"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power." Lao Tzu
Self Coaching Definition
Self-coaching is a personal commitment to improving the attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and reflexes that influence your behavior.
It's a relationship between your "inner-voice" and "inner-coach".
Everyone has an inner-voice. Few develop their inner-coach.
Why it's important - an inner-voice needs checks and balances. Self-talk can misperceive and misjudge situations.
Have you ever been needlessly worried? Over reacted? Made a bad decision? We all have! And these are the result of an unchecked inner voice.
Whatever you think, influences how you feel. And whatever you feel, influences what you do.
Managers that practice self coaching cope with stress better, enjoy the job more, and develop in the role more quickly.
Other benefits of self coaching include:
- Employee development - because employees that practice self coaching are more self-aware, open and easier to coach.
- Culture - because self coaching promotes more ownership and personal accountability.
Think about the best coach/teacher you ever had. What made them effective? 🤔
They cared about you. They were honest w/you. They saw your potential. They brought out the best in you. They were patient. They had high standards and positive expectations. They held you accountable. They enjoyed your success!
As a manager, you demonstrate these qualities w/others.
To self-coach, you must demonstrate those qualities w/yourself!
How to start
- Start listening to yourself
- Familiarize yourself w/thinking traps
- Begin taking thinking breaks
- Practice thinking of yourself in the 3rd person
Coach your inner voice in the 3rd person. Instead of "I", use "he/she". This helps you maintain the objectivity all coaching needs.
Self coaching techniques
- First, label your emotions - because feelings are easier to identify than thoughts. Don't judge your emotions. Accept whatever you're feeling, but...
- ...ask yourself "why"? What thoughts are triggering these emotions? - because thoughts (many subconscious) create emotions.
- Empathize w/yourself - because you need to give yourself a break. Treat yourself with the same compassion you would anyone else.
- Probe for thinking traps - because they're easy to hide.
- Challenge your instinctive thinking - because your initial, reflexive thoughts might be wrong.
- Consider alternative perceptions - because it's easy to misperceive or never even consider alternative explanations.
- Give yourself "3rd person advice" - because thinking of yourself in the 3rd person leads to more rational, non-emotional advice.
- Develop a simple, short-term plan - because w/out a plan we tend to act impulsively.
- Give yourself a pep-talk - because it's a good way to self-motivate
- Provide yourself "3rd person feedback" - because that's the best way to remain objective.
Self-coaching is a self help process for improving your individual performance. It requires you to develop your inner coaching skills. It's also an standard and an expectation you can place on your employees.
KEY POINT - Self-coaching is the foundation of our relationship. Our coaches are focused on developing both your skills as a leader and your inner-coach.
We're going to work together with your emerging inner-coach to optimize your potential as a manager, leader and person.