Last Thursday, I hit a wall. It was late morning with lots of projects with my name on them. With little oomph to execute my well thought-out, time-sensitive plans, I became worried.
Fuzzy thinking. Lack of focus. Inability to become centered. Flitting from one task to another without traction or forward movement. Sound familiar? This medley of symptoms is much more common than we, small business owners, are willing to reveal.
I couldn’t quite figure out (i.e., name) my experience. Without an identity, how would I find a fix? Stumped, I had no idea how to rise above it and get back to the necessary business of the day.
The Coach Whisperer
I invested four years in education to become a coach. For several years, I taught coaching competencies to other coaches. And, I’ve been coaching small business owners for 20 years.
When you’re well-versed on the 200 + coaching competencies, coaching is second-nature. When such an occurrence arises, I do what any self-respecting business coach does. I engage in a round of self-coaching. After all, how bad can it be? (Sounds a bit frightening, doesn’t it? Like a surgeon performing an appendectomy on themselves.)
Confidentiality is key in a good coaching relationship. Minus my responses, this is the coaching conversation between me, myself, and I.
- What is it I’m feeling?
- When did it first start?
- What symptoms do I have?
- What occurred earlier that may have triggered this?
- What else occurs as you consider the pattern?
- Is this a pattern of performance you want to continue?
- What is your plan moving forward?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of your plan?
- And, today? What is your plan for today?
The Big Takeaway
When stuck, most people ask “why” questions. Why do I feel this way? Why is this happening to me? Why? Why? Why?
Questions starting with “why” are like a dog chasing his tail chasing the dog. You’re taken around a maypole without any hope of escaping the garland-festooned activities.
Rather than chase your tail ’round and ’round, coach yourself to better outcomes. Ask questions that begin with “what” or “how.”
“What” or “how” questions stop the round about and unwinds the confusion. It creates forward movement which you experience immediately. But don’t take my word for it….
What is your focus for the day?
How will you avoid distractions?
What will you do to celebrate yourself?
Get my drift?