Writing in coaching - why it's important
Why do you need to write down your goal, your action plan and your achievements when undertaking coaching?
Because part of the 'learning' process (see …) is that we hear the theory, see it written down, touch it or try it out (writing) and keep practising the new process or procedure. The same with coaching!
The writing is the touch bit of the learning process. And goals need to be 'learned' i.e. embedded in our body, mind and soul if they are to be effective! They have to become part of us, second nature to us like all new training and learning we do.
We have a clear goal, we know the steps we need to take and we have to keep taking them.
But we all know, too, that in any long term process we can lose track of where we are and where we are meant to be going.
So writing it down not only enhances our learning and embedding but it can act as a reminder to us of where we are going!
It is also a great progress marker to see how far we've come!
(Add your steps to your annual business plan review! I'm sure you do one….!)
But the importance is in feeling your goal - the emotional input you're making to your life - as well as seeing your vision of the new life choice, and hearing the sounds around you, smelling the smells and tasting success!
I also know that some people don't like writing anything down. That's fine in most cases, but if you don’t write who will? It is a necessary part of the process to your success.
Journalling is another writing process that can really help in coaching (and counselling too), but this can be done in different ways like sticking pictures, collecting things or creating a story board of photos for example.
Writing down your goal records it out in the big wide world for all to see! Even if only you see it, someone could find it one day …
This harps back for me to when I was an early counsellor and coach, and a friend would not tell me something (I forget what now!) and as I probed a little, she said "because if you say it out loud, it makes it real" - and writing down commits you to take the actions you've planned, and aim for the goal you've set yourself!
It makes it very real indeed! Like your business plan, or your journal, your diary or your procedures and your supervision at work maybe. Contracts that you sign, online or off, and forms you confirm with a written signature. It goes on record!
Recording is important if you are going to monitor something too, and monitoring progress and achievements is key in coaching too. How will you know when you get there otherwise? How would you recognise the milestones you've reached and the steps you've taken and learned from?
Once the process is over you will have forgotten what it took to get there - each and every question, answer, idea and step you took to get to where you are. You will no doubt remember the feelings associated and some major steps or obstacles, the people who helped or hindered and the likely ups and downs of your path here.
But where then did you start from and how would you know just how far you've come?
This can also help to motivate you at down times, or boost you in the line of criticism and remind yourself you have not failed but just learned how to do it better next time! And the next, and the next …
Coaching, like learning, is a process. Development and growth are processes too.
But if you write them down you know what the next step of the process is, or what it needs to be.
Because when you achieve one goal, there is always the next …