- An entrepreneur with no choice but to self-manage
- An employee working in a hands-off environment, where you are expected to manage your own progress towards company goals. Or maybe you have someone actively managing you, but who does not do a good job.
- An ambitious worker with career objectives of your own.
- Someone with personal goals, like getting a new credential, losing some weight, or building better relationships with your family.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, I coached myself through all of 2014. Every week, usually on the same day around the same time, I would go somewhere away from my office. Sometimes I went to a public library, while other times I sat in a cafe with a latte. The important part was to be in a different environment away from workplace distractions. I would usually, but not always, convince myself to leave my smartphone behind. I would bring with myself a notebook and pen, and answer the following questions:
- What did I do well?
- What could I have done better?
- What are my obstacles to success? What are possible solutions to these obstacles?
- Other ideas?
You can use your own set of questions based on your unique circumstances, and these questions can evolve according to your needs. Later, I added a couple more questions to my process:
- How can I deliver more value to my clients?
- How can I think bigger?
I would also frequently read previous entries to monitor my progress. It is easy to focus on just the challenges ahead of us, but this process also helps you congratulate yourself for a job well done. You have a concrete record of how far you have come. Self-reflection through writing is extremely powerful, and an incredible tool for realizing your ambitions.
After just a couple weeks of this process, “miracles” started happening. I put miracles in quotes, because many miracles happen when we actually prepare ourselves for them, and not in a vacuum. My business started improving dramatically and I felt much more confident. After several months, I decreased from weekly self-coaching to monthly self-coaching.
If you do not have the discipline for this, or want assistance, you can hire an executive coach. An executive coach can help you structure your thoughts and be accountable towards meeting your goals. Working with an executive coach has the added benefit of tackling your problems with specific subject area expertise and outside perspectives. Even though I have coached others, I have started working with an executive coach in 2015 to further ramp up company progress and personal growth. Working with executive coaches cannot fully replicate the incredible benefits of self-coaching, but rather greatly compliments them. So I encourage my clients to use some form of this technique in addition to working with me.
SH International, as part of its repertoire of hands-on consulting services, offers expertise-based executive coaching. We specifically work with executives grappling with the challenges of expanding their companies into emerging markets.