Having a plan puts your destination on sight!

‘Setting a goal is not the main thing. It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan’. Tom Landry (American football player)

This post is the third of four articles related to coaching elements (“Belief-Dream-Plan-Execute”). After having listed your dreams or goals, it is time to create a plan so you can revisit them on a daily basis, your energy is channelized in achieving that and also to ensure you are on track and heading in the right direction towards your ultimate goal! It is like ships and a voyage plan, external factors, and conditions may force the ship’s command to constantly alter its route for the sake of safety, security or even fuel saving but the ultimate goal is to, safely, reach its destination. “In life, to reach ultimate destination/goal/dream!”

Coaching is both a technique and a mind-set. For the ‘Coachee’ to keep its radar on opportunities, listen and respond positively to coaching and feedback. For the coach, it means adopting an inquisitive, non-directive approach. Asking purposeful questions, listening and giving feedback. Although the ‘Coachee’ is in the driver’s seat, it is two ways cooperation and the plan will serve as a contract between the ‘coach’ and ‘Coachee’ to work together and measure progress.

Measuring progress means for the ‘Coachee’ to see progress and build confidence by feeling/seeing him/herself closer to its objective. For the coach, this gives the opportunity to decide where to invest its discretionary leadership time to carry out the coaching along with return on coaching investment (ROCI) in line with both, business results and ‘Coachee’ development/career progression.

In my posts, I usually share lived experiences and, in this one I want to share one that ‘planning’ gave me very positive results and which played both the ‘coachee’ and ‘coach’ role. This post will not go into details of ‘planning coaching sessions’ as it is being thoroughly covered by Trevor Sherman in different articles.

“Opportunities come disguised as hard work.” By Bernardinho (Brazilian volleyball coach and former player).

In one of my career transitions my new manager, at that time, encouraged me to work with a coach, introduced me the 90-days execution plan and gave me freedom and empowerment to devise a strategy to meet the agreed target. As I was familiar with Trevor Sherman’s coaching style after having worked with him when he delivered ‘coaching master class’ training for our group, it was easy for me to have him as my coach and get help devising my 90-days execution plan. A plan that covered clear steps for my learning / development and was directly linked to business goals and results – a win-win situation.

Over time, I have learned that involving others when devising a plan increases the chances of success.

Involving my coach and me as ‘Coachee’: Trevor and I created the plan with key training and clear milestones supporting my transition and also business objectives. The plan conceived aspects like how to translate strategy into operational reality, breakdown strategic priorities into key tasks and ensure effective implementation with the aid of team (and stakeholders) to overcome obstacles and driving for positive outcomes.

The plan became an integrated part of my day-to-day activities and I revisited on a daily basis with my team.

Involving my team and me as ‘Coach’: As delivering business results was an integrated part of my plan, I from the very beginning involved the team in all parts of the process and coaching took place in different forms i.e. one-to-one and one-to-many. It was for my team a transition too, the project was new and the entire team met each other for the first time with we started working together. Having the plan in hands enabled us to work collaboratively establishing the performance expectations necessary to achieve objectives, design and clarify roles, relationships, and responsibilities necessary for our success. Together, we learned to use each other’s strengths which created a great sense of unity and common goals. It also brought clarity to the purpose and made clear of what was expected from each other and how to contribute to the group processes as a whole. Later and when we moved into execution, it kept the level of accountability high along with attachment / emotional commitment to the task for achieving results – the return on coaching investment (ROCI).

Do you have a plan? If you still don’t have, make one! Involve your coach and make sure you spend your energy wisely to take you closer to your goals, destination or dreams!!!!

In my next post, I will write about executing the plan, the last article from this series of four.