Can you coach yourself? It’s true you probably know yourself better than anyone else, and if we look at the Johari Window, there will always be things that you know about yourself that others don’t – but others can give you insight into how your are perceived and that is invaluable knowledge.
Michael S Haro, PhD, and his son, also Michael S Haro II, BA, have written a book called Self Coaching – Your Self-Mastery Road Map, in which they provide some useful pointers on how to change yourself for the better. Michael senior is the founder of the Centre for Change Management in Texas whose motto is “As You think, So You Go.”
There is, though, no substitute for the challenging questions that a good coach can ask, that really dig deep to help you find answers in areas that are currently blind spots. A good coaching session will take you to places you didn’t even know about, and give you insights that you might otherwise miss.
How easy is it to avoid those uncomfortable areas that we would rather not put under the microscope? Easy, I would say, if you are coaching yourself. Unless you are someone who can be truly honest about your shortcomings.
I do a lot of LQF 360 degree feedback sessions, as well as internal 360 feedback developed within our organisation, and I believe that the greatest growth and change comes from confronting how we are perceived by others. If we are open to learn and develop from what we are told, there is real opportunity for change within ourselves.
The book is filled with exercises that are practical and positive and ways to manage change and uncertainty. But my instinct is that it should not be used in isolation. If you are able to access a coach or a mentor, or you have a manager who believes in a coaching style of management, then the book will be a useful way to take action with guidance. If you don’t have a manager who uses a coaching style of management, then you really need to be challenging your organisation to do something about it!
And if you are a manager who would like to know more about developing coaching skills, a good place to start is John Whitmore’s Coaching for Performance published by Nicholas Brealey.