Making a change is always hard. Taking the first step is always the hardest.
How many times have you put something off, rather than getting on with it and taking the plunge?
Sometimes you need a nudge, a helping hand to make you step forward & do what you say you will. At work there might be a deadline that forces your hand in delivering a project; a friend may sign you up for a marathon which kick-starts you exercising.
But in terms of personal behaviours, how do you change yourself? Or even find out if there’s a change you should consider making? It’s not as easy as staring in the mirror and thinking ‘Oh, my hair’s gotten too long, I need a haircut’. Personal behaviours are intrinsically a part of you and so you naturally take them for granted, like seeing your face in the mirror.
Realising that you want to change your behaviours takes a degree of courage. You have to be self-aware enough to view yourself objectively and identify different ways you could act, recognising your imperfections along the way.
I realised I had a different style of social interaction from one of my direct reports. He found me very abrupt when I plunged straight into our 1-2-1 catch ups….
It’s hard enough to get decent feedback to discover what behaviours you may want to work on developing. Then it’s even harder to find someone objective who can help you do this and who has your best interests at heart.
This is where a Coach steps in. A Coach should be objective, from outside your organisation or social circle, allowing you to create a confidential bond. Your Coach is, in effect, holding up your mirror: they will help you explore your current attitudes and identify alternatives which you may, or may not, wish to adopt.
….I have been consciously working on changing my style with him, and now make sure I start each meeting with a ‘How are you/ How’s your week been/ What’s going on’ conversation for the first few minutes…..
It’s said that you have to repeat something for 21 days for it to become a habit. That’s not a quick, one-off fix. You may well forget. Your Coach will be actively checking in on you during your next session, asking you if you put your plan into action; what happened; did it work.
Much like a question about deadlines from your boss can focus you on a project deliverable, knowing that your Coach is going to follow up on your progress will help remind you to keep making that change.
When you’re held to account by someone, it’s harder to put off an action. And when your action leads to a positive change, it’s great to have someone to recognise and celebrate your success with.
….Although I originally felt it was a waste of precious minutes, it’s improved our meetings and working relationship. I’ve also found that not leaping straight into business has strengthened my relationships with other colleagues, although I hadn’t realised there was any issue or shortcoming before.
Enhance provides coaching and mentoring for ambitious Directors.
Call us on 0203 500 6300 or contact us here to find out how we can help you.