Terence H Clarke


Empowering Self-Leadership: A Guide to Personal Growth

In the pursuit of personal and professional success, the concept of self-leadership stands out as a guiding light. Today, we’ll explore key facets of self-leadership, drawing insights from a comprehensive two-day workshop designed to empower individuals in mastering this crucial skill. Understanding the Essence of Self-Leadership At the core of self-leadership lies a deep understanding of its value. It’s not just a buzzword; it’s a transformative mindset that transcends both work and life. The ability to lead oneself is foundational to achieving success on one’s terms. By recognizing the profound impact of self-leadership, individuals can embark on a journey of self-discovery and purpose. Motivating with Purpose and Meaning Motivation is the fuel that propels us forward. In the realm of self-leadership, it goes beyond mere inspiration. It’s about cultivating a deep sense of purpose and meaning in our daily work. The mastery of self-motivation involves aligning personal values with professional goals, creating a powerful synergy that propels individuals towards meaningful growth. Proactive Career Development Self-leadership isn’t merely about navigating the present; it’s about shaping the future. Taking charge of one’s career involves proactive steps and a willingness to shoulder responsibilities. The workshop emphasizes the art of setting personal and professional goals, fostering effective planning, and embracing a mindset that actively shapes career trajectories. Shifting Perspectives: From Negative to Positive In the face of challenges, the ability to shift perspectives is a hallmark of effective self-leadership. Negativity can be a formidable obstacle, but by mastering the skill of flipping the script, individuals can transform challenges into opportunities. Shifting from a negative to a positive mindset is a game-changer in the pursuit of personal and professional excellence. Navigating Challenging Situations Life is replete with challenges, and self-leadership equips individuals to navigate these situations with grace and resilience. By honing the skill of leading oneself in the midst of adversity, individuals can emerge stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to handle whatever comes their way. Self-leadership is a multifaceted journey that involves understanding its value, motivating oneself with purpose, proactively shaping one’s career, shifting perspectives, and navigating challenges with resilience. As we embark on this exploration, the goal is not just to master these skills in a workshop but to integrate them into our daily lives, fostering a continuous journey of personal and professional empowerment.

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Overcoming Fear and Starting to Do

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” – Walt Disney These wise words from Walt Disney have been inspiring people to take action for decades. As someone who has struggled with a fear of running due to past knee injuries, I truly understand the mental block that words can create versus actually taking that first step. That’s why I decided it was time to stop just talking about getting back into shape and challenging myself and to finally do something about it. I signed up for a 5k Spartan Race happening in Shanghai in April 2023. While 5 kilometers may not seem like a long distance to many, it’s a big challenge for me given my history of injuries and lack of consistent exercise lately due to business travel (which I am extremely grateful for). I know to overcome both my physical limitations and mental fears, I need to adopt a mindset of continuous progress over immediate perfection. Instead of worrying about my speed or comparing myself to others, I have decided to celebrate every successful run, no matter how short or slow. Taking walking breaks does not mean failure – it means listening to my body and ensuring I can complete the entire distance. I’m working with a wonderful coach Kelly Chen and some days the psychological battle seems bigger than the physical task ahead. But I’m finding that with patience and by taking things step-by-step, my endurance and confidence are growing each week. The support of friends and family cheering me on also helps drown out the doubts creeping into my mind. My goal with this race is not to win any awards, but to win over my fears. To prove to myself that I can challenge my limits, be uncomfortable, and overcome. I’m learning the importance of embracing both success and struggle – it’s in those tough moments that we often experience our greatest growth. From a coaching perspective here are some tips on developing a growth mindset, self-motivation, and focus: Developing a Growth Mindset to Achieve Your Goals We’ve all been in a situation where we want to make a change or achieve a new goal but seem to lack the motivation or clarity to get started. It’s easy to feel stuck like our abilities are fixed rather than something we have the power to develop. However, research shows having a “growth mindset” allows us to stay motivated even when facing challenges or setbacks. So how can we cultivate one? Gain Clarity on What Inspires You The first step is gaining clarity on what truly excites or fulfills you. Get clear on your “why” – the deeper purpose that drives you. Ask yourself what specific areas of your life or work you want to grow. Having that crystal clear vision of your “True North” helps you make progress even on difficult days. Believe Improvement is Possible Those with a growth mindset believe qualities like intelligence and talent can be developed through effort, good strategies and input from others. Replace beliefs that you can’t improve or change with the idea that every day is an opportunity to learn and grow. Commit to ongoing learning in your interests and work. Welcome Struggle as Part of the Process Understand that struggle, risk of failure and plateaus are natural parts of progress. Instead of fearing challenges, reframe them as opportunities to expand your capabilities. Celebrate small wins each day that move you closer to your goal. Shift your focus from results to enjoying the journey. Find Accountability Partners Surround yourself with others also committed to growth. Form study groups, workout partners, or mentorships to challenge and motivate each other. Getting an outside perspective helps you remove blind spots and stay resilient when motivation wavers. Practice Self-Compassion We all have times when self-doubt creeps in. Remember to encourage yourself with the same compassion you would a friend. Affirm your strengths daily and appreciate each step forward, not just the result. Developing a growth mindset is a lifelong journey – focus on continuous progress over perfection. With clarity, belief in yourself, and an ongoing dedication to learning and developing new skills, you have the power to achieve any goals and overcome any challenges. Stay determined and let your growth fuel further growth! How will you challenge yourself this year? What walls are you ready to break down, both physically and mentally? I invite you to join me in taking action towards your goals, one step at a time, so we can finish 2024 even stronger than we started. The journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step. I’m eager to walk alongside you! Notice: JavaScript is required for this content.

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Empowering Expats to Thrive in a New Environment: How Cultural Training Can Ease Business Assignments in China

Adapting to a new culture is challenging. As someone who has lived in China for over 20 years, I have seen many expatriates struggle with culture shock and difficulties integrating into Chinese society. That’s why I offer cultural integration workshops and coaching services to help ease the transition for foreigners coming to China. In my two decades living here, I’ve gained invaluable cross-cultural experiences and developed a deep understanding of Chinese business customs, social norms, and everyday way of life. Through trial and error, I’ve learned what helps newcomers adjust and what common stumbling blocks tend to trip people up. With my background, I am uniquely positioned to provide outsiders with the tools and insights they need to feel more comfortable in their new environment. My services are particularly useful for companies sending employees on long or short-term assignments to China. Navigating a drastically different culture alone can be stressful and unproductive. Without proper preparation, expats often find themselves making unintended social blunders or unable to interpret their Chinese colleagues accurately. This causes frustration on all sides and impacts business outcomes. That’s why I was excited to recently deliver a pilot cultural integration workshop for JPMorgan Chase & Co. to get their executives better equipped for interactions in China. The financial giant regularly does deals and has business meetings that require visits to Chinese offices and clients. But without deeper cultural knowledge, even high-level managers can misunderstand their counterparts or miss important nuances. For the workshop, I focused on the most essential Chinese cultural dimensions Expats need to understand, including: Evaluations showed executives particularly valued these lifestyle components as it set realistic expectations and calmed concerns about adapting to a technologically-advanced, foreign environment. Combined with deeper cultural insights, a well-rounded workshop better prepares global assignees holistically for their time in China. In addition to covering essential differences, I focused on some frequently encountered cultural challenges such as negotiating styles, gift-giving customs, differing leadership/management approaches, and business banquet etiquette. I brought in examples from my own experiences to make lessons more engaging. A favourite story involved misinterpreting the head nods and “yes, yes” responses of my Chinese colleagues during an important discussion. Only later did I realize they were just being polite and actually disagreed with my proposal! This common blunder really resonated with participants and showed how challenging intercultural understanding can be. The workshop concluded with a practical Q&A where attendees could ask about scenarios they may face. Being able to immediately apply knowledge was very useful. Evaluations showed the J.P. Morgan execs felt much better equipped to interact effectively in China after just a half day session. They especially appreciated learning about cultural variances through an experienced expat rather than tedious online modules or briefings. In addition to group workshops, I also provide one-on-one coaching services. Some companies hire me to personally meet with employees before or after assignments overseas to help them self-assess weak areas, role-play challenging situations, or debrief upon return. I have found the combination of group and individual training to be most impactful. Coaching is also helpful for expats’ families, especially spouses and kids dealing with school/social adjustments. The stress of culture shock affects entire households. I give advice tailored for significant others and children to improve cohesion during postings abroad. Healthy family adjustment leads to higher assignment satisfaction and retention rates for companies. My clients have included multinationals like Airbus, eBay, Cisco, Alibaba Group BASF and UOB. Testimonials consistently note improved cultural agility and confidence in interactions with Chinese counterparts after engaging with me. While conducting business across borders has become commonplace, cultural dexterity remains a major competitive differentiator. Even with growing globalization, local norms, etiquette and ways of thinking still subtly shape every interaction. I firmly believe more can be achieved through understanding different perspectives than assuming everyone approaches situations the same. While much of my focus is helping foreigners adapt to China, I also work extensively with Chinese firms expanding abroad through cultural coaching. As more homegrown brands look overseas, equipping employees with intercultural competence becomes equally important. This year I delivered customized workshops and briefings for major Chinese companies entering new international markets. Clients included industry leaders like Alibaba, ByteDance, Xiamen Airlines and China Southern Airlines. For Alibaba, preparing managers to expand overseas required addressing unfamiliar business settings in Southeast Asia. With Longi Solar’s growing global solar panel sales and service networks, it was important frontline staff understood variances in customer relationships abroad. As flagship travel brands of China, Xiamen Airlines and China Southern Airlines countered rising “country of origin” bias through cross-cultural communication training for senior leaders. In each case, success hinged on fostering mutual understanding beyond technical or linguistic barriers. Chinese representations worldwide gain much by resonating locally through nuanced behavioural adaptations, subtle social cues and “reading the room” abilities cultivated in workshops. My hope is that through my services, more expats, families, and companies can sidestep unnecessary difficulties often caused by lack of cultural awareness. When adjusted, foreigners can become influential champions for their firms in China. Proper cultural grounding fosters more productive Sino-foreign commercial engagement overall. As China’s role on the global stage grows, so does the need for effective cross-cultural navigation. Whether inbound expat clients coming to China or outbound Chinese companies, my multi-directional experience enables insightful cultural preparation tailoring for all. Leveraging strengths while navigating unfamiliar elements remains key to smooth global interactions on both sides. I invite any individual or company wanting to maximize results from Chinese interactions to learn more about my background, approach and offerings. Please feel free to contact me directly to discuss cultural preparation best suited for your personnel, department or goals. With over two decades immersed in this dynamic landscape, I am dedicated to easing the way for you in China. For the past 20 years, I have been involved in leadership, entrepreneurship, and consulting in China. I have worked with leaders and managers at all levels and have helped Chinese companies going abroad and MNCs in China to navigate the unique challenges of leading across cultures. My

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Overcoming Frustration and Boosting Self-Esteem in Coaching

One of the most challenging yet rewarding parts of being a coach is helping clients overcome frustration when it comes to implementing changes and achieving goals. Here are some thoughts on why clients may become easily frustrated, and techniques coaches can use to help build resilience and self-esteem. Reasons for frustration: Through my years of coaching experience, I’ve discovered that frustration is often a symptom of deeper issues like perfectionism, low self-confidence, or a lack of accountability – all of which can be addressed effectively. With the right coaching techniques and perseverance, I’ve seen time and again how even the most frustrated clients can gradually build resilience, embrace small wins, and regain the motivation needed to continue progressing toward their dreams. One strategy I’ve found particularly powerful is reframing the concept of “failure” for my clients. For many, even small setbacks or slip-ups are seen as definitive proof of lack of ability or inherent shortcomings. This all-or-nothing mindset doesn’t allow for growth or grace along the process of change. Instead, I encourage clients to view obstacles more as valuable learning experiences that provide feedback to help them refine their approach. Just as top athletes review game films to identify areas for improvement, I help clients thoughtfully analyze what went wrong during setbacks to strategize how to overcome similar challenges in the future. This simple shift in perspective redefines failure as a natural part of the learning journey rather than something to fear or define their self-worth. Another common frustration buster I employ is accountability check-ins at our regular sessions. It’s all too easy for commitments to slip through the cracks without regular follow-up. I find assigned “homework” coupled with discussing both wins and losses each week keeps clients dedicated to consistent effort between our meetings. Celebrating small successes alongside addressing obstacles keeps them motivated to push through difficulties rather than give up. Often underlying low self-confidence greatly exacerbates frustration when roadblocks appear insurmountable. In these cases, a deeper dive into core beliefs and negative self-talk patterns is needed. As a coach, I have clients record instances of discouraging inner dialogue and then collaboratively challenge the validity of these limiting perspectives. With practice, they learn to replace harsh self-criticisms with constructive self-encouragement customized to keep them persevering through challenges. It’s also important to address unrealistic blanket expectations that lead to inevitable frustration down the road. Whether it’s an obsession with overnight transformation or perfectionistic standards, sweeping assumptions usually backfire when real-world complexity intervenes. I prefer helping clients establish milestones focused on manageable behaviours rather than vague or lofty goalposts. Breaking bigger targets into incremental steps fosters a healthier view of progress as an iterative, long-term endeavour rather than an instant achievement. Perhaps one of the most impactful techniques I’ve developed over the years is dedicating time each session to sincerely praising effort, no matter how incremental clients perceive the results to be. Far too often my high-achieving clients dismiss minor accomplishments or dismiss their struggles altogether, perceiving themselves as “failures” for not meeting unrealistic expectations. I work to proactively highlight even small acts of persistence or instances of courage to overcome obstacles as victories deserving recognition in their own right. This refocus on effort and continual growth rather than outcomes has dramatically reduced frustration levels for many once-hopeless clients over time. While there will always be plateaus and setbacks that risk reinstating discouragement along any transformation journey, these coaching techniques have consistently proven their merit. By addressing underlying beliefs, setting achievable targets, and celebrating process over perfection, I’ve seen even the most frustrated clients steadily rebuild confidence, resilience, and motivation to reach new levels of success they once thought unattainable. Over the long haul, it is this ability to overcome frustration, not fear it, that paves the path to sustainable progress. Here is a continued expansion of the article: When frustration first arises is also an important consideration. In my experience, clients often wait far too long to voice discouragement, letting small annoyances fester into much larger barriers over time. As a coach, I emphasize the value of transparency—being able to share both triumphs and troubles openly builds a trusting relationship where setbacks can be nipped in the bud before spiralling. To facilitate this, I regularly check-in with clients using questions like “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your motivation and confidence levels currently?” Looking for dips below a 7 allows us to have proactive discussions and course correct before frustration overwhelms. It also gives me opportunities to remind clients that some frustration is normal and not a sign of failure. Reframing low motivation as a solvable challenge helps defuse feelings of inadequacy. For those lacking an internal drive to push past discomfort, I find external motivation in the form of peer accountability or public commitments particularly impactful. One strategy is grouping together clients with similar goals and having them check-in with each other between sessions. The social accountability ignites competitiveness while also providing empathy from others in the same boat. Another option is brainstorming creative public declarations of intention. For instance, one client struggling with consistency in her exercise routine agreed to donate $100 to her least favourite charity if she skipped workouts two weeks in a row. The very real potential loss far outweighed any momentary frustration with working out. These types of tangible stakes have a way of nudging even the most reluctant clients to follow through. Coaching techniques: Ultimately, overcoming frustration is as much an art as a science. I’ve had to get comfortable with ambiguity and patience as transformations evolve organically over long periods. While strategic techniques can minimize discouragement, life will continue delivering unexpected twists no planning can predict. My role then is providing a calm, encouraging listening post – reminding clients of how far they’ve come, bolstering perspective to get back on track, and celebrating the resilience inside them capable of blossoming further with continued small acts of courageous effort. Mastering frustration is a journey, and I’m privileged

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Have-to vs Want-to Goals

Hey guys today I want to delve into the topic of goals and motivation—specifically, the distinction between “have-to” goals and “want-to” goals, and how they relate to extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Imagine waking up in the morning with a list of tasks that you feel you “have to” complete. These have-to goals are typically driven by external factors such as societal expectations, obligations, or external rewards, like a promotion or a salary increase. While these goals may seem necessary, they often lack personal fulfillment and can drain our motivation. In contrast, want-to goals are driven by our internal desires, passions, and personal values. These goals align with our authentic selves and bring a sense of joy, purpose, and intrinsic motivation. Want-to goals are often rooted in our deepest aspirations, such as pursuing a hobby, learning a new skill, or making a positive impact in the world. Now, you might be wondering, are want-to goals truly easier to achieve? Well, research suggests that individuals who pursue want-to goals tend to experience higher levels of motivation and well-being, leading to greater success in goal attainment. A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that people who pursued self-concordant goals—goals that align with their personal values and interests—were more likely to make progress and achieve their objectives. The reason want-to goals are easier to achieve lies in the power of intrinsic motivation. When we engage in activities that genuinely interest us, we are more likely to experience a state of flow—a state of complete absorption and enjoyment in what we are doing. This flow state enhances our focus, creativity, and persistence, making the journey towards our goals more enjoyable and manageable. Now, let’s talk about coaching. Working with a coach can be immensely beneficial in the pursuit of both have-to and want-to goals. A coach provides guidance, support, and accountability, helping individuals clarify their goals, develop action plans, and overcome obstacles along the way. Numerous studies have shown the positive impact of coaching on goal achievement and personal growth. Coaches help individuals gain clarity about their values, strengths, and aspirations, enabling them to set meaningful goals that align with their authentic selves. Additionally, coaches assist in breaking down larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, providing a roadmap to success. They offer encouragement, celebrate progress, and hold individuals accountable, fostering a sense of commitment and motivation. So, whether your goals are have-to or want-to, working with a coach can be a transformative experience that maximizes your potential and accelerates your progress. To sum it all up want-to goals, driven by intrinsic motivation, are often easier to achieve and lead to greater fulfillment and well-being. While have-to goals may be necessary at times, it is crucial to prioritize want-to goals that align with our passions and values. And if you’re looking to enhance your goal attainment and personal growth, working with a coach can provide invaluable support on your journey. Thanks for watching, If you’d like to work together, please use the contact form below, and we can explore how coaching can benefit you personally.

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Balancing Learning, Work, and Family: Tips for Successful Adult Learning

As we grow and evolve in our personal and professional lives, it’s crucial to continue learning and developing ourselves. This is especially true for those in the coaching industry, where keeping up with the latest techniques and trends can make all the difference in providing effective support to clients. Yesterday, I had the privilege of completing a 6-month, 125 Hours ACSTH coaching training program, a significant milestone in my coaching journey. I trained with the wonderful Luba Diasamidze with Istok Coaching

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Reading is a crucial aspect of lifelong learning and self-improvement

As a coach, I often see firsthand the impact that reading can have on my clients’ personal and professional growth. Reading widely and regularly is a crucial aspect of lifelong learning and self-improvement. It is essential for developing our mental muscles, improving our mental health, and ultimately leading a more fulfilling life.

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