Over the past two days I have been talking to several people about coaching. One of the more commonly asked question was “Can you guarantee results?”. Now, that is when the thought came “Instant Gratification = Irresponsibility”. Why do I say that?
Look around you, everybody seems to go for instant gratification. Patience – waiting and working for results – is no longer seen as values. Instead, if you cannot delivery within the time expected (which is normally super short), you are out of the game. Everything is about speed. I, too, am one of those and I am resolving to change this mindset.
While some things are best done by others, there are also things that could never be done by others. You could not for example get others to remember for you, learn for you, practise for you and, aha, decide for you. The last is something we unfortunately do – consciously or unconsciously – because it is easier.
By taking the easier instead of the harder path, we gain nothing. People just want the magic pill for immediate transformation. They go for a crash course and expect to become a super sales person, manager, financial advisor, etc. at the end of the two days. They expect the trainer to deliver and if they do not become that super person they are envisaging themselves to be, it is the trainer’s fault because he does not know how to teach. What they have not questioned themselves is, what have they learned? Have they put what they learned into practice and for how long? Blaming is so easy. The hard bit is to really look at themselves and their habits.
It is like taking drugs, going high and then eventually crashing back down to the starting point or worse. Isn’t that being irresponsible for their own lives? Getting the thrills when driving fast on a busy road (instant gratification) and ignoring the dangers such behaviour brings to others (irresponsibility). If you are on medication for diabetes but you continue to take foods that you should not be taking, then you wonder why the drugs did not work. You blame your doctor or the drugs. They don’t work because you have not been cooperative in taking responsibility for your own health. The examples goes on.
Should coaching be any different? Can a coach guarantee results? Yes and no. Yes, if you take responsibility of your own actions and no, if you don’t. It works if the coachees are committed to the goals they set for themselves and understand that when they put time and effort to work on them, the results are guaranteed. You are your own guarantee.
I remember someone once told me: “Oh, yes I have been coached but I wonder why I pay the money when I did all the work.” The implication is of course the coach does nothing – except perhaps asking the questions. What people do not realise is that not everyone can be a coach.
Coaches may appear to just ask questions but they know how to ask powerful questions that drive you to think, and think deep. They work you from the inside out. Until you know who you are, how you think, what you are really doing to yourself – things you generally do not want to see in you – you are not going to become anybody. That somebody you want to become will just remain a wish, a dream. Action – the right ones – will bring you forth, taking you to another level, transforming you to become somebody you can be proud of. Wouldn’t you want that?
If you are a “blamer”, think twice about what you are doing. Are you being irresponsible for yourself? Drop the instant gratification idea and start taking 100% responsibility to work on yourself to become. So, what is stopping you from starting right now?