Coaching — Keep Doing What Works

Many coaches, consultants, and self-improvement authors advise doing what worked for you in the past. That usually means ignoring what doesn’t work for you now. But in the long-term, you likely will be doing the opposite.

For example, if your main strategy is leverage Systems, you probably should not accept the examination that your staff hand in their performance. It’s a simple test – they can’t pass the test if they haven’t already undergone training in Systems.

This is an example that will occur more often than the average coach will experience during their career. A bit like saying you want to be a great doctor. You go to school, get your clinical training and practice. Then you work through the rest of your experience, learning from experts.

But you can’t take what you’ve learned in one step and apply its way to a new scenario. So work through those experiences and learn new skills – and get them to your clients.

So what happens if you know you cannot work with your client in those “old” ways when you are textual book smart, but your client is “old school”? You will not have satisfied them and your relationship with them. I guess that most coaches will be in this situation.

The alternative to facing the past is to learn new skills and stated this way:

“Striving for excellence in all my client relationships is important, and sometimes, hasn’t proven to be as effective as I’d expected in the past. With this new experience of working with your last coach, I have professional confidence and challenge myself to achieve excellence. I have learned a new philosophy of doing things better, more efficiently, and adding additional value in the process.”

You have dramatically empowered the client to act on her instincts – which she now understands that you have been doing for years. Your association with the past is that of a cheerleader cheering the “go” even when a sprinter is blazing down the track. That’s no longer the relationship you want. At that point, you have left a part of yourself.

Use this same process with coaching your staff. Keep doing what works for you – keeping your standards high, following-up on your own plunged goals and continuing to teach your staff new ways of doing things.

Smart Coach’s Action List

• Review your current working style. Are you jumping from one technique to another like one of those planes of broken glass? Or do you have a clear, coherent structure?

Your training and current practice will give you a boost with the new learning.

• Empower your staff to take your “old” theories and “new” applications to new levels. Watch your confidence, and their learning levels soar.

You can encourage your clients to do well. You just need them and the right frame of mind.

In the boom era, we are all told to “go with the flow,” but the current learning climate is about ” unhook, face, solve.” And guess what? In this new way of engaging with clients, it is definitely about ” unhook, face, solve.”

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