I have said for almost 30 years that coaching is a two step process. First, you want people to look in the mirror. #2, you want people to take action on #1 yet very few people do number one arbitrarily on their own. That's why we need to coach our people to first establish a foundation of self-awareness which will lead to accelerated talent development. Self-awareness is difficult for people. Self-awareness causes people to look in the mirror and look at themselves. Let me save you the suspense you will have many employees who don't even own mirrors. The power of coaching and the specific use of questions will help open up that door to each and every one of your employees. It's time to open the self-awareness door!
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You know, yesterday I was working with two different companies and it was really funny because one of the major things that came out of every session I'd led yesterday is people alluding to something called self-awareness. Now, what is self-awareness? Self-awareness for a lack of better description is when somebody is honest with themselves, looks in the mirror and says, Here's where I have strengths and here's where I have opportunities to improve. Now, when you think about self-awareness, I still love, and I've cited the book so many Time Insight by Tasha Yurick , where she did a survey where she asked people, Are you self-aware ? 95% of the people said they were highly self-aware. Let me repeat that. Highly self-aware. When she tested them, she found out only 10% of those people were somewhat aware. Now, when you have a conversation with somebody and you have somebody who's let's say, interruptive or disruptive, and maybe an hour or two later you say, Well, how do you think the conversation went? And that person says, You know, I thought it went great. They're not really aware of how they came off. Most people don't spend time becoming self-aware yet think about when you're talking to somebody and you're giving them feedback and they roll their eyes, they fold their arms, and later they might say, Well, I wasn't disrespectful. They're not aware of how they're coming off or how their behaviors are exhibiting themselves. We need, no matter what we do, whether it's training, talent development, learning, coaching, mentoring, we cannot have success without self-awareness. Think about it. You cannot change what you don't acknowledge. You cannot change or improve what you don't admit. And it's so funny because people will tell you they're highly self-aware when in fact they're not. So think about that study. 85% of people, 8.5 outta 10, almost nine outta 10 people are fooling themselves. Think about that. Nothing works in terms of people development without establishing self-awareness. Now, how do you go about doing that? First of all, we have to become gifted with questions. When you tell someone you have a negative attitude, somebody is not likely to look at you and say, You know what? I think you're right. They're going to do what? They're gonna be resistant, How dare you? And then they're gonna show themselves , uh, permission to acknowledge your emotion or, you know, take what you did or how you did it outta context. Now, if you go up to some of the negative attitude and say, you know, what are you gonna do to positively engage with your teammates? Where do you feel like you have an opportunity to become more collaborative with your teammates? What are two thingsSpeaker 2:
That you do well with your teammates? And what's that one area where you feel like you could tighten the relationships more? Those are questions that will start to establish self-awareness. Now questions ignite self-awareness. How do we confirm self-awareness? Think about training, think about , um, going to a workshop. And this is one of my pet peeves for 30 years. And when a client will say, You know, we're gonna have everyone fill out an evaluation form, I've said, Okay, great. I said, Do you mind if I look at the form? And there's always things like, Did you enjoy the class? Did you learn something? Which is rhetorical? Did the instructor seem to know the material? And I laugh at that because it's like, aren't they there because they don't know the material? And I've had clients say, Well, what would you ask? I said, Ask 'em how they're going to apply it. And here are three questions I would encourage you that speak to application, get more importantly, have a foundation of self awareness. Number one, what did you specifically learn? Not did you learn something? What did you specifically learn? Notice the word specifically. Number two, here's a really strong self-awareness question. What did you learn about yourself? You are positively committed to improving. Again, strong self-awareness. Question, what did you specifically learn about yourself? You are positively committed to improving that uses a self actualized question positively committed to improving that frames out their response. Number three, based on what you learn, what positive steps are you going to take going forward? And what would you like me to do to assist you? Now the third one is really a self-awareness action question. You're gonna put your learning into action. You're gonna lay out the steps. Now it ignites a coaching or a mentoring conversation or relationship. Without self-awareness, without people looking in the mirror, talent development, mentoring, and coaching will have fractional success without it. So again, we can use assessment tools, we can use questions. Yet, I would encourage you to use those three questions. Drawing upon people's experiences, whether it be training, interactions with teammates , um, books that they've read, prior experiences, prior work engagements that they've had. What did you learn? What did you learn about yourself? You're positively committed to improving. What specific steps are you gonna take going forward positively based on what you learned? If you can create those questions, then have those roll off your tongue. You're going to establish self-awareness. Yet more importantly, you're gonna continue to crack that door open that is typically locked tightly called the self-awareness door.