Self coaching is a very useful tool and if used correctly and appropriately can be very effective in helping you take the initiative and make a positive change. If you missed Part 1 of this blog post, it can be found here.
Now we will continue to look at what tools you can use for self coaching.
Action Learning Sets
An action learning set is a group of individuals who gather together over a period of time to explore a particular topic. Between meetings, the members of the set go away to explore issues back at work that are related to the topic. They then bring their experiences to the next meeting and discuss them with the whole set. Coaching yourself can assist you in getting the most out of an action learning set and vice versa.
During a 360 degree feedback process
Some organisations use either ad hoc or regular 360 degree feedback processes. If you are actively coaching yourself, this is likely to assist you in completing the 360 degree questionnaire, getting the most out of the feedback from the whole process and acting on it to further develop yourself.
Mentors (real or virtual)
This might be someone within or outside the organisation that can act as a mentor. You can test out with them the ideas and reflections that have come from your self coaching. Nowadays, mentoring can be face to face, on the phone or via email.
You might be asking what virtual mentors could be. Well, even if you don’t have an actual mentor, or if you cannot contact them when you need to at a particularly challenging time, there is an exercise that can help you to tap into a mentor’s wisdom. Virtual mentors are people who you call on in your mind, rather than in reality. They could be dead, alive, fictional or real, mythical, historical, known to you or famous. Your mentor could even be an animal: for example, some people have a courageous lion or wise owl as a mentor.
The following exercise works well if you have a decision to make or are facing a difficult problem. You can do it either in your head or on paper, and it can work very well if you walk around and step into the different mentors’ shoes. The latter tends to be the most effective way of doing this exercise, so you will need a private space for it.
|Step 1||Think about the issue or question you are facing.|
|Step 2||Think of three virtual mentors whose wise words about this particular issue you would like to hear. Perhaps mark a space with paper on the floor where they would stand.|
|Step 3||Take one of the mentors and step into their shoes, onto the piece of paper on the floor. As you stand in their shoes, imagine you are them. From their perspective, look at you, back where you were first standing. From their shoes, give yourself some words of wisdom, encouragement, support and/or inspiration to help you in the situation you are facing or the decision you are making.|
|Step 4||Step back into your shoes and take on board these wise words.|
|Step 5||Repeat steps 3 and 4 with each of the other two mentors.|
|Step 6||When you are back in your shoes, take on board the wise words from all three of your mentors. Then look up and visualise yourself acting on these wise words.|