In last week’s wildly popular blog post, we looked at strengthening the reasons persevere with your coaching endeavors, with the main theme being all about motivation.
As I alluded to in my last piece, this post is all about convincing you to stay the course and continue on with your coach/coachee relationships. As our days and nights are filled with work and family demands, we find ourselves being pulled in many different directions, often letting our professional growth, development and habits take a back seat, but to be completely successful in any habit, you must establish goals and weaken the reasons to quit – coaching is no different. With that in mind, here are three key actions to weaken the increasing intention to stop coaching:
- Set aside a fixed time to practice that has been cleared of all other obligations and distractions. At the end of the day, coaching is a discipline and you need discipline. Undoubtedly, coaching fits into the not urgent and important part of the Eisenhower matrix. In this respect, you must take the time from some urgent/unimportant activities to make the time for coaching. Be warned, you will stop coaching when these distractions appear again on your radar and suddenly coaching does not seem so important, but don’t be fooled by these interruptions, they are there to test you. Be resilient in terms of understanding the importance of these coaching sessions and if you’re in doubt read the previous week’s blog again! Another form of distraction can be smartphones during the coaching session – emails, texts and phone calls could distract you from running an effective coaching session, making the session unproductive and increasing the urge to quit. Simply turn your phone off and give the coachee 100% of your attention.
- Keep energy levels high. As energy levels drop, so will your ability to coach and the more likely you are to stop coaching. As noted above, you need to be fully focused in the coaching sessions for them to be worthwhile. Do a coaching session at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy and leave activities like replying to emails, when you need less energy, at the end of the day. Essentially, the best coaching sessions are when the coach and the coachee have energy and drive.
- Finally, and almost paradoxically, don’t coach for too long. The research on purposeful practice shows that you can only engage in coaching for so long before attention waivers and the sessions become unproductive. Doing shorter, more frequent coaching is better than infrequent longer coaching sessions. By having shorter coaching sessions, you can keep the sessions lively the whole time and both the coach and the coachee will feel energized at the end of it.
I’ve outlined a few great ways to encourage you to continue down the coaching path, but these are only a few, if you have any other tried-and-true ways to weaken the desire to quit coaching, I’d love to hear from you.