach. In my experience business and executive coaches need to have the right management background, in order to have a common language with their client when coaching is centred on business.

Coaching, in its simple definition, is about asking questions, the right questions to help the client doing the appropriate thinking around his/her situation that often involves a dilemma his/she is trying to solve. For these reasons a coach should refrain from giving advice. Advice is my solution to your issue: you might like the advice and take it on board but it is proven that in the long term real solutions are the ones you identify by yourself. Once the right solution or direction has been identified then coaching is about action, getting the client to commit to a set of actions that will help delivering the results and achieving the goal.

So if you have a friend, a colleague or a relative that says “I would (should) really loose weight (or do more exercise, or socialize more or sell more) but…I cannot (I don’t have time, it’s the wrong moment)” then the right suggestion might be: “sounds like you need a coach”.

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This post was written by massimo on 21 October 2008

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Testimonial from ARHM

I used to be good at my job, and liked it. I’m now superb at my job and love it! I’m also fitter and girls dig me! And it’s all down to confidence. I was skeptical when I started coaching…sort of remain so now I’ve finished; I’m unsure where it started and ended. Perhaps it doesn’t? If you think you can do more with yourself…but haven’t yet found the way… I would recommend trying out coaching from MaGa Coaching.

ARHM, life science publicist – PR agency – London

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 12 September 2008


Testimonial from Caroline Middlebrook

When I first met Massimo of MaGa Coaching I was at an extremely low point in my life and I didn’t even know how to get through each day, let alone achieve any goals. At first I didn’t even think that the coaching could help me as I just couldn’t see myself following through with any of it.

However, Massimo gently guided me through the process and I just took baby steps at first but after a few weeks I was able to pick up the pace and with his help I achieved all of my goals ahead of schedule!

Massimo was always extremely understanding and encouraging throughout the coaching sessions and was always looking for new ways in which he could help me.

Caroline Middlebrook, Internet Marketer

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 2 August 2008


Testimonial from PH

As a busy professional I have to make an effort to continually improve and develop my business processes and growing product portfolio. A company has to maintain the key assets it has invested much time and money in, or else they rust away and become worthless. So, each of us is valuable.

Over the years I have attended numerous coaching activities and mentored my staff in gaining and growing confidence. Having “seen it and done it” many a time before, I was refreshed to meet Massimo of MaGa Coaching and learn of his focused approach. I have found over the years that there are few good guides and when you meet them you are struck by how easily and simply they do wonders, creating such simplicity with such economy of effort. Massimo walks the talk.

Personal coaching is just such a journey and for me it was all about “personal branding” – for you it may be different – where I already had all the skills but needed a hand to make it all fit together successfully. It did.

Personal change is difficult to do, however experienced and skilled you may be. Developing the change with a skilled and flexible personal coach worked well for me, especially with a hectic agenda to work around. I gather I am not alone there. Anyway, whatever you do next, think about who and what you are investing in. Then talk with Massimo and sense the difference of a real ‘Sensei'”.

PH, VP of marketing – network consultancy – Cambridge

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 7 April 2008


Testimonial from HLT

Before my coaching sessions with Massimo of MaGa Coaching I had toyed with the idea of doing an MBA course. For two years I researched courses and attempted applications but then ultimately did not follow them through due to a lack of belief in my own abilities.

Just weeks after starting my coaching sessions with Massimo I had made a formal application to my chosen business school and before the end of our 12 sessions had been offered a place. Something I had toyed with for years happened within weeks of my coaching. If I had not had my coaching sessions then I am sure this ambition would still be just floating around in my head and not have become a reality.

I would strongly recommend Massimo to anyone looking for a top-notch coach. Massimo is a genuine and very positive person. He is an exceptional coach and has been fantastic to work with, helping me to achieve clarity and the confidence to move forward.

HLT, production director – publishing company – Cambridge

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This post was written by MaGa Coaching on 5 March 2008