One of the best things about being a professional business coach is that I only work with people who are good and who want to get better. After16 years you can start to notice patterns of behaviour and patterns of thinking.
I was recently at a business awards dinner and 2 of the prize-winners were people I had worked with. A couple of days later there was a regional award for the business woman of the year. Would you believe it, that was someone else that I had worked with?
Now it would be easy, and ever so vain, to think that the common factor was me and the work that I did with each of them and much as I would like to believe that it wouldn’t be entirely true. However, as I reflected on it I can see patterns of behaviour that are common.
The first is that they all were willing learners. They all jumped wholeheartedly into the coaching process and not only were they keen to learn, they were keen to do, irrespective of the discomfort or newness involved. They didn’t mind putting themselves out there and trying new things. They didn’t mind the possibility of getting it wrong in order to learn to get it right. You might recognise these traits as being indicators of a ‘growth mindset’ or ‘the intention and commitment to grow’ as Simon Hartley explains it.
The second pattern involves action. At the end of the day coaching (and success) is not about knowledge transfer it is about behavioural change. I always ask people for commitments at the end of every session. Some people make weak and inconsequential commitments, almost as a box ticking exercise while others make challenging commitments and also make the effort to do what they said they were going to do. Good intentions are never enough.
Winners will willingly do the stuff necessary to make the changes and get the results they want.
And the third is a mindset of wanting to get better. Motivation is essential. Whatever the source, the desire to get somewhere, to do something more, to do something better, to be better is foundational.
So there is no great secret. The three attributes listed here are neither rare, nor particularly special. They can be developed and encouraged but without them the winner’s rostrum is almost impossible to attain, with them, and with a bit of help we can all reach our own winners rostrum.