My coaching clients share a common desire. They want to improve, so that they can move to the next “higher” level of their career or life. They are frustrated enough, or wise enough, to seek the counsel of another. Our goals center around identifying and changing behaviors that lead to outcomes we agree are desirable. Agreement is more essential than the goal. I have learned that the hard way.
One of the most powerful tools I use is to ask the person to address an issue from their desired outcome’s perspective: The If/Then approach. ” If you were president/customer/competitor what would you do/recommend/advise?” What always surfaces is an answer that already existed in the mind of the person. Usually individuals seeking coaching have seen the path and, for whatever reason, found it difficult to stay on. Coaching is best when the student discovers they had the answer all along. Call it coaching as sculpture.
Knowing that makes my confession more embarrassing: I have a hard time taking my own advice. I am constantly amazed how easy offering others advice on how best to move forward comes to me, yet how easy it for me to apply the same advice to myself. I facilitate a course on how to get a “stuck” small business to their next level. Love the opportunity and receive very positive feedback. Ironically, I seem perfectly content to not move my coaching business to the next level. I know what to do and continually find ways to avoid/sidestep/excuse the actions I need to take to achieve that next level of growth.
Jim Collins in his classic book, Good To Great, suggests leaders always Confront the Brutal Reality. This blog is my taking Jim’s advice. Brian Tracy suggested years ago that writing anything down increases the likelihood of success by 200%. So my next step will be to write down my goals, write down my challenges, write down whose help I need, and then craft a series of actions steps I need to do each week to achieve my goal. And finally, I need to share these goals with my accountability partner (my unpaid coach:) ).
Funny, that is exactly what I facilitate and coach. “Mirror, mirror on the wall. With you, I will rise and fall. With you I will start each day, and with you I will find my way!”
The best is ahead!