One of the challenges I face as a coach is in managing expectations of change. Battling the idea that one problem solving session or a 2 day retreat makeover, will totally reinvent their work, life and stress management techniques with massive gains.
This is not what real coaching is about.
My focus, even when skill changes are needed, is in creating an environment so that the changes can take place in a positive and sustainable manner. Working on attitude, self-discipline and an overall approach to work-life balance.
The frustration this causes is sometimes immediate:
‘Oh yeah, I already know all of that. Can we get on with those changes you want to make?’
Of course, many, don’t get it at all.
If you’ve been involved in work-life balance long term, a major overhaul in the space of two days is not going to make a long-term difference to your business or personal performance. A little short-term satisfaction perhaps, but no movement forward on a consistent basis.
Before we can find what is the best adaptive change for the individual, we must first have the mind body health in a certain shape so that making changes will not disrupt those who depend on them. If I feel an individual is not fit enough using their current life balance techniques, the first goal must be to try and get them to a certain wellness level where we can introduce REAL changes that will have a positive impact.
If one isn’t mentally or emotionally fit enough to individualise at home or disciplined enough to hold onto a clear view of what holding their power on a working day looks like (being real and expecting the best – the drills we use in coaching) with their current position, then trying to come up with a completely set of skills is going to cause trouble. If I introduce my emotional shower or discard form to business execs whose nervous system is not yet capable of dealing with what they are currently doing, then they have to be reconditioned before changes are made. The best way to do this is by working with the techniques they have already got.
As busy people you are all at different levels of development. So you shouldn’t be frustrated if your significant other or your business partner is given the new skill and you’re not because it doesn’t suit your lifestyle yet.
The point I make, and I make it very loud for our Innerwealth.com newbies:
YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOURSELF TIME. Hurry slowly.
You cannot incorporate new things into your work if the main objective of your current lifestyle is simply to be able:
· Survive a volatile home life where you are bullied into submission.
· Get through a week so you can recover or Uber the kids on the weekend.
· Just make the cut off at work at review time
All these things must be able to be completed with consummate ease before you can incorporate REAL changes and successfully bed them in.
As much as we all want fast gains, one must first understand the process to real improvement. Here at Innerwealth.com, we are not about the McDonaldization of life-balance training, where the same prognosis is dished up no matter what job, ambition, nervous system, constitution, role, history or current lifestyle of an individual exec.
I find it amazing that in business we work 8 hours, which equates roughly to 1600 -2000 hours a year and that people pay for the standard one shoe fits all keynote or retreat program for life-balance correction’ and a personal change that they can only hold for 30 days max. (proven to be the 90% decline rate for corporate training). The extra effort and concentration to hold the 30 days then places an enormous load on the next 2,000 hours and one actually works slower over the long haul distance. But because they now go faster for that 30 days or 160 hours, the life balance instruction has made them a ‘better’ exec, temporarily.
Same with home life and the traditional ‘compartmentalisation method; excellent for those temporary frustrations in relationship. “Wow! Look at your improvement!” But there always seems to be another excuse for why they end up back in blame and victim mode at home – disappointed.
This is neither a logical nor effective approach to coaching in business.
If you are an up and coming executive trying to learn something, technique changes are useless unless you can hold them for the distance you plan to work. Fire fighting and solving problems at the effect end of life simply delays the real adjustment and brings bigger and bigger disruption.
I remember Christine in New York, not a bad lawyer, 15 top cases won with no losses in a five year career, turning up at one of my retreats and saying:
“Walkertalker, I want you to look at me for 2 days. My business life is awesome but my private life is in the rubbish, give me the training and I will have a beautiful home life again, we make the changes here and now.”
Paul too; “I know, I know, I have anti depressants for 10 years but if you give me instruction, within a month I will be off them and happy again.”
It takes time to get the right to changes occur. For execs with families, as the above examples should illustrate, it can takes months (even years) to successfully implement changes. So why should it be any different for business?
Yes, we have seen massive improvements from our clients after attending our retreats. But these improvements are generally not the result of quick fixes, but from a new approach that provides oneself with the tools to make long term gains.
This is what is needed in coaching. A total life view… a real addition of new skills on a solid foundation. Getting the nervous system in check and happiness in wellness is the essential ground zero we must achieve first.