When you think of the word “coach”, what image comes to mind? Someone standing on the sideline barking orders at everyone? The master strategist standing in an empty room with a whiteboard full of plans? How about this one: the great listener? On today’s show, Michael Bungay Stanier returns to share additional insights from his international smash hit book The Coaching Habit. We talk about misunderstandings people often have about coaching, and how we can coach our peers and even our managers to help them unleash their best work every day.
Over time, this pressure to produce every day can cause us to fossilize around bad habits. We get into a rhythm – the bad kind – that causes us to move mindlessly through our days without much thought for our process. On this episode we share five places where you might be experiencing “fossilization”, and some remedies for dealing with them.
There are two walls that creatives hit when engaged in making something meaningful. The first wall, and the most obvious one, occurs before or very early in the process. It’s what causes us to shrink back from engagement and to instead seek something – ANYTHING – that will immediately relieve our need to feel productive. It’s much easier to check e-mail, make a call or re-shuffle the papers on our desk than it is to bare our soul to the blank page, the blinking cursor, or the empty art board. However, the second wall can be the one that really keeps you from producing your best work. On this episode, we share some strategies for surmounting it and pushing through to your best work.
Is passion important? Surely. Is it the most important factor in doing great work? I have my doubts. Some of the most effective contributors throughout time have been marked by two characteristics: they were (a) reluctant, but (b) resolved. They saw the great task before them, but they were determined to surmount obstacles because they recognized an opportunity and felt the urgency of the moment. Do not be dulled, friends. Do not allow the lull of comfort to cause you to abdicate your contribution. Stay sharp. Keep your edges. Nothing – NOTHING – is worth giving up the most precious thing you have to offer.