Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Four tips to “auto-coaching”

Posted on Wednesday, December 19, 2012 by International Coach Federation

This post first appeared here.

Very often, managers and individuals will ask to be coached to become better at:
- Planning
- Delegating
- Resolving conflicts, and communicating with others (ex : providing useful feedback)
- Balancing personal and professional lives
- Transitioning to a new job
- …

Profound change with the above will happen in coaching sessions through new behavioral skills being developed as a result of specific actions being put in place, aligned with the person’s values and vision.

That being said, I have found that there are few things managers (as well as individuals) can do to help themselves. You can call it “auto-coaching” !

When you are “struggling” with a task or project, or with “someone” (could be in communicating with a colleague , a team member or another team), I found those 4 tips below to be extremely helpful. And they will certainly make your life easier in a number of situations. 4 tips in 4 questions you can ask yourself:

1. Why am I triggered ?
This question will bring you back to yourself, and as discussed in here, will bring awareness to your very own needs that are not fulfilled in the situation. Developing that awareness, I have found, will bring clarity with yourself, starts to release inner tension (anger, guilt, despair, resentment, ..) and put you in a much better state to ask yourself the next three questions.

2. What do I really want ?
In any difficult situation, I would like to suggest it all comes down to that simple, and yet difficult, question. Difficult, because if you think about it for a minute, we barely ask ourselves that question. What is my intention ? What do I want out of that situation ? Therefore, going back to our true intention will further bring clarity.

3. Why is it important for me to invest time and energy in what I do in this situation ?
Imagine we are all given at the beginning of each day a given amount of energy to spend during the day. And everything we do (words, actions, thoughts, …)  taps into that reservoir. Where would you rather use that energy ? In blaming others or further fueling a conflict ? Or instead, be true to your values, and think about why the things you do indeed matter to you ?

4. What do I do now which is in my power to positively change or influence the situation ?
Once you have asked yourself the 3 questions above, which will bring clarity within you about the situation, the last thing you need to ask yourself is “What do I do about it ?”. Sounds easy, right ? But how often do we get stuck here ? It is about personal accountability and taking responsibility, and positively change any situations. It could be having the courage to talk openly to someone, looking at the situation differently, or admitting our mistakes.

Those 4 questions and tips are not always easy to answer and follow, and will take courage to face. But as you “auto-coach” yourself more and more, you will develop new habits.

And you will find that it is actually liberating!

By Eric Marin

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