We are all coaches. We coach our teams, our kids, our colleagues, our families, our friends and people we don’t know. But, who do you coach the most?
If you ever try to encourage and motivate someone, you are coaching. You put that person in the centre of your world. You are listening, being curious about the answers that they give to your questions, creating the conditions for them to feel that they can open up, empathising, focusing on them as a person first, seeing their strengths and positively influencing them through your own attitudes and behaviours. This is strengths-based coaching (SBC). You can read more about this positive approach on Mike Pegg’s website. Mike is a pioneer of SBC.
Who do you coach each day?
The person who you coach the most, is you. What are you like as a coachee? Would you like to be coaching you, knowing what you are like? All those things you do to be available to others, do you extend them to yourself? Here are some skills, features and characteristics (in no order):
- wholly present
- deep listening
You will recognise most of these as you naturally use them each day with different people, in your own way. But how do you coach yourself? Here are some considerations.
How do you look after yourself? This is not to be confused with being selfish or ego-led. To look after others, we must look after ourselves both to have the energy to give and share, but also demonstrating the right example. This includes creating a good sleep habit, choosing nourishing fuel through the day, moving and being active, taking time to engage in meaningful activities, choosing a positive approach and more.
How do you talk to yourself? What kind of tone and language do you use? The inner dialogue, what we tell ourselves, can be very influential. This is learned, starting at a young age, and is sculpted by what we have been told about ourselves and how we developed in light of those around us. This is social conditioning, and when you take note, it becomes clear that much of the self-critical language and content is untrue and meaningless. Developing this insight and practicing compassion both help to cultivate self-caring.
You encourage others each day. How do you encourage yourself? Which practices do you use to stoke your intrinsic motivation? One way is to be clear on your strengths, thinking of examples of when you use them on a day to day basis. Keeping a journal helps as it is a log of wins and style that you use to deliver results. It is energising to read through and reflect upon each day, as well as reviewing what is really important to you in life (values) and your picture(s) of success that you are stepping towards.
There are many ways to self-coach. Of course these are the same ways that we help others live their best lives, in particular focusing on them as a person with beliefs, strengths and great potential.