Learning Strategy Development and Implementation
Coaching, for me, is the purest form of learning. It is a relationship whereby your Coach holds up a mirror and you can safely examine yourself, your views, and your flaws. You can then decide what you like seeing reflected or what you would like to change. Your Coaching relationship is one that questions you, challenges your way of thinking and being, and exposes you to different ways. – This to me is what learning is, it is examining our knowledge or behaviour and then questioning it, challenging it, and exploring alternatives. How we integrate what we once knew or how we once were with what we know now and who we have become is transformation. Most people still do not fully understand the concept of learning. They see this as an event something that happens in isolation or almost external to themselves, but this is not the case. We are all lifelong learners whether we recognise this or not.
It is in this light that I see Coaching as the purest and most effective form of learning as it provides an individual the time and space necessary to dialogue, explore alternative ways of thinking and doing, for them to test and re-test beliefs and behaviours until they find the ones able to move them forward into their next phase of being.
When we look at the rate of change we currently experience, the demands that we live with on a daily basis, our hunger to succeed, combined with our increasingly isolated lifestyle it makes the use of a coaching relationship paramount to our success and it becomes imperative that we use this relationship as the foundation of our support network.
It should be taken into consideration that before beginning any transformation you need to be clear on a few things. These seem really simple at face value but become our stumbling blocks, our derailers if not carefully considered. These include defining your journey, knowing what climate you need to sustain your transformation, understanding the full impact, and finally knowing who will travel alongside you. The Coaching relationship is a powerful tool to help you carefully consider and incorporate each of these aspects into your Coaching plan. In this way you can turn these potential stumbling blocks into your enablers of success.
Firstly, successful transformation hinges on a clear direction or “journey “being defined. Why is it important to identify your journey – well you need to know what you want or where you want to go otherwise you will spend a lifetime simply evaluating different situations, ending up only knowing that it’s what you don’t want.
However, having said that at any one point in your life you should have a reasonable understanding of what you do want – what you yearn for and that which you don’t. This good place to start, open your mind, dream big and design your perfect life.
Secondly we need to identify the climate needed to create and support our transformation. In what environment will our perfect life be realised and reinforced. Surround yourself with the things that speak to or symbolise your perfect life.
Thirdly you must be clear on the extent of transformation required – is this change going to be too big for you or those around you? Are you really ready? Do you understand what it will take to change –the impact that it will have on you and those around you? This is the one thing that I find we do not fully explore and although it sounds as though by giving this such deep consideration you would be trying to talk yourself out of the Transformation this is far from the truth. Instead the reason you need to know, explore and consider this so carefully is so that you know what challenges you will need to navigate on our journey. You will also be able to identify upfront if the change is too big to take on all at once and how to then break it down to make it more manageable and attainable for you.
Lastly, you need to realise that you never transform in isolation. Your relationships need to be carefully explored as you will be surrounded by a collection of people. There are those that have a vested interest in seeing you succeed, those that will sabotage you because they do not want you to succeed or feel threatened by your success. Those that you will need to help you along your way, and those that you just simply keep informed, but that have no real bearing on what you achieve. For successful transformation it is critical that you are able to identify those that really support you and those that don’t including our own inner saboteur. Knowing what or who you allow to derail you, when you get nearer to realising your greatness (and we all have greatness within us) is a first step in understanding how to overcome or at least side step these until you become strong enough within yourself to leapfrog them.
If you use your Coaching relationship to carefully consider these four aspects and to navigate them your transformation will not only be a successful one but will be a true learning journey, filled with discovery not only of “self” aspects but also discovering those that will support you and help you realise your greatness. And those that cannot thank them for their part on your journey so far and release them with love.
Kerryn Kohl – The Coaching House – Talent Cultivation