05 March 2019 by Lesley Ward
Using coaching skills will maximise your chances of achieving your full potential
Many of us will have annual reviews and set targets in the next few months, or are just starting to work towards our new 2019 objectives. These might be company goals or professional development goals. You might also have some personal goals for the year such as achieving a promotion or finding a new job.
But how do we maximise our chances of achieving these goals? Why not try being your own coach and using coaching skills to help you to succeed?
To reach goals you need:
A clear goal that inspires you
A clear picture of the current reality
An action plan
Determination and focus.
Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
1. Clear goals
Before you take any action, you will need to set yourself a goal so you know what outcome you want to achieve and will know when you have achieved it.
Your goals might be your formal work objectives or development goals. But are they inspiring enough? For example, if one of your objectives for the year is ‘delivering the 2018-19 annual report on time and to budget’ this might not make you want to leap out of bed in the morning. If it doesn’t, would ‘producing an annual report I want to show my next employer or show my family’ feel more inspiring?
Everyone has different motivations, but to make a goal inspiring it is worth thinking about what it will be like when you have achieved it. What will people be saying about you, what difference will it have made and how will it feel? Use this information to help you formulate an inspiring goal. This should be:
2. Current reality
Once you have a clear, inspiring goal it is often helpful to establish where you are now in relation to that goal. There are several good ways of doing this:
3. Develop an action plan
The next thing you need to do is identify what actions you need to take to move you from your current position to your stated goal. Brainstorm all the different things you could do and be brave. Some actions will seem daunting but you will achieve the best results if you are prepared to push yourself out of your comfort zone.
The actions you identify will depend on your goal, but good actions can include:
When you try something, review what went well and why, what you could have done differently. Then try again, in increasingly more complex environments, asking for more feedback.
Keep practising. When you are developing a new skill or changing a behaviour you have to give it ongoing attention to embed it. This way, it becomes second nature and you maintain the change.
Once you have identified what actions you are going to take, write them down, with deadlines, and do them. If you work better under pressure ask someone to hold you to account on those deadlines.
4. Determination and focus
You will need to be prepared for setbacks during this period. Self-coaching is not easy and setbacks are inevitable. Keep positive by reminding yourself regularly of your ultimate goal and how things are going to be different when you achieve it. Be prepared to forgive yourself if you fail, pick yourself up, learn from the experience and try again. Seek support from someone you trust to help you during these periods.
When you have achieved your goal, reward yourself with something nice. You will have worked really hard to achieve it so don’t just move on – make sure you celebrate. You may also forget about it before your next annual review so make a note of what you achieved and your specific contribution to it so you have evidence for your annual review.
If this all sounds too challenging then consider working with a mentor or a coach. ICSA has a mentoring scheme for students and members which offers up to six free mentoring session with trained mentors. The mentors can help you set goals and provide you with support and encouragement as you work towards achieving them. If you would like to take advantage of this member benefit contact firstname.lastname@example.org.