THE ENERGY OF A COACH
The energy of a coach makes up the final element of coaching, and it is described with the eight-part Achievers Coaching Techniques (ACT). Coaches need to be open with their clients about using these techniques and seek permission to do so. The eight ACT themes flow in a logical order, but coaches use them based on client needs.
Taking Full Responsibility
High achievers do not allow excuses or outside factors to prevent goal achievement. They take total responsibility for their lives. Coaches can clarify this principle through the idea that events plus responses equal results. People can either blame events for their lack of results, or they can change their responses. When people blame events, they prevent themselves from achieving. When they change their responses, they take control of their lives and move toward their goals. In order to change their responses, people need to be willing to change their perceptions.
For example, an employee who worked especially hard, but unsuccessfully, for a year to get a promotion could feel overlooked. This interpretation could lead to deteriorating performance, which only further distances the employee from the promotion. Or, the employee could focus on what prevented the promotion and use the information to improve and get promoted. This technique puts the employee–not the situation–in control.
Limiting beliefs can prevent achievement. These beliefs, which often form during childhood, may be as personal as “I am so stupid” or as general as “people are dishonest.” Coaches can help clients counteract these beliefs. First, clients must identify and write down their limiting beliefs. Then, they must describe how these beliefs limit them. Next, they imagine the worst-case scenario of continuing to subscribe to the beliefs. Then, clients think about how they would prefer to behave and make a corresponding positive affirmation that they repeat to themselves for a minimum of 30 days.
Clarifying Purpose and Vision
People who are not living lives of purpose are not fulfilling their true potential. Coaches who help clients discover their gifts and how to use them to benefit others can be of tremendous value. Goals related to fulfilling a purpose do not have to be exclusively work-related. They can also cover areas such as relationships, health, fun, and service to others.
When helping clients determine what they want, coaches can ask the same question, “What do you want?” over and over. It may sound repetitive, but the purpose is to have clients move beyond the superficial. In this process, coaches start by asking clients what they want, writing down the answer, and then asking the same question again, and again writing down the answer. Responses to the early rounds of questioning are usually material goods, such as a luxury car or large house. As the coach asks the question again and again, though, the responses usually become more profound. People express desire for love or other core needs.
Using Visualization and Affirmations
When people are trying to overcome obstacles, they often focus almost exclusively on problems rather than on potential rewards. A better thinking pattern uses affirmations that describe the completed goal, such as “I am enjoying the responsibilities and benefits that come with my new position.”
Coaches can also encourage clients to visualize. With regular visualization, the subconscious mind finds solutions to problems and is constantly looking for useful information and personal connections that it might otherwise have filtered out.
Getting tasks done is sometimes tedious, but coaches can offer clients a few simple tricks to increase both motivation and productivity. First, it helps to do the toughest task of the day first to build momentum and release energy. Other helpful methods include planning the next day the night before and applying the Rule of Five: doing five things every day that are important to realizing a goal.
Using Feedback Effectively
Not asking for feedback is common, and it prevents improvement. A simple question is all it takes: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the quality of my performance during the last week?” The question can be rephrased to focus on a relationship, service, product, or any other relevant topic. It can also be rephrased to focus on a different time period. If the response is less than 10, another question is asked: “What would it take to make it a 10?”
The Law of Attraction
People attract what they send out into the world. Language reflects what people think, whether or not the speaker realizes it. Therefore, using language that reflects the desired outcome is important. Rather than saying, “do not be late” to someone, it is better to say, “see you on time.” Coaches can help their clients understand their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and change them to put the Law of Attraction to work in a positive way.
Another way to encourage success is to reward each accomplishment. This practice reinforces motivation to continue working and to pursue other, perhaps even larger, goals. Coaches who consistently remind clients to reward themselves may be surprised at how much more successful their clients are.
Coaching’s ultimate goal is to help people achieve their dreams. It is not an easy task, but it is transformational and can change people, organizations, and even communities.