As 2019 came to an end, three statements began to form in my head. I wrote them down on the white board in my office. I adjusted the wording to get more to the heart of each truth. All three speak to my behavior and my mindset. I feel like if I follow these three guidelines, success will come.
Here are the statements that will guide me in 2020.
1. Do the work.
2. Be present.
3. Don’t be the hero.
Do-Be-Don’t. These three statements need to be true about me every day if I want to reach my goals in 2020. Maybe they need to be true for you as well. See if they resonate.
Over the next month or so, I’ll write a blog post on each one. The first post is below.
Do the Work
Stephen King was fond of saying he wrote every day except Christmas. Then one day he felt compelled to admit this wasn’t true. The truth was he writes on Christmas too. Stephen King displays what it means to “do the work.” He doesn’t focus on trying to get on The New York Times best-sellers list. He focuses on writing quality paragraphs every day. Some days they are good. Some days they are not good.
If you’re a coach, you believe everyone needs a coach. Part of this conviction comes from what you have experienced in your coach training. You have seen the impact and power of coaching in people’s lives. You have discovered a coaching conversation with even a little bit of skill can have some pretty amazing outcomes. And then, as you have grown in your thinking about coaching and your skills in shaping conversations toward powerful outcomes, you start thinking “EVERYONE needs to experience this!!”
There’s also a pragmatic side of this conviction that everyone needs a coach. It means they might hire you so you can help them overcome those pesky obstacles that block real success and seize those amazing opportunities that just stay as ideas but don’t ever materialize into their full potential. If everyone realized they needed a coach, that would be really good for the coaching business – your coaching business!
So, if you believe everyone needs a coach, why don’t you have a coach?
Who would have thought that selling a home could teach an eternal lesson?
As my husband and I prepared to move to another state, we discovered one of the main stress factors is selling and buying a house. The realtor’s demands didn’t help. He instructed us to remove anything personal, like photos and cluttery knick-knacks. “If you want the house to show well,” he said, “you will need to streamline as much as possible. It’s called decreased occupancy.”
After making several adjustments and packing countless boxes, we discovered that it wasn’t too difficult to prepare for a showing. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. It was like showing off. I made sure everything was perfect to impress potential buyers. Within a few days, we had an offer on the house.
Now, getting a house ready for a fifteen-to-thirty-minute showing is one thing. Preparing for an inspection is quite another. You see, when you’re “showing” your house, it’s all about first impressions. I baked cookies and lit candles, hoping to sway potential buyers by creating an appealing aura. An inspector, on the other hand, won’t be impressed with aromas. His job is to dive into every corner, crevice, nook and cranny, looking for anything that needs serious attention.
One of our mantras at CAM (and we have many) goes like this: “the brain is an incredible pattern-matching machine.” We say this often because coaching relationships often bump up against this truth. Sometimes it’s a friendly bump and other times it’s a hurtful collision.
The human brain wants to match the novel to the known in order to deal with the novel more efficiently and more effectively. It’s this pattern-matching ability that lets us avoid needing to learn how to open every single car door we encounter (they all work pretty much the same way). Pattern-matching is also what allows us to use metaphors to understand and engage in new situations.
There is, however, a dark side to pattern-matching. As Malcolm Gladwell demonstrated in his class book Blink, sometimes our pattern-matching works and sometimes it leads us astray. We can jump to conclusions, overly trust faulty intuition, and hold onto assumptions way past their expiration date. One way we experience the dark side of pattern-matching in coaching is what I call “false synonyms” – mistakenly confusing two distinct terms.