Have you ever wondered why very few people succeed in their effort to change?
Or do you know why you are not able to make your change permanent?
Here are 7 fundamental elements you can do to sustain your change and performance.
You must develop self-awareness for the change.
This is one of the biggest problems in coaching. Some people are not aware of their weaknesses and areas of improvement. You don’t spend enough time on self-reflection and honest self-assessment. You are afraid of losing ‘face’ when confronted with the truth about yourself.
You fear rejection if you admit your failures or lack of competence, so you hide and mask your weakness.
You are so wrapped up in your ego that you cannot face yourself in the mirror.
This is the first and primary step for any success in coaching. Honest Self-Awareness.
Start with one area that you feel and see the need for improvement. It is already hard enough to change what you want to change than to start with something you are not willing or don’t see the need to change. A good coach will start by asking you, “What do you want to change?” not ‘What do I want you to change?”
You must believe you can change.
You must believe you can change. Self-belief is very important. Lack of it will lead to lack of effort and perseverance when you face obstacles. A good coach will encourage this self-belief and assure you that you can change if you want.
You must feel the urgency and importance to change.
I wanted to lose weight for a long time. I recognized the importance of exercise and a good diet. But I was always finding excuses not to exercise or eat well, until I suffered a heart attack some years ago. It was a wake-up call. Most of us, like me, may recognize the importance of change. But we do not change until we realize the urgency to change. The question you need to ask is not how important the change is but why must you change NOW?
You must put in the time and effort
No pain, no gain. This is very true in coaching. You have to develop a plan. You must set aside the time. You have to decide on the activities. For example, if you want to improve on your relational skills, you have to work out a plan to achieve this:
1. Build relationships with three of your closest associates/family members;
2. Start reading a book or books on the subject;
3. Learn to greet and engage in small talk with your colleagues;
4. Make time to meet your subordinates one-on-one informally for lunch.; and
5. Learn to listen carefully by asking relevant questions instead of dominating the discussions.
Start with some small steps and quick wins. Don’t be too ambitious. Then, you can monitor your progress every week to see how you are doing.
If you are a person of faith, you need to rely on God and His grace to make it happened. This dependence helps you realize your need for Him to help you succeed.
You must have accountable partners to give honest feedback
Often, one of these accountability partners is your coach. Better still, let your spouse be your accountability partner.. Rope in your boss or colleagues to check on your progress. Most people will not give you feedback unless you give them permission. Having accountability partners shows that you are serious about the coaching.
Being open to feedback is the way to improve.
You must learn to celebrate effort and performance
Giving yourself a treat is important. Over the last six months, I have started to exercise for one hour daily. It was a big struggle when I started. However, I feel much fresher and fitter. Each month, I celebrate my success with a hearty meal with my wife. That keeps me motivated.
It was a bigger challenge after six months. Sometimes, I slip off and get lazy. I have to restart again. Each time I restart, I congratulate myself for the effort.
I find that celebrating success for my effort and performance is motivation in itself.
You must keep practicing for 6 months to make it a habit.
Right now, I find uneasy when I don’t exercise. I feel lousy. I get frustrated. This makes me feel good and I find it easy to do it or restart when I let off. I hope to keep up for the next 6 months with new goals and newer exercises so that I don’t feel bored.
These are the 7 fundamental elements for any effective change. Try them and share with me your results. Choose one area you want change and apply these 7 elements to it. I wish you every success in your coaching.