A coach is a person who works with emerging human and organizational forces to tap new energy and purpose, to shape new visions and plans, and to generate desired results. A coach is someone trained and devoted to guiding others into increased competence, commitment, and confidence. Frederick Hudson, 1999
For the past two weeks, I’ve been writing about generating new actions toward goals. My original intent in setting out to do this was to push myself to come up with new ideas I hadn’t considered yet while helping others think through their goals. The only problem is that you can only generate new actions for so long before you get overwhelmed with all the new activity. Have you ever felt this way?
I talked to a leader today who was so overwhelmed that he told me, “I just need someone to talk to so I can make sense of all the things I have to do.” He then proceeded to list about 25 things he had to do within the next two weeks. In the end, he had a schedule. However, there was something beneath his frantic scheduling. I was curious, so I asked.
“If you look at all these things, what need do these themes point to?”
His answer, “I’m usually in isolation and need someone to talk with regularly to help me make sense of all I have to do.”
This answer is so characteristic of high speed, high capacity leaders. I’ve felt this way before too. Even my self-generated project of coming up with 40 new action steps has become overwhelming. So what do I need? I need the same thing as the leader I just mentioned. I need coaching.
But what is a coach? Simply put, a coach is a thought partner. A coach helps pull out the resources that are already there. A coach is a someone who shines the light on what’s really important while helping the client get perspective on the whirlwind they sometimes feel caught up in.
Lucky me, I’m trained as a coach. So I coached myself on the subject of how to reach my goal without getting overwhelmed by having to generate 40 new actions. Here’s how I did it.
- I asked myself what my goal was
- Then I wrote down all the things I’d done toward that goal and decided which actions were most successful
- Next, I asked myself how I could do more of those actions
- Last, I picked the most effective action and decided to repeat it weekly
Think about it. How does one stay in shape? Is it by trying 40 different things all the time? No, it’s by consistently doing small things like walking around the neighborhood for 15-30 minutes each day. That played out over the long haul will keep a person in shape.
In the same way, generating tons of new activity may give you some initial success. But after the bang of activity, evaluate. Then decide which actions were most effective and do those actions regularly, consistently and deliberately.
Identifying those repeated small actions and doing them is what’s going to give you big payoff in the end when it comes to reaching your goal.
Need some help identifying what your consistent actions need to be? Hire a coach.
This is day 12 of an exercise I’m engaging in called, 40 days of action, how to generate momentum on your most important goals. If you’d like to read the original blog, click here. If you’d like to participate in 40 days of action, click here to email me.