Winning in any organization requires that people work together as a unit, collaboratively, and grow from contest to contest, day to day, challenge to challenge. To grow, we must first believe that we can grow. That is, we must believe that every day we have the opportunity to learn something new, get one day closer to a new habit, and earn another building block towards achieving a higher level of performance. We must believe that with each loss, win, or tie, we can capture an insight, an opportunity, or a problem and do something about it on the next attempt. This is the recipe for learning and growing. However, doing it effectively and consistently begins with awareness. Awareness that you are winning or losing, succeeding or failing, or remaining neutral. That awareness will allow you to question what happened and ask:
- What happened? What did not happen?
- What was my goal? Did I have a goal?
- What did I do or contribute? What did I have control over? What did I not have control over?
- How did I do what I did? How was I able to impact the result?
- Why did I do what I did? Why did it work or not work? Why did it impact or not impact the result?
- Where, in my actions, do I believe there is an opportunity to make a change that could improve the result/impact?
- What, in my actions, can I adjust, modify, or change to improve my result?
- When is my next opportunity to take this revised action?
- How will I go about executing my revised action? How will I measure its success/failure?
- What will I do and by what day to execute the necessary action to improve my results?
Awareness = a lot of questions! And these are not always easy questions to ask ourselves. This is where coaching comes in.
A coach’s mission is to help guide the client to design and execute his or her own solution, goal, or objective. Coaches do this through powerful questions that drive self-awareness in pursuit of identifying the opportunities for growth and improvement.
Engaging a coach will help you improve from one contest to the next. A coach will ask you the questions you need to answer in your pursuit to improve each and every time you take an action. Every day is an opportunity to do something differently than the last. A coach can help guide you to design clearer and more effective follow-up actions so that you maximize each opportunity to improve. I meet with my coach every other week so that I can review my actions and performance, wins and losses, and opportunities for growth. At the end of each call I make a specific commitment that contributes to my growth. That is, if I do nothing else, that commitment will ensure that I grow ahead of my next session. As a client, my goal is to complete at least one objective that contributes to my annual growth goals before my next coaching session. As a coach, my goal is to guide my client to make at least one commitment that will move him or her (no matter how little) towards an important goal.
For the coaches out there, make sure you have your own coach. It is critical that we take care of ourselves in our pursuit to take care of others. Just like on an airplane where we must put on our oxygen mask before helping others, we must make sure we receive coaching first so that we can be in the best possible state to help others while improving our craft from session to session. I made the mistake of not having a coach for many years and missed out on a great deal of growth. Today, working with a coach, I am growing significantly faster than I ever did on my own. If you have not already, engage with a coach. It will help you in your pursuit to help your organization win.
How can you go about finding a coach? Check with your organization, there may be some coaches on staff. You may also have access to an employee assistance program that sometimes includes coaches. Another great resource is the International Coaching Federation Coach Finder.
Keep in mind, you may need to try a few before you find the right fit. Make a commitment, today, to identify 3 candidates and book 30 minutes with each to discuss coaching.
About Roger Osorio, the Author of this Organizational Coaching Article:
As a leader, coach, speaker, and educator, Roger Osorio cares deeply and is passionate about unlocking potential in and empowering people, teams, and organizations. By day, Roger is a program leader at IBM where he guides and empowers people and teams to be leaner in how they take any idea or effort from concept to creation. By night, Roger organizes and facilitates Startup Weekend events – a weekend long event where people learn to take business ideas from concept to creation – all around the world. When he is not doing either, Roger coaches math students to help them overcome their challenges in learning the topic. Roger Osorio has B.S. degrees in Finance and International business, an M.S. in Psychology, and an M.B.A.