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March 2010 | Volume 3, Issue #9

In This Issue
Jazz, Leadership, and Teamwork Quote of the Month
Brian and the Jazzthink Trio on Winds of Change TV
My Recommendation for Professional Coach Training
The Cellar Jazz Club
Quick Links
As I write this edition of the e-zine, we're in the final hours of that remarkable event called the Winter Olympics that have taken place here in Vancouver and Whistler.  It's been an inspiring experience, with Canada actually owning the heart of the podium that supports gold medalists - more gold medals than any other country at any Winter Olympics.  Canada also had 72 top-8 finishes, more than any other country.  It was a remarkable performance by our athletes.
In our local newspaper, there was an article about Wayne Halliwell, a McGill University professor and sports psychologist who works with Alexandre Bilodeau (Canada's first gold medalist), Jennifer Heil (Canada's first medalist), and Joannie Rochette (Canada's most resilient figure skater who won bronze just days after her mother died unexpectedly).
HalliwellHalliwell focuses on self-talk as a means of preparing athletes to perform.  He works with them to choose key words to say to themselves moments before they perform.  These trigger words and phrases are designed to replace doubts and fears with calm and confidence, creating what Halliwell calls "a clean mind with a clear path."
Halliwell wants his clients to become thermostats rather than thermometers, regulating the temperature in the situation rather than being regulated by it.  He wants them to control the situations through the words that fill their breathing and thoughts.  Clearly, the Canadian Olympians with whom he worked listened and learned. 
Managers and leaders in our organizations are the 'corporate athletes' of this generation.  As Jim Loehr has been saying for over 15 years, the pressure to perform is more persistent and constant in the workplace than in any athletic endeavour.  But the same principles apply in training and aligning a person's energy in both fields.
Three key words that my coaching clients have found particularly powerful and inspiring have been calm, curious, and appreciative.  Many have chosen, when achieving their highest aspirations, to be calm within, curious about what's really going on around them, and appreciative of the opportunities and resources they discover.
Key words that put you in touch with the best you can be are powerful performance aids.  What are the words and phrases that inspire you most?  How can you breathe and think these words in your most pressured situations?  To begin or ramp up your training, just choose the words and practice using them.  You'll be amazed at the results.
May this aspect of the Olympic spirit infect us all,

Brian Fraser
Jazz, Leadership, and Teamwork Quote of the Month
William Isaacs, in his classic volume on the power of conversation to generate options for creating a better future, Dialogue and the Art of Thinking Together (1999), found in jazz a perfect analogy for what he was talking about:
William IsaacA jazz musician improvising and inventing new music is engaged in generative dialogue with the music and his band. 
The music of our conversations is a better future.  The band is all those with whom we have and from whom we receive influence.  The dynamic is the delight of creative conversation. 

Brian and the Jazzthink Trio on Winds of Change TV
Jivi Khehra discusses with Brian what qualities of great leadership she sees in a performance by the Jazzthink Trio in Episode 2 of her new Winds of Change TV show on Joy TV (Channel 10 in Metro Vancouver).  The interview aired on February 6.  It can be found on the Winds of Change website.

My Recommendation for Professional Coach Training

I mentioned in the February Leadership Tip that I had accepted an invitation to become faculty with the Demers Group Core Alignment Professional Coach Training Program.  Lori-anne Demers designed the original Royal Roads University program and then the one at Erickson College (Vancouver).  This is a further refinement on all she has learned about educating great coaches from those experiences.  The program is accredited by the International Coach Federation, associated with the Leadership Development programs at the Banff Centre, and astutely aligns personal, leadership, and organizational development with professional coach training.  New cohorts are starting in both Calgary/Banff and Vancouver this spring.  If you are considering getting your credentials as a certified professional coach, take a serious look at this program. 
The Demers Group is hosting a half-day workshop in Richmond, near Vancouver, for folks interested in our approach to coaching. 
Click here to find out more.

Enjoy Great Jazz in Vancouver 

The Cellar Logo

 "Vancouver's answer to the Village Vanguard, this small (70-seat) club/restaurant presents the best local jazz, as well as some touring acts.  Great sound, which has been used to enhance the club's record label, Cellar Live."
- Down Beat magazine's list of 100 best jazz clubs in the February 2009 issue