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Fine Tuning For Peak Performance – Exclusive Interview With David Bingley

David Bingley is an expert in Leadership and Empowerment Coaching, working on mental/emotional fitness and self-awareness. By exploring perspectives to define purpose and direction (our vision, mission and ambition for ourself and the world) to how we frame ourself and embrace our values so our intentions and actions are aligned. David founded In-Vision Coaching as a platform to assist people to empower themselves, take control of their life using the strategies, frameworks and structures he developed to fine tune for peak performance. You may work with David in 1:1 coaching, team coaching or specialist workshops, taking small steps to… LIVE LARGE!

David Bingley, Leadership & Empowerment Coach

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.

I am David Bingley, a widower and single father, raising two children, Jonny who is 12 and Keinwyn who is 8. I was brought up as an expatriate, living abroad in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean whilst attending boarding school from the age of 7. In my adult years chose to make my home in Asia, specifically Hong Kong, although at the time I was thinking I was transient and would stay for 2 years only and am still here 30 years later.

I started my career in Corporate hospitality properly in Thailand after my degree but had started working in the restaurant of a local boutique hotel at the age of 14. Growing up I was very active in sports both team and individual, initially in rugby and swimming, then in judo where I was a regular fixture in the school national championships and later on from 13 I was a keen rower.

At 16 I was lucky enough to go trekking in Nepal to the Rolwaling Region, home of the Yeti. It was there that I learnt to take small steps to LIVE LARGE, in the sense that all of my fellow trekkers started the trek at a breakneck pace and by lunch time I had overtaken them, but my most memorable recollection aside from the leaches was that we had an “Egg Boy” on the team whose job was to carry all the eggs for the trekkers, porters, sharpers and serdar.

What brought you to coaching?

Throughout my life, I have always had a passion for self-improvement and personal growth and for the most part, I think I have been diligent about facing my fears, by taking some workshops and learning new things has served to open my mind. Developing others has always been a passion and I have excelled in training up my teams.

As a trainee manager in Thailand I realised a few things very quickly, 1, I had no power so I had to learn how to influence others by example. And 2, that my British accent was very flat and hard for Asians to understand, (especially when we consider that there are 5 tones in Thai and 9 in Cantonese), so I deliberately added inflections and tones to the way I speak and paced myself slower and now it is natural.

Moving to Hong Kong I very quickly learnt the power of the word No. I observed that when an employee (anyone) decides to say no to an instruction then they have essentially taken back their power, and I saw that introducing a warning or termination is of no use, especially in a moment of emotion and passion.

The major lesson about empowerment I also learnt in Hong Kong as I saw it unfold with a frightening degree of nonchalance from the senior management with their assumption on how empowerment works and everyone was magically on the same page. Their neglection on training and discussion with the wider teams who were expected to level up and then the immediate failure to support them. I learnt a lot, how to do things and how not to do things.

A key shift in my mindset started with the many corporate trainings I had to attend and it was in these trainings that I started to develop more of a passion for what I can now see as coaching, it kind of cleared the ground for preparation to sow the seeds, nurture and harvest.

I explored reiki, and other techniques but found that whilst I liked them for myself I was not confident to talk about it with the wider audience. Perhaps because I felt that as a client in the process I was simply a recipient with no say in the process in the sense that I was giving up my power to the practitioner. With coaching I found a strong affinity and resonance with the process and I felt like an active participant in the process. Yes I was being guided to an extent but I was finding my own way and getting revelations and perspectives through the questions, the mirroring and the perspectives being offered. Then the commitments I made with the coach to work on in between sessions.

What was you most profound moment in coaching?

The most powerful takeaway I have in coaching came from one of the coaching training processes in the Intermediate CTI program. I was the student candidate in the front of the room for the coach instructor to demonstrate the technique. I was asked for my topic or what I wanted to talk about and I blurted out that my issue that my wife had recently passed away and I has 2 small children, (3 and 7 at the time) and I was a stay at home father and now my whole world had gone to pieces. The conversation and process were amazing, I was able to express feeling heard, the coach did not want or try to fix me or push me back into an 18-hour-a-day corporate life, and I got to explore myself and my feelings.

The biggest revelation was the invitation to the rest of my class to open up deeply and become vulnerable and explore their deeper issues. Recognising the power in vulnerability was huge and my journey since then has taken on a more windswept and interesting nature.

How did you define your purpose discovered you wanted to coach?

When I started to question myself and my purpose. I asked myself “Who am I? What do I want? And Where am I going?” These questions terrified me and for a month or so I was almost frozen. I was stuck on “who Am I?” So I decided to answer “what do I want?” and this became easier as I had already levelled up my game in the reframing of what I don’t want into what I do want. This had become a norm, so it was easier as I was comfortable with the process.

In fact, I had been talking about it with my late wife as a way to reconnect with myself and my feelings and it is a tool and structure that I share with my clients today. For example, my wife would ask me what I wanted for lunch and I would say it's ok up to you. My thinking was that food is fuel, it does not really matter as long as I filled up. She would push back saying it did, but I dismissed it. Subsequently, we would go where she wanted and on entering the door I would already be upset, it was the wrong place the wrong smell the wrong ambiance the wrong noise etc.. then slowly, I started to notice the pattern and trend.

What could I do differently? I could feel into what I wanted. So I did, I started the process of speaking up and saying what I wanted and she would say what she wanted. For example, if she said Asian or Noodles and I said Western or Salad could her Asian Noodles translate into Italian Pasta? Or could my Western Salad translate into an Asian dish? If not was there another option we could go to and if not shall we meet back in an hour.

The objective was not to compromise, and for context, I subscribe to Rumi and his idea that compromise is lose-lose as it breeds immediate resentment so it is better to say no and walk away than compromise. The intention was to reconnect with what I wanted, to reconnect with my feelings, which led to the ability to take actively empower myself. Meaning that I built up some boundaries and could say no. This kickstarted the process in mastering my habit of being a people pleaser and appeasing others. The process I am delighted to confirm has led to my becoming a “recovering people pleaser”. I am able to say no more easily or yes more slowly. It was the kernel of my coaching approach to reframing and being.

My connection to “what do I want?”, is built on the pillars and foundation of my personal values and has become super solid over time. I have continually deepened my reconnection to my feelings and honouring what it is that I am feeling in the moment and have acted on it. It has opened me up to my understanding of purpose and direction and what it means to me which led me to answer “Who am I?”. It started to make sense suddenly as I started to move forward with that. “Where Am I going?” has taken care of itself as I feel that I am in the flow and being pulled along by my vision, mission and ambition for myself as opposed to pushing, suffering or working hard for it. More about this later perhaps.

What is Fine Tuning for Peak Performance?

Since my certification as a coach I have developed a process I like to call “fine tuning for peak performance through mental and emotional fitness and self-awareness”. Essentially it means that we have all attained various levels of success in our life and career through whatever means or vehicle has gotten us here. But if we are feeling unfulfilled or lacking in any way or that we need to level up or we have been overlooked for a promotion then we need to reflect and fine tune our performance to get us to where we want to be.

In this process of development I looked at myself first and foremost at the patterns and trends that I had experienced in my life. I added a couple of new questions and perspectives: “Who am I being and What am I doing? then Who do I want to be and What do I want to do?” which served to add different qualities and behaviours that I would need to express and embody to move me forward with becoming who I want to be.

In looking at my goals and realised that a few years previously when I was stuck in my work and married life, I had reviewed my goals and had found that I had been hanging on to a specific goal that had already been achieved. Now it was serving as a handicap as opposed to a north star.

During the process of unpacking the goal I chose to celebrate what working on that goal had achieved, then I symbolically polished the parts of the goal that were complete and put them on my preverbal trophy cabinet, then took what was outstanding and repurposed it for relevance in a new goal or goals to act as a north star.

As I remembered this process, I realised that all of my questions Who am I? What do I want? Where am I going? Who am I being? What am I doing? Who do I want to be? What do I want to do? Would need to be a part of a working document. Meaning that it was all subject to change and review on a regular cadence which became part of my new mindset. It led me to look at, review, refresh and recalibrate all of my goals which started with my vision, mission and ambition for myself and now how I wanted to impact my world.

How did Responsibility, Accountability and Commitment become a cornerstone of your Coaching process?

The process of recalibrating my goals and aligning myself with them offered me the opportunity to reflect on and unpack my personal understanding of responsibility, accountability and commitment. I was actively working on putting my hopes dreams and desires into place with intention and action, but where was I really with that? Was my relationship with what I wanted aligned? This was a fascinating question as it involved looking at how I was engaged with relationships of all kinds. I was able to accept that until then I was being transactional and co-dependent in my actions. At the time and like every other revelation it felt like I had uncovered the missing piece. Which went hand in hand with responsibility, accountability and commitment.

Diving deep into this allowed me to break down years of unconscious habits and beliefs that had been driving me. I chose to take back my control and power and reset to what I wanted. For context, my transitioning from a transactional relationship was I want to say resolved by my taking responsibility for myself and my actions. Meaning that I looked at what was in my control and power, how it was aligned with my purpose and direction (vision, mission, ambition) and what did I need to do to get there.

It involved a huge amount of willpower and self-belief, because I had decided not to ask for help and do it myself. This meant that I did not rely on another person to say yes or fit in and help or for a situation or decision to be in my favour or anything else like that. At the core, it meant that I was facing my deepest fears head looking them in the eye and overcoming them.

The biggest fear was about money, income and finance. I had decided not to ask for help. Plus as I have also decided to walk away from the paying work that I was then doing, because I realised that it did not make me happy or align with my values or what I wanted to be doing. I had been doing it because it had been my late wife's work and business and I a part of me felt I had to continue it. It had a lot of value and contribution to the world but it was not mine, I did not want to do it and it made me angry to do it.

The truth was, I was angry because I was appeasing her, but deeper than that I was appeasing the memory of her in my mind. The fact is in life she would have told me to focus on my coaching and leave her work and business alone to flourish or fail.

With that revelation and the fact that I had a limited income from my coaching business I had to double down on what was in my control. I faced all of my financial responsibilities head on, working out payment plans with fixed dates that I was committed to. I sold everything I could of value to pay for food for myself and my children and along the way I would pick up a “carrot” something to motivate me to move me forward and also get some paying work. By sticking to my guns on doing all that I could within my power and sphere of control.

I learnt to be still in the moment when I only had usd$40 in the bank and had bills to pay. I was trusted the process and remained calm believing all a long that all would be well, it always was because something would happen that would bring me some income.

What Changed?

Historically my strategy would have been to borrow money but that had changed, what I needed to do was put on my big boy pants and be aligned with my intentions and actions and go for what I wanted to do with all my heart. Following my feeling and my gut, letting go of any and all advice from everyone I loved and respected. I realised that this is MY life and that I have to make that choice for myself to live or die by it. And that every time I took others opinions into consideration it pulled me off balance.

So I stuck to my guns, did all that was in my control, I looked for new clients and opportunities to coach, I read books on coaching, took free and paid workshops that moved me forward on my path and I listened to podcasts and tied to collaborate with other coaches on projects and workshops paid and for free. All the while looking down the path and direction that I wanted to go and within the space of 6 months form my decision to back myself and my ambition to the breakthrough took approximately 6 months. It is worth noting that I was not starting from scratch but working from a lifetime of experience and knowledge as a foundation I simply deconstructed it, cleaned, polished and allowed more understanding and light to come in as I put it back together. Fine tuning it for peak performance. Deciding on and committing to my purpose and direction then aligning it with my intentions and actions and taking the necessary next steps. Simply put I was “taking small steps to … LIVE LARGE!”

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