By Jennifer Hibbits
This month’s coaching tip is a new piece that Rayona recently created by working with one of her consulting clients. It’s an excellent way to assess yourself in your learning and to see what’s next. It also serves as a reminder to celebrate the learning process; even the successes and failures. You may want to use this as you think about your development plan for next year. We’ll walk through the learning map with a couple of questions.
We always start with your commitment . What are you committed to accomplishing? In what time span? Distinguish if it’s in the area of knowing (e.g.”I need to develop basic accounting skills this semester”), doing (e.g.”I’m committed to completing this change effort in the next 8 months”), or being (e.g.”I am committed to being team leader during this quarter’s project”). What would that learning look like? Question what your learning will allow for or make possible. Also, ask yourself what this learning is in behalf of and why are you taking this on? This makes the value proposition explicit for you and other constituents.
While you’re acquiring the knowledge or skills, acknowledge that you’re a learner. Remember not to beat up on yourself if you think you should understand something quickly or if you are challenged. This is what learning looks like. At Institute for Women’s Leadership we have a saying, “practice makes permanent.” Discover what practices you can do that keep you “in the game.” What part about this learning really engages you? Where are you having fun, joy and delight? Integrate your learning everyday by asking yourself “how might this apply in this situation”?
A key component to learning is coaching . Do you have someone that can think out loud with you? A coach is someone who partners with you in reaching your goals and commitments. People that produce results have a coach. Think about athletes or people in the performing arts. They accomplish their goals with a coach because there is someone external to help evaluate, guide, and direct where to go. With a coach you can request feedback and talk about insights in order for you to make adjustments and get back into action.
A coach can remind you to celebrate your successes and even your failures . We all know there is a lot to see and learn inside of a failure. It would be easy to go down that dark alley in your thoughts about why you didn’t do it right, what’s wrong with you, etc. You know not to go there… especially alone! Instead observe what is and what is not working. Make requests, realign yourself with your commitment, remember what this is in behalf of, stay in action, and continue to be in communication with your coach. Take stock of what you’ve accomplished and honor what you’ve learned. Congratulations.you’re learning!
Let us know how we can support you in your learning. As IWL alumni, you have incredible resources to both in the alumni network (they may have the skills or knowledge you’re looking for) and in coaches to support you.