Business Coaching is a Process; For Best Results, be Patient

by Pamela on September 28, 2009

Take Action and See What Unfolds

We’re in a fast-paced world and many business leaders want to get instant results. While that might make sense in many areas, we need to remember that coaching is a process that unfolds organically. That’s not to say that we can’t make quick progress, I’d just like to remind you that while ‘lather, rinse, repeat’ may work with Internet Marketing, coaching is more conducive to ‘take action; see what shakes out; adjust goals as needed; take more action.’

To illustrate this point, I’ll use an example from my own life at the moment. My husband is building new kitchen cabinets for us. The painter has his own method of applying layers of paint to determine his next move. He likes to see what the effect is before we make another decision. I just want him to complete the job. He insists on doing a coat and letting me sit with it for a week or two. Then he goes onto a glaze, and I sit with that. Now he’s doing the patina lines to give them a vintage feel. It all seems excruciatingly slow to me. Ok, the ‘behind the scenes story’ is that in between coats, he was hit by a car, mended, and then fell off his bike, and mended, so I’ve had no choice but to sit, but I digress…

Last night, while making some secret touch-ups, I finally made the connection that sitting with each coat has changed my perspective of the project as a whole. Each phase makes other choices become clearer. The cabinet hardware that I originally chose won’t work with the finish. If I had purchased that hardware ahead of time, it would have been a costly mistake. I ended up finding knobs and pulls that I like even better. My wall color ended up being different than the first color that I picked, and I love it. And, finally, the tile is a HUGE departure from where I started. If I bought that while the cabinets were still in the conceptual stage, it would have been another very costly mistake. Why does any of this matter?

When going through the coaching process, my clients come to me with a goal in mind and they want to know how fast they can get there. I’m a good business coach because I can help my clients achieve results faster. However, I set the expectation right up front that success isn’t an instant phenomenon, despite what many Internet Marketers would have you believe. In my experience, the clients that get the best results are those who try something and then reassess their goals based on the outcome. The approach I take is to help my clients identify small changes that they can make to their life or business, and take quick action. Then they observe the shift that occurs. Sometimes it’s a big shift and sometimes it’s a small one. When we meet again, we reevaluate and the client can make better decisions because they have more information.

Yes, time is money. And, if you go for speed and make a bunch of decisions and changes all at once, you risk making mistakes that are far more costly in time AND money. Michael Long, a gentleman that I’m following on Twitter, said this today: “Plan for your plans to evolve… No sense in being stubborn.” I loved this quote so much that it inspired this blog post. I’ve said many times that action creates clarity. Take action, see what shakes out, adjust your goals as needed, and take more action.

What small step can you take today to create clarity in your life?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Long September 28, 2009 at 2:18 pm

Excellent post Pamela! I’m glad that my random thoughts could lead to something useful 😉

There is a saying in Spanish that goes… “Despacio que voy de prisa.”

Basically, it means… “Slow down because I’m in a hurry.” I love that quote!

Looking forward,
Michael
.-= Michael Long´s last blog ..Job Search, Adventure and Faith =-.

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Pamela September 28, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Hi Michael-
Thanks for the inspiration!
Pamela

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Joyce Brister September 29, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Yes, Pamela. I agree that identifying small changes and taking quick actions leads to positive results that are measurable over time. Keeping a journal about things you discuss with your coach and reviewing the outcome of change is great for reflection and to evaluate if you need to monitor and adjust. As things begin to click you can simplify your marketing plans and increase the activity and frequency of what you are doing that is really working. Thanks for sharing this article and reminding us of how important patience is in the coaching relationship.
.-= Joyce Brister´s last blog ..Join StomperNet Tomorrow Get over $26,688 Worth of Bonuses =-.

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Renee Corbett October 5, 2009 at 10:00 am

Pamela,
I thought you were writing that blog post about me. I recently had plans evolve. It amazes me how far they are from my orginal “goals”, but the best surprise is how happy and content I am with my new plan. It is all because coaching helped me really dig in and look hard at what it was I really wanted. You are right on target with this post.

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Pamela October 5, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Thanks, Renee!
Evolution can be an exciting thing! I wish you all the best with your new plan. It sounds like the Universe has something great in store for you.
Keep me posted and please visit again.
Best,
Pamela

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