I’ve received some useful performance coaching recently, to help me successfully suggest how the future contributions of a voluntary project group I belong to could be improved, improving my work-life balance.
It was good quality coaching, following the GROW – Goal, Reality, Options, and Will – formula championed by Sir John Whitmore amongst others. It left me holding a clear set of actions for two, cards-on-the-table, meetings about the project. I was going to influence greater participation from group at the first, grass roots meeting. I was then going to suggest changes to the project vision in the second high-level event.
Of course reality doesn’t work like that. In the first meeting no one wanted to participate more than they were already doing. In the second meeting the request for help with the vision went up the line, and came firmly back down again. The issue with the vision thing was ours to address, not anyone else’s.
Which goes to show that, where you can coach with improvements in your own performance in mind, you cannot expect your actions to produce specific outcomes in others. After all, others haven’t been coached to ‘participate more’ or to ‘change their vision’.
All this possibly means my next coaching goal may have to be: ‘to successfully document my contribution to the outcomes of this project, so I can use my skills in another context this year’.
(More information about Sir John Whitmore is available on this website http://www.performanceconsultants.com/ )