Overview: In 2009 an MBA student at Stanford asked me, "After I leave school and no longer have access to all these resources, how will I coach myself?", and since then much of my writing has sought to answer that question. In 2010 I created a set of Self-Coaching Guides, and in 2012 I began a more systematic exploration of the process of self-coaching, outlined in the eight sections below, which will serve as the basis of the book I'm writing for Harvard Business Review Press. (And here's an overview that provides a concise summary of the entire framework below.)
A Work-In-Progress: The sections below link to recent posts on each topic, and I'll replace these posts as I write more comprehensive chapters. In the revised versions I'll include additional information on self-coaching exercises and activities, the role people in our lives can play in our self-coaching efforts, and the implications of recent social psychology and neuroscience research for self-coaching.
Share Your Story: My initial posts are illustrated primarily with stories from my own life. I'm reaching out to the clients and students I've worked with since 2006 to learn how they've coached themselves since we last talked, and whether you and I have worked together or not, I'd love to hear about your self-coaching experience. You can reach me on Twitter or Facebook or feel free to contact me directly.
1. Just what do we mean by self-coaching? (It turns out that 99% of all coaching is really self-coaching.)
2. Consistent self-coaching starts with self-engagement, which is both a fundamental attitude toward ourselves and an ongoing dialogue.
3. The goals we set for ourselves have a significant influence on our performance, and this is as true for self-coaching as it is for any other meaningful task.
4. Self-awareness is both a heightened in-the-moment perception of our physiological and emotional responses and a developing understanding of who we are as individuals based on those responses.
5. The changes that occur in a self-coaching process take the form of a series of moments when we intervene and act--or choose NOT to act. On occasion these interventions are large gestures, but far more often they're small steps--things we do on a daily basis to move in the direction of our goals.
6. A key self-coaching skill is self-assessment: How am I doing? Am I making progress toward my goals? Why or why not? The more data we have about what's actually happening in our lives, the more accurately we can answer these questions.
7. Self-coaching occurs in a context defined by our personal values and our vision for ourselves. If self-coaching is a sequence of steps to help us effect change in our lives, then our values and vision are sources of meaning and purpose that provide a rationale for the changes we seek to make.
8. The ability to accept ourselves is ultimately one of the most important skills to cultivate in self-coaching. An inability to accept and love ourselves--right now, as we are, with all our flaws and foibles intact--condemns us to an endless cycle of dissatisfaction.
"Self-Coaching?" by swanksalot.
"Engaging Ourselves" by lian xiaoxiao.
"Goal-Setting" by John Trainor.
"Self-Awareness" by ЕленАндреа.
"Intervene and Act" by christian.senger.
"Assessing Progress" by Stephen Heron.
"Values and Vision" by Mohamed Muha.
"Accepting Ourselves" by Gideon Tsang.
Yay Flickr and Creative Commons.