Coachable Are You? The Mental Game of Self-Coaching
How well do you learn from your
own experience? How coachable do you think you are? Do you actively
use one of the most powerful tools in the peak performers armamentarium,
self-coaching? The secrets of self-awareness as applied to coaching
are revealed here.
How Coachable Are You?
The Mental Game of Self-Coaching
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
How well do you learn from your own experience?
How coachable do you think you are? Do you actively use one of the
most powerful tools in the peak performers armamentarium, self-coaching?
Peak performers seek assistance from coaches, teachers, confidants,
gurus, mentors, peers, books, high-tech and all other manner of
information and feedback. But all the information in the universe
won't help if it is not translated into useable form. This is where
self-coaching takes center stage. Self-coaching is the ability to
learn about yourself and to take that information and make meaningful,
No one can teach you anything. Ultimately, only you can take information
from the teacher or coach and transform it into your personal use.
Peak performers take responsibility for their own learning and devise
strategies that provide them with quality feedback and with systems
that put that information through the change process into action.
Here are ten mental game success strategies that peak performers
use in self-coaching.
1. Have a Willingness to Grow as a Person.
If you are reading this article about self-coaching
it means you want to mature and grow as a human being. This desire
is manifested by your seeking experiences that help you improve
personally, as well as professionally. The self-learner realizes
that to grow professionally, personal growth is a must.
2. Have a Beginner's Mind.
The Zen tradition says that to learn, we must
be an empty vessel. If we know it all, we can't be very open to
new knowledge and experiences. The self-learner realizes that an
open, seeking attitude of experimentation and suspension of judgment
allows new perceptions to form.
3. Be Unafraid to Lose Face During the Change
Fear locks many people up and stops them from
changing. Taking ourselves too seriously, having to maintain a certain
facade, and playing rigid roles all stop us from being able to loosen
up and go with the ups and downs of change. The self-learner is
secure about the process of learning and change.
4. View Learning as Mistake Laboratories.
The best learners have fun as they make mistakes.
The slowest learners tie themselves up with every mistake. When
we view any mistake as a failure, our negative emotions mask the
valuable feedback available around every mistake. The self-learner
welcomes all feedback around mistakes and uses them to advantage.
5. Use Creative Exploration.
Peak performers are creative and playful in extracting
learning from every experience. They take a fun approach to the
change process and realize that creativity increases options for
them. The self-learner knows that creativity is a major portal to
testing new personal realities.
6. Develop High Self-Awareness.
Self-awareness is not about what should be; it
is about what is. Self-coaching is about noticing and observing
yourself and about using feedback from any sources to heighten that
sense of yourself. The self-learner places a high priority on becoming
self-aware and realizes that self-knowledge can be about the past
or the present. Self-awareness is the master skill.
7. Deconstruct Your Personal Experience.
Peak performers use self-reflection to analyze
their experience. They know that the unexamined life fleets by out
of control. Only by reviewing personal experience do we gain some
degree of awareness over what we have done and over who we are.
The self-learner embraces the process of deconstructing what has
gone before so new realities and realizations can be consciously
created out of that.
8. Value Self-Reflective Time.
The self-learner uses quiet alone time to learn
about self. This down-time might be meditative, a walk, reverie,
daydreaming or journaling. The self-learner places a high value
on this private time as a means to re-charge batteries, to take
stock and to gain personal awareness.
9. Use Journaling.
We often learn best when we have a mirror against
which to view ourselves. Writing makes our thought processes clearer,
and enhances our self-awareness by our looking back on our actions.
The self-learner gains confidence from seeing improvements over
10. Translate Your Learnings Into Action.
If knowledge is power, then taking that powerful
knowledge and putting it into action is the ultimate power. Knowledge
without action does not change the world. Peak performers develop
strategies for taking personal knowledge and putting it into action
in ways that are personally meaningful for them. The self-learner
places a high priority on this last piece of the change process.
Your Mental Game Action Plan: What action will you take this
week in becoming better at self-coaching? Here are three questions
to get you started.
1. What system can you develop to increase awareness about yourself?
2. Who can you partner with to assist you in your self-coaching
3. How will you translate what you learn about yourself into immediately
To learn more about how coach training can help you become a better
change agent, visit Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach
Copyright © 2011-
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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