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We could be heroes: Self Coaching and how to go about it

09 May

Self coaching is not just a matter of thinking over the events of the day, week or month, though this is part of it; there are tools that will help to identify and capture the learnings.

Next time you are in a tight spot, and wishing for a hero or heroine to come and save the day, conjure up that person in your mind. Make believe that they are actually present and imagine what they would say to do next.

They won’t say “give up and go home”. They would NEVER say that! So what would they say instead? As you listen, realise that it is a part of you speaking, perhaps a more heroic part.

What happens if you follow the advice?

What happens if you don’t?

And of course, you might choose to have more than one heroic figure come to your rescue – because you can. They all have different skills and strengths that you can use. 

Tools for self coaching

Write it down

Writing down your thoughts has a number of benefits:

  • You can look back on what you have learned and see how much you have developed
  • The information will help you to prepare for appraisals and interviews
  • You can collect evidence for your CPD
  • If things are confused in your head, getting your thoughts down on paper can often help you to clear your mind and see things more clearly.

Use a journal, folder or document on your computer – somewhere private and confidential.

Learning and planning logs

These can provide a useful structure for your coaching process. They also assist you in completing the learning cycle and therefore help you to maximise your learning from any particular situation.

Other people

Although, ultimately, the person organising and maintaining the process is you, other people will play an important part in your self coaching.

Coaching yourself can feed into your appraisal and performance management process, partly because it will place you in a better position to know, beforehand, if and how you have improved. In other words, the process itself will increase your capacity for self knowledge.

How will I know if I am improving?

Many people are concerned about how, when they are coaching themselves, they will know if they are improving. However, self coaching rarely happens in isolation. It includes asking others for feedback and support to assist in the process.

Coaching yourself does not have to be a solitary activity, and those people who are more extrovert are likely to involve other people, in addition to spending some time on their own, reflecting on their learning. Those who are less extrovert should be aware that asking for feedback from appropriate people and learning from it is part of the self coaching process.

When asking for feedback and support, it’s important to make sure that it is constructive and meets your needs. Below are some of the ways you can involve others.

Peer coaching

This can be an incredibly rewarding process for both parties. It might be with a colleague directly within your team, within another department, another organisation or even with a friend. Your peer coach can be a useful sounding board for the thoughts arising from your self coaching.

Coaching from your manager

This can be either through asking for coaching on a specific development need or from the general coaching that you receive from your manager. The coaching support that you get from your manager can assist you in coaching yourself. In fact, it will hopefully prove an ongoing cycle, in which you, through coaching yourself, identify your development needs, are proactive in asking for coaching and, in this way, get further insights as well as constructive help.

In Part 2, we will look at Action Learning Sets, the 360° feedback process and mentors. In the meantime, visit our website for more information on what Catalyst offer in terms of coaching courses or give us a call on 0207 436 3636.

Post courtesy of People Alchemy

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