COACH YOU BLOG
Sometimes we can care too much
Do you ever find yourself working really hard just to come up against one obstruction after another. It seems the harder you push: the harder it gets?
This has been a big learning for me this month. I’ll start with a rowing analogy – it does translate into life and business issues, stick with it …
We have a race this month and my crew are training hard. Getting everyone together is tricky and the stormy weather hasn’t helped. A 60 foot carbon fibre boat with 8 oars is not the best place to be in a lightning strike! So when we do get an outing I want it to be good, I give 100%, ten out of ten for effort.
It wasn’t until I saw video footage (a non-judgemental perspective) of our latest outing that I realised I was trying too hard. The video showed the strain on my face, the tension across my shoulders and arms: how badly I was digging. My heart sank. Digging is a rooky error when your blade goes too deep and you’re pulling half the loom through the water too. Not only is this really hard work but it upsets the balance and makes it hard for everyone else too. The answer in rowing is to relax. It’s impossible to row well when anxious, nervous or over-excited: everything tenses and you lose your rhythm and flow.
The same can be true when running your own business. We spin so many plates that the strain shows and by the time we get home we are competing with our spouse for who’s had the hardest day. We focus so hard on a project at work, the strain shows and we are snapping at colleagues and the boss questions their judgement in giving us the project in the first place. Has this happened to you, because it’s happened to me?
I remember this from my selling days – you try too hard, you lean in, the strain shows and the client backs away in fear, they can smell the desperation!
The same is true of coaching. Mostly it’s best to be calm, relaxed and impassive to coach effectively and, after twelve years, I’ve mastered it. However, I’m happy to admit that I’m naturally positive, extrovert and ebullient which I know is unusual as a coach. That’s OK, my clients love it and benefit from my high energy at the appropriate times. However, I remember once meeting a perfect client in a sample session. I gushed and was wildly enthusiastic: she ran for the hills! I was SO disappointed. (She later told me that she had gone to another coach but would probably have progressed much faster with me!)
So, the next time you come up against issue with clients, colleagues, family or friends ask yourself if you’re trying too hard, can you feel when the strain shows? What are you wanting so much that you are creating ripples, effecting the balance somewhere else in your life?
Don’t beat yourself up, just take a breath, consider a different, non-judgemental perspective and set about putting it right.
Give me a call if you’d like some help with that non-judgemental perspective and get you back into your rhythm and flow.