Success is an action plan

on BLOG, Coaching, success 3 Mag, 2012

The practical result of a coaching session is always an action plan, generated by the coachee and to which the coachee commits himself. This is one of the main coach’s challenges, maybe the element that makes the coachee reach his goal, that is his success.

Whether the coachee plans a strategy or a tactic, a new behaviour or a change, an alliance or a simple action, the output of a coaching session is always a list of specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound actions.

Why is a key-role attributed to the action plan? There are many explanations, I list here below a few:

  • Coaching is an american discipline, that necessarily carries with it the Puritan work ethic. Without going into sociological disquisitions, we could say that the "homo faber fortunae suae" (although it’s not English ...) needs maps, constancy, order and rigueur to succeed. All these elements are present and facilitated by an action plan;
  • even experienced business men - expert in managing organizations and projects - when face personal problems can lose clarity. For this reason, it’s worth to remind them the utility of a clear action plan, also in non professional context;
  • the planning of an action plan brings the coachee closer to his vision, making it almost real and inspiring courage and confidence. In this way, the fears of the unknown are exorcised and the simulation of what could happen (a phone call, a meeting, a speech, a presentation, ...) makes the self-esteem and the self-confidence increase;
  • the actions are by definition the contrary of patterns of inaction or procrastination, usually at the base of coachee’s dissatisfaction or frustration;
  • an action plan makes the customer accountable of its success, but even of delay or mistakes. A coaching session will never turn in a proceeding, but nevertheless the coach needs to be demanding and ready to change his style if what is planned is systematically neglected;
  • an effective action plan includes also the analysis of the possible obstacles, alliances and fall back options. This not because everything can be pre-analysed and predicted, but in order to increase the coachee quickness of mind, to go against lack of self-confidence and to create a winning attitude;
  • planning - not simple unproductive daydreaming - is a key skill of the culture of success, that the coachee needs to learn.

A good career coach does not just give assistance during the planning phase, but also incites the coachee to summarize it, in order to increase the sense of "ownership", responsibility and satisfaction. Thus, a well-designed action plan feeds the virtuous cycle of motivation, which is composed of challenges, actions, achievements, recognition and desire to achieve higher standards. And from here: a new challenge, and a new success ...

Are you ready to write down your action plan and commit to its success?






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