Tips on Maximizing Your Coaching Investment
Published in Leadership Advantage Newsletter, Vol. III Number 1
- Talk about what matters most. Talk about your important needs. Be selfish about your coaching time – talk about what really matters rather than what you “should” be addressing.
- Focus on how you feel and want to feel, not just on what you want to produce. Don’t avoid talking about your feelings, no matter what your opinions of them are. Feelings drive behaviors. To change your behaviors, change how you feel. Be willing to explore and discuss your feelings with your coach. Awareness is the first step toward change.
- Get more space, not more time, into your life. Coaching needs room in order to work. If you’re too busy, you’ll use coaching to push yourself harder, instead of using coaching to become more effective. Simplification gets you space. You need space in order to learn and to be able to evolve beyond where you are today.
- Become incredibly selfish in order to reduce energy drains. Coaching will help you to identify and reduce things that drain and strain you such as recurring problems, difficult relationships and pressured environments. It’s up to you to ask your coach for help in reducing energy drains.
- Be open to see things differently. You will get more out of coaching if you are willing to examine your assumptions, ways of thinking, expectations, beliefs, and reactions. As David Whyte has said, “Nobody has to change, but everybody has to have the conversation.”
- Sensitize yourself to see and experience things earlier than before. Coaching conversations will lead you to increased awareness. The more you sensitize yourself to your feelings and thoughts, the faster you can respond to events and opportunities. This may mean eliminating alcohol, stress, caffeine and an adrenaline-based energy system for living.
- Design and strengthen your business and personal environments. The value of coaching can be extended if you use part of your coaching time to design the perfect environment in which to live and work. If your surroundings are unpleasant, unhealthy, or disorganized, they can affect your success. Clean up, organize, beautify.
- Be clear about your goals before ending the coaching session. Coaching is just conversation unless it leads to action. Make sure you know what your goals are, both immediate, near future and long term.
- Spend part of your coaching time to improve your ability to give feedback. Successful leaders know how to give positive feedback to their key people. They do it frequently and with authenticity. They never hesitate when feedback is less than positive. You should give your coach feedback, especially at the end of each session. Say what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like next.
- Be willing to evolve yourself, not just increase your performance. Coaching is a developmental process and an evolutionary one. You’ll learn how to accomplish more with less effort. But you will also think differently, adopt a new personal vision of yourself, change outdated beliefs and assumptions and expand your view of yourself and your place in the world. Work with your coach to become more magnificent in your work and in your life.
Copyright 2001 Simmonds Publications – Reprinted in the Leadership Advantage Newsletter with Permission