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Jul 24, 2014

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Dan

Ed, this seems wonderfully comprehensive, and it seems eminently clear that the self-coaching piece plays a valuable, complementary role to the other three aspects of the effort. As described here, self-coaching seems to be a natural outcome of the first three -- as in, what do I do with my learning, influence and self-awareness? You mention several areas, such as stress relief, focusing attention, self-motivation and care. How do people go about effectively selecting areas for their own self-coaching, given they probably can't self-coach everywhere at once? And are you thus designing a system of long-term, conscious self-development (even if not everyone continues the practice upon "graduation")?

This all sounds like such an exciting, unfolding curriculum, one that certainly could elicit deep passion from participants in the program and its leaders.

All the best
Dan

edbatista

Thanks, Dan--I appreciate the kind words and the food for thought. I definitely think about the importance of helping our students self-coach after graduation. I actually first became interested in the concept about 5 years ago when a second-year student said to me, "I've benefited a lot from all the coaching I've received while I've been in school, but I'm not going to be afford a coach immediately after graduation; how do I coach myself?" It occurred to me that I'd essentially been writing on just that topic for the previous 5 years, which led me to organize roughly 100 pages of blog posts into a set of "self-coaching guides" on topics such as Communication and Leadership.

I think you raise an important question about how we should decide where to focus our energy when it comes to self-coaching, particularly given our tendency to address our weaknesses, when, at a certain point in our lives and our careers, we're probably better served by building on our strengths. My understanding of recent research and my work with clients and students have provided some clarity here--for example, I've been using the acronym MESS-E to highlight the importance of Mindfulness, Exercise, Sleep hygiene, Stress reduction and Emotion management as practices that are core to any self-coaching regimen.

That said, I also believe it's critical for each of us to choose for ourselves how we'll benefit most from these efforts, and I'm going to have to find the right balance between recommending certain practices while avoiding a formulaic approach.

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