My mission is simple. I want to help successful people realize their full potential through courage, discipline, and humility (CDH). Successful coaches apply the CDH in coaching. Some self-reflection shows what type of a coach you are or want to be.
Every coach should be aware of his or her identity, who they think you are and how it harmonizes (or does not harmonize) with who she or he wants to be, could be the beginning of a behavioral change that could alter their lives!
Who do you think you are?
A similar question was asked in Matthew 16 vs 13-20. This is a self-reflection question. It is not just a simple question which calls for simple answers. You need to take time to think. At times people rush to make decisions without applying themselves much to the detriment of the output of such decisions. This is not a question with one correct answer. It is very important because how you define yourself will impact how successful you are at your job, how good a friend, partner, or parent you are, and even how happy you will be in life. Answering this question, becoming aware of your identity, who you think you are and how it harmonizes (or does not harmonize) with who you want to be, could be the beginning of a behavioral change that could alter your life in unimaginably wonderful ways! Every coach should strive to reflect on who he or she is and what she or he wants to be in life.
Identity is a complicated subject even in Zimbabwe because different people have different identities, aspirations, what they think they are and what they think they want to be. You may be liable to look back to the past for signal events, memorable success stories or journeys, or painful disasters to answer the question. You may rely on the testimony of others, a boss or teacher’s positive review, a parent’s approval of your energy and prowess in certain areas. Or you may project into the future defining yourself based on who you want to be or who others have told you that you will be rather than who you are. All of these are critical because they make up the importance of who you are and what you want to be. Failure to reflect on your journey might lead to bad decisions which will hound you for the rest of your life. The application of CDH unblocks unintended consequences and aids in important decision-making process including coaching for results. Individual coaches should try to adopt the concept of invoice last and return on investment first.
How do we know who we are? How do we know what we want to be? How do we balance who we are and what we want to be? Everyone’s identity is recollected, contemplated, predetermined, and generated. These four sources of our identity can be defined as indicated in this write-up.
1) Recollected Identity: How do you know who you are? Because you recollect events in your life that helped form your sense of self. It is not so important that these are sometimes discreditable moments or events you would rather erase; you cannot forget these barometers, good or bad. Even if good or bad, better, or worse, they have left an impact—and when you write a profile of yourself, these moments inevitably stick out.
2) Contemplated Identity: What do people tell you that they contemplate about you? Other people contemplate events in your past and they remind you of them, sometimes constantly. It is one thing for the executive coach to admit to poor follow-up. If her boss or partner or customers tell her the same thing, it reinforces the picture that she already has of herself. You might know this as feedback. Feedback from others is how we shape our contemplated identity. The more the issues about your future are repeated, the more one contemplates such situations. This can help an individual to figure out how to address the issues. Some contemplated history brings back emotions which can ruin the individual’s life. The coach who then applies the CDH is better prepared to handle stressful situations in life.
3) Predetermined Identity: This is what other people think about you. What message do people give you about who you are today or who you will become in the future? This is more of the Johari Window concept. Your predetermined identity has many sources. It can be influenced by the profession you enter, or the culture you grew up in, or the company you work for, or the entire industry you work in, or the people you select as your trusted friends. Each of these can shape your opinion of yourself, some more vividly than you may realize.
4) Generated Identity: This is about what you want to be. Who do you want to be? Our generated identity is the identity that we decide to generate for ourselves. It is the part of our identity that is not controlled by our past or by other people. The most truly successful people I have met have generated identities to become the human beings that they chose to be—without being slaves to the past or other people. These are things which are within the control of the individual coach. You work for it and control it as well. A coach can choose who he or she should be. A coach can decide his or her destiny. The destiny is in your hands.
When you have a basic understanding of identity, my suggestion to coaches is very simple. There is need to critique the various components of your current identity. Where did they originate? How do they impact how you see yourself today, and who you would like to become in the future? If your present identity is fine with you, just work on becoming an even better version of who you are. If you want to make a change in your identity, be open to the fact that you may be able to change more than you originally believed you could.
Assuming you do not have “unalterable” hindrance, then you, can generate a new identity for your future without sacrificing your past. The application of CDH, therefore assists you to be who you want to be. This is an improvement from what you are. We all desire to move from point A to B but what we do at A determines if we will be at B. This is all in the mindset and mind shifting becomes the winning formular. Exodus 14 vs 15 says “move on”. Just use what you have.
Coaches or mentors should pause and reflect on who they are what they would want to be. Equally important, it is pertinent for coaches and mentors not to be very comfortable with status quo. They should innovate so that the systems are in line with changes on the market as well as aligning with best practices.
In conclusion, just think of what you are, what you want to be and how you go there. Do not forget that any coach or mentor needs CDH to be the leading force on the market. Do not forget the concept of invoice last and return on investment first.
Dr Phil Chitagu is the current IPMZ President and writes in his own capacity.