The coaching relationship forces you to be accountable. If you say aloud that you will do something, you are more likely to do it, especially if you have follow-up meetings with your coach and you will have to tell them about the work you are doing and the progress you are making. A good coach will ask "what did you accomplish since our last meeting?” and “what do you hope to achieve next?” These little milestones add up.
|Discussing the route up a boulder.|
My wife has always been fascinated by clusters of success — great musicians or authors or inventors or philosophers who seem to grow up together or know each other just as their careers are beginning. (A favorite example of this is The Beatles and Eric Clapton — friends who all turned out to be incredibly talented and famous — what were the odds? and why?) I don’t think this phenomenon is an accident. Driven and talented people are able to push each other, motivate each other, help each other through hard times. This kind of coaching is very powerful.
What kind of coach do you need? One style that I recommend, because of the ease of access, is a peer coach. If you are working toward a particular goal, I recommend that you look for a friend or colleague who can become your peer coach. Here are some things to think about as you start a peer coaching relationship:
· What is your goal, or what do you want coaching on?
· Who do you know that can meet with you in person, online, or over the phone for 30-60 minutes every week?
A lot of getting what you want is simply about showing up and putting in the time. Check out the blog post from a few months ago, Always Training, which explains the attitude that I’ve adopted for constant improvement.
Your peer coach will be there to help you through the good times and the bad times, cheer you on, and steer you in directions that you may have overlooked. One style of peer coaching, which I’ve adapted from Mike Rother’s Toyota Kata is simply to guide the learner through these five questions:
· What do you want to do?
· Where are you currently?
· What is preventing you from achieving this goal?
· What’s the first thing that you would like to work on?
· And when can we see when you’ve accomplished this?
If you work with your peer coach every week using this tool, I guarantee that you will see results.
And remember, as I said in the post, Keep Goin’, you have to make it fun. You don’t need a Russian figure skating coach that shouts at you, “Do it Again! Again!” You can achieve a lot of your goals just by making yourself accountable to someone else.
I’ll talk more about the expert coach and the benefits in the next post, but for now, find a peer coach and get started.