Since I started my journey of being a professional Coach and now focussing on growing further, I often refer to the so called “Who, Why, What, How Model For Growth” [D. Forbes, HBR 2015] which really helps me to succeed on my journey.
The WHO is about the real “me”. It is me as the person I am and not the person I should be. I started my growth journey with understanding who I am to envision the person I want to become.
The WHY reflects my purpose in life. Every step I take on my growth journey requires good intention which is based on knowing and understanding my purpose. I believe that my passion to be an effective coach is based on my true purpose in life.
The WHAT is all about my goals or targets. When I started my growth path, I had to determine what my personal or professional goals were. I had to clearly articulate what do I want to be, want to do, or want to have.
The HOW defines the strategy that resulted in my personal growth – from education to practice to continuous development.
My plan is a work in progress as I constantly work on improvement areas as they occur. Coaching is meant to move people (including myself) to the next level. Like I ask my clients, I asked myself what I want to achieve in life and what actions I need to take – and I myself did those actions.
The model forced me to think how I can make the most of any effort and at the same time spend my energy wisely.
I am now approaching my way of working in 5 steps to use my energy wisely and effectively:
1. Starting point is: Where do I want to spend my energy?
I frequently ask myself how I’m spending my energy in terms of what I am doing and also what I am thinking. I now see things differently as it forces me to answer if I spend my energy wisely. Over the last while this approach changed my habits – e.g. completing tasks as they occur and not deferring those to later.
2. The second area is to ask myself what really matters to me and what adds value to my life. For me fun and productivity is very closely linked to success. My decisions about where I want to spend my energy are vital to success and growth.
3. Thirdly, I now really plan my energy investment wisely – ahead of everything I do. I literally put time in my calendar to plan activities that boost my energy level (e.g. mindfulness). That works for tasks as well as for my thinking. The times that I would waste hours of energy worrying over annoying things or people are over. I still think it through but I take it as a lesson with an outcome what I can take away and learn from it.
Taking some time at the start and at the end of the day to plan and reflect the day works incredibly for me (it triggers a powerful Success Bank for me).
4. The process of planning triggered that I had to realise where NOT to invest and just let go.
In the past, some people and tasks just drained my energy. It was not easy to change or even stop something which I was involved in. I now look at the tasks (and people) ahead of an engagement and it is way easier to decline something before it starts.
5. Lastly, I realised that I do “tick off“ things quicker than I did in the past. I don’t need to think it through anymore if I did something right, or just better than I did it previously.
I just know if my energy is at the right level. That includes I leave unproductive meetings, stop responding to mail streams, let negative thoughts go, resulting in more productive use of my energy.
Sometimes the solution to a problem isn’t to do more but to do less.
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