8 secrets to successful coaching (because I’m tired reading about 7 secrets to well, everything!)
1. Think long term. Don’t fall into the trap of short-termism and talk about where you’ll be in 6 months. Sure you’ll have clarity on where you are going and start to take action in some small ways but that’s just the end of the beginning. Coaching is about laying the foundation for where you’ll be in 2, 4, 6 years from now and beyond. Putting it in context, your working life is going to span 50 years (yes really). Taking a couple of years to change direction is a blip, a small detour. You will benefit hugely from thinking in years not months.
2. Confusion before clarity. Nobody likes being confused, but within the fog of your confusion lies some answers. You don’t have to like the feeling but you do have to accept it for a bit. Sit with the confusion, make peace with the feeling and recognise it’s part of the process of change. There is no around, only through.
3. Put the work in. Coaching alone will not get you over the finishing line. Coaching will not take away the need for hard work. Coaching will stop you procrastinating over getting stuck into the hard work of change.
4. Stop stressing. This isn’t life or death, nothing bad will happen to you. Think of finding your new direction as experimenting and playing. Playful brains are creative brains, creative brains come up with new ideas to solve old problems.
5. Stop looking for THE right path. There are many paths (plural) open to you if you choose to see them (it is 100% your choice). Some paths will give you back more than others, none will give you everything. Look inside yourself, get to know yourself and your values. Use that knowledge to help you decide which path(s) to investigate (not follow just yet. The first path may turn out to be a dead end and some backtracking may be in order – remember you are experimenting).
6. The answers you seek will come from a conversation, not a keyboard. Get out from behind your screen, stop communing with the Google Gods. Google is great for information, but you want knowledge. People have knowledge. Yes, use Google to help you find the knowledgeable people – then meet them, skype them, call them.
7. Accept your goals lie outside your comfort zone. Commit to stepping outside that comfort zone every day, even dipping the smallest little toe in unfamiliar water builds confidence and that’s what this is all about; confidence. You cannot think your way into a new confident you, you can only act your way into a new confident you by doing.
8. Accept that 4 – 6 weeks in you will feel overwhelmed and think it's all a waste of time (which is nothing by the way – see point 1). That you’re not going anywhere, nothing is changing. 98% of people fail here and accept their current unhappy reality (“better the devil you know”). Don’t be one of them. Before you set out on this journey commit to being the 2%, not the 98%. When it gets tough have a small wallow, then saddle up again telling yourself I am the resilient 2%.
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