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“Be the best that you can be, and then go out there and help others.”

Ryan is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach whose passion is to help unleash the unique superpowers which he believes lie in all of us. He invests and interacts with his coachees facilitating their growth, development and performance, bringing them from good to great to awesome! He also partners with different organizations as facilitator and trainer.

With  over 10 years of experience leading and coaching teams and individuals from his years in the IT industry. He has worked for world-renowned establishments and multinational corporations including Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, Accenture (Navitaire) and Oracle. 

Ryan, together with his wife and business partners, has launched numerous businesses ventures — from food kiosks and lunch box delivery services to photography services, and, most recently, a restaurant and bar in the heart of BGC. 

Ryan is a software manager by profession whose passion is to bring out the best in people. What started out as a hobby in coaching basketball and extended to giving advices to his players and friends soon became clear to him as his life’s calling which is coaching. A normal day starts at the office around 7 am, up to 5 pm. That’s when he switches from management to coaching, although he thinks the two are very similar activities.
Mondays and Wednesdays are reserved for life coaching and Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays – for training an amateur basketball team in his hometown Manila in the Philippines. While he considers his life to be quite organized and structured,  to stay focused Ryan relies on tools such as Swipes and Evernote.
We got to talk to him about his workflow and inspiring mindset of growth. Here is what we learned.
 

Helping others through life and sports coaching

As a life and sports coach, I help others using the Strengths-Based approach I learned when reading the book StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Gallup. The book comes with a code for an assessment. The StrengthsFinder™ is a Web-based assessment of normal personality from the perspective of Positive Psychology, i.e. the scientific study of optimal human functioning; focusing on happiness, strength, personal potential and greatest satisfaction. It measures the presence of 34 talent themes. Talents are people’s naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior.
 
As you might have guessed, this approach is unique because it focuses on people’s power rather than on their weaknesses. This type of positive psychology works in a great way and brings amazing results. Gallup has also published a second book called Strengths Finder 2.0, which helped me extend my knowledge on the topic and become better at motivating my clients.
 
I have integrated the same flow in my coaching as in my work. Before I go into a coaching agreement with someone, I have them take the StrengthsFinder assessment first. I have a summary of each strength in Evernote, so I start by sharing that with the student and asking her to import tasks from the note.
I also request access to their Strengths Insight and Action Planning Guide, a personalized report generated by Gallup based on unique results of each individual. I convert these into PDF and upload them into Evernote for easier access.
I then create a note for each coaching session, with a summary of our discussion. I will include the GOAL of our session, the aha moments (if any) that the coachee verbalizes and, most importantly, I highlight the next steps that the coachee comes up with as to-dos. I will typically add a reminder to the note, since these next steps are usually time-bound, so I can help remind and keep my coachee accountable. Finally, I send this to the coachee via Work Chat or Email, whichever is appropriate.
This workflow ensures that my coachee and I are on the same page and, also, allows us to see our progress in achieving our goals.
 

Gaining the high achiever mentality

When I really want something, I’m all in, finding all ways to achieve it. Like I said, I have a day job, but I also do other things. I’ve actually climbed the corporate ladder. It’s not that high up there, but it’s pretty high in a sense.
 
At the same time, I’m able to work on my passion. That’s an achievement for me. I’m able to do the work that I love in IT and also follow on with my coaching passion.
 
Being able to simultaneously manage all the different commitments and make progress on each and every one is what I believe a true achiever is like.
 
I’m nuts for productivity. Sometimes I get to the point that I just have to stop myself from reading all these tags, tips and guidelines. That’s my thirst for achievement, which forces me to go into the productivity tools that are out there.
 
And to be honest, I have been switching from one task management app to another. But Swipes has been the one thing that’s stuck with me!
 

My sources of inspiration

For productivity and life hacks, I usually get inspiration from the various blogs out there. Lifehacker is pretty helpful. I generally don’t read a lot of books, but I go through the summary of their framework.  
 
I enjoy personal sharing more, as it gives me more insight into what has worked or not for a certain individual. It’s a great way to evaluate a pretty good tool or the use of a particular framework. This approach allows me to see the positive and negative aspects as well as how I can apply this in my personal life or work.
 
In fact once in a while, I do ask friends for a tip. I just ask them “How do you set up your mornings?  How do you organize things?” I talk to them about it because their experiences inspire me and give me a better understanding on the different approaches. 
 

Finding the individual approach

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I try my best to get to know each individual. I seek the things they like and motivate them and I use those to push them to achieve more and realize their true potential.
 
In my sports coaching, for example, there are people who are really motivated by winning. They love winning! And so I push them towards that.
 
Others simply love the game, and a third group just wants to show off their skills. 
 
I use that as a route to help them focus on the best way to use their current set of skills to reach that higher goal. It requires an individual approach to each group. You can’t motivate people if you don’t understand what drives them.
 
I help my players break things down and focus on the areas that need improvement. They have to feel accountable for their actions and realize that they are in control and can move things forward. I am just the trigger in this.
 

Next step in helping others

If you really want to help people, I think the way to go is to start from yourself first. One of my favourite anecdotes is that reminder they give you on airplanes just before you fly “Please put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.”
 
Improve yourself; be productive on your own, because when others see you growing, that’s when you get a credibility stamp.
 
That’s when you get the respect that can give them the extra motivation to believe everything is possible as long as you stick to your goals and focus on improvement.
Be the best that you can be, and then go out there and help others. The fact that you’ve done it and achieved something will make others respect you for that and seek your opinion. 
Edited by Ralitsa Golemanova
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