“What’s the mantra?” I asked a person I coach.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
“Well, with everything that’s going on?” I said, “What’s the statement? The phrase? What’s the mantra?”
“Last night I opened a box that I needed for today.” he said, “And it wasn’t right. I immediately thought, ‘Ugh, this is not going to work… I can’t do this.’ But you know James, maybe for the first time, I stood up and I looked out the window and said to myself, ‘It’s going to be great. I’m good at what I do. I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m alive. I can do this.'”
You’re probably like this too, for me… I get so excited when people who have been stuck in their thinking, break out — “Yes!”
It was quiet, the guy on the other end of the phone was catching up with himself. After a moment, he said, “James, when I said those things to myself, I was addressing the fear and anxiety I face everyday.” He paused again, then continued, “I know what I’m afraid of, but no longer will it hold me back.”
“What does this mean?” I asked.
“Anything is possible.”
This Is What Coaching Does
It changes your thinking. Not by telling you what to think. Nor by looking for gaps in your thinking and trying to fill them. Coaching is not about making you think like someone else.
Coaching gives you new thinking. It takes what you already know and puts it together in new ways… for the first time.
Coaching Is Over The Phone
You don’t have to drive to some strange office, or sit in some corner at Starbucks. You get to sit in your space — your office, your house, your car. This is important. You go further in your thinking when you are in your own space.
How does this work for James? Well, he has been coaching over the phone since 2004, and by now, James hears more than he sees.
Coaching Is Not Just One Conversation
The power of coaching is in the relationship, not in the phone call. In this way, coaching is like accountability. It really doesn’t work if some random person asks you, “Did you do what you said?” It’s more than that – it has to be. It is “who” the person is that’s asking you, it’s your willingness to be asked, it’s your honesty, it’s the honesty of the person asking you. It’s the relationship that makes accountability work.
The coaching relationship takes a few months to develop. Each conversation is like a stepping stone.