August 15, 2019

38. Self-Coaching Frees the Spirit

You need to do THIS on your own

There are times in life when you shouldn’t and can’t go to some sort of a guru, counsellor, professional, and supervisor to help with a problem. Sometimes you have just got to trust your own wisdom, but to do it in a really deliberate way. So our topic is self-coaching.

Well, self-coaching, to our way of thinking, frees the spirit. It is a process where instead of engaging somebody else or speaking to anybody in the world, you’ve got a problem that you want to solve on your own, and normally it’s for one of two reasons

  1. It’s because for once you want to just do it on your own. You want to solve this problem without anyone else’s help, or
  2. The other reason is maybe the problem that you’ve got, you’re not ready to share. Maybe it’s financial, maybe it’s relational, maybe its health, maybe it’s a goal you’ve always wanted to achieve and maybe you just didn’t want anyone else to know about it right now. You’ve got to really trust the actual timing. There’s a time for everything, and there’re times you’re just not ready to share and you shouldn’t.

A Framework for Self Coaching

The key here is thinking it through; a framework. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have decided to go and do something on your own, but you don’t have any way of knowing what to do. A self-coaching framework will help you put a process into your own self-development so you can do this on your own. This can be used for little challenges you probably got in your life at home, or with a friend, or with your boss, it could be a financial goal or some problem, getting yourself out of financial trouble or a health goal you’ve got, whatever it is you use a little framework to get you to the next level.

Start at the End Point

When you engage with this you need to be clear what your end point is – what the outcome is that you are actually wanting. Greg was chatting to someone recently who was having a real problem with their boss at work and the boss was more like a micro manager and a real hard arse, and you know it sounded really hard. So Greg asked, “Okay so, you’ve got a problem, what’s the outcome you are seeking?” 

And they said “what do you mean?” And Greg said well, “What do you want this to be like? What’s the positively framed outcome you’re after?” He said “Uh, I don’t want my boss to, you know beat on me!” Greg said “That’s not positively framed, that’s not aspirational, and that’s probably not even congruent.” What you’re wanting needs to be framed in a positive way and you need to know, be able to visualise what it looks like and feels like.

After some work they described the outcome as follows, “You know I want to have a fantastic relationship with my boss where they tell me every week I’m doing a good job and they recommend me for a promotion in 6 months’ time, that’s an outcome.”

Now we are talking. Now they know where they want to be.

Check the Outcome is Congruent

An important step now is to check that the outcome is congruent for you. What we mean by that is to check and ensure that everything about that outcome is 100% ok with you. There is no part of you worried about it…or in internal disagreement. If you feel uncertain, nervous, like it doesn’t fit it might be that is just isn’t well formed just yet. So spend some exploring and refining the outcome so it feels just right.

One cool trick to test congruency in the real world is to explore the positive and negative consequences of having achieved the outcomes. Just simply ask yourself, “If I had this outcome now what would be all the consequences of having it for me, my family and life/work?”(or something like that.

If you can be really clear at that point, then what you’ve got is an outcome that is crystal clear, positively framed and aligned for who you are. Most people who do self-coaching don’t do this thing and its one of the most important steps.

Where are you now?

Once you’ve got the outcome really clear, then you need to go back and say “What’s the current state?” Where am I at? There’s a few little tricks here that we’ve found really important. Describe what is going on in a fair amount of depth, and highlight what it might be costing you right now, once again we explore all the consequences. What is happening for you, your family, your friends, all the negative things, the lower impacts, if there’s problem in your life, what all bad things that this is costing you.

And within that is the energy for change and the energy you need to change. What you create that it is almost like a rubber band that stretches, on one side is the tension pulling you towards this wonderful outcome – it’s positive, it’s got good consequences. On the other end is all the negatives, so you got this tension now and the more you stretch it the more you define the negative and the more you define the positive outcome. The more energy you’re now going to put into the change itself, which then takes us to the next point which is why are you where you are now? 

Root causes

Time to explore that the root cause of your problem. This is all about having a really honest, hard, look at yourself. What have you done to get yourself in this position?

You might need to just stop, find yourself some time and space. It is not beating up on itself, it’s just simply saying why am I here? What’s the cause? What are all the different kind of factors? 

If you’ve made a few mistakes, we all make mistakes, it just happens with the chaos of life, but you made a really important point there, look at all the different elements.

One of the real pitfalls, that root cause analysis is you look too closely at one particular element. You’ve got to look at the system, all the different elements, much like a spider’s web, if you pull a web, the whole thing rebounds and reverberates, that’s often what a problem looks like. There’s many different parts, so do a really good root cause analysis.

And you know, within that, be open to the left field causes – those things, those causes that you have never even given a thought to but come up in your reflection.

If you think about this, well go through the example of a difficult boss, and this could be a relationship at home or a friend, as it could be a financial goal. The current state is they are beating up on you, its negative, it’s costing you fitness and your health, you’re taking that home to your family and friends, it’s not so good, your kids are looking at you and saying “Oh my god, you know, my Dad’s stress is not so great”

What could be all the root causes? Well number one, maybe you’re not really serving them as best you can. Two, maybe you’re not doing your job as best as you can. Three, maybe they’re just a really bad place personally.

Maybe the organisation is putting too much pressure on them, and they’re just passing it straight down. Do all the root cause analysis, be really clear on that, and then you go okay what’s the gap? What is the gap between where I am now, and my positively framed outcome. It could be as simple as sitting there with a journal or a large sheet of paper and just putting it all down bit by bit – brainstorming the bits that make up the gaps.S

So there is a simple process. What’s the outcome? What’s the current state? What’s the root cause? What’s the gap analysis? If you can just get that far, you’re you’re probably going to solve the problem pretty quickly. The first steps set up all self coaching for success.

What do I need to improve?

So get the analysis in and you just say to yourself right, what do I need technically? Any technically skills? Any tactical processes, any mental states, mind sets, energy, courage.

Do I need a better spirit that I take to work? Do I need a better social relationships or do I need to connect with more people? That’s a technical, tactical, mental, physical, social, spiritual, elements we’ve spoken about before.

What else do you need? More time? Finances? What resources, what capability or approach do I need to solve this problem? And some of these will be more important – stronger – as the context for your challenge change

Be Disassociated from the problem

One of the keys to self-coaching is from taking an almost dissociated view of the problem to gain more insight. Strive to be quite objective about the problem – the challenge. And almost quite subjective or objectively going well, “This is what’s going on!” You almost talk about yourself in a third person, you know, “Look what’s Greg done here, he hasn’t got the right skill or he needs a better tactical approach to his problem, or he needs to have a better social relationship and that will solve the problem.” Once you’ve sit and worked out what all the gap is, then you-you just want to plan a better way of approaching it. You know it might just be the first two or three steps is enough sometimes.

You don’t always want to be in this space. Simply use it as a tool to gain greater insight, particularly on highly emotional challenges.

Specific Planning

Too often at this point people plan in a vague way. With your planning you should be quite specific. If we take this example of your boss maybe, maybe you’ve got this root cause analysis that says it could be two or three things here. In the first thing you do when you’re planning is say well-you could say I need to have a discussion with my boss. That is too vague.

Write out each of the steps to bridge the gap and be specific about how you’re going to be successful in each step.

And then you’re going to get back to the beginning. So, what you need to do is plan and then you execute with deliberate purpose for specific action, then you review, and you realign.

Here is the framework start-to-finish:

  1. What is your outcome? 
  2. What’s the current state? 
  3. What are the root causes? 
  4. What’s the gap analysis? 
  5. What’s your plan in detail? 
  6. Execute, review, and realign. And we’ll put those in the show notes guys can have that, and you can [inaudible 00:11:04] anytime you want.

And remember that it is actually like any skill, the more you do this it becomes part of you and it gets easier and is it easy. You become more aware of root causes, your ability to do the gap analysis, will you get better and do better. You will know what particular plans, what kind of strategies will work best for you, etc. 

It becomes part of your DNA and you become very good at solving problems without necessarily always having to lean on someone else. What that really gives you then and if you just imagine that every single time a problem came up the first thing you did was go “what is the outcome?” You become more positive and honest and frank.

That would be a wonderful little skill to have in your head every single day. So, just put those things into your DNA, because it makes a huge difference to your quality of life, it gives you confidence when something pops up that’s an issue, you don’t get scrambled and scattered, you go okay well I’ve gotta run a process here..1,2,3,4,5

What Greg and Pricey love about this is that it’s based on a strong belief that the wisdom is within you. You have the skills. You’ve got a wisdom and everything’s within you, all you have to do is stop and actually think about it and then tap into, harness the actual wisdom, which is there.

There’s a great, philosophy in coaching that Greg was taught years ago, and it says, “The resources to fix the problem are always within the client.” Your job as a coach, is to help those resources come to the fore. And I think that’s real important when you’re self-coaching, the resources to fix this are within you. Your job is through this process or through any process you find, is to find the resources that you want and bring them to the fore.

It’s almost like bringing all the weaponry that you have within you and just lining it up and bringing it to solve a problem, positively with a great impact in the world.

And the more you actually do it, those particular skills just get honed in your heart and mind. And you’re growing that sense of I’m not a victim here, I’ve got that wisdom I can tap into it. There’s a beautiful line in Invictus “I am the master on my fate, I’m the captain of my soul.” That’s exactly what you’re doing here.

It’s just a magnificent thing to store up within your own skillset, is the beauty to self-coach cause as we said it just gives you, and releases your spirit as you overcome your biggest problems of your own bat.

Stay legendary

Grego and Pricey