Dana's My Coach

Find your game… play… repeat.

If You Want Big Change, You Must Start Small..

When people ask me about coaching it makes me happy because it is a chance to clear up misinformation about coaching.

Misinformation is just like regular information except that it’s wrong. NOT to be confused with Miss Information who is a fictional character…but that’s another story for another day…;-)

One commonly believed piece of wrong information is that coaching requires you to make BIG changes and to have a LOT of time and to require serious commitments to things that seem like hard work.

Well if that is your experience of coaching, then you were certainly NOT experiencing coaching!

Let’s look at sports as an example. A good coach gets you playing the game, doing your very best and, ultimately, winning. In business and personal life, a win translates into reaching a ‘goal’.

But life is more complex than sports. In life, a great coach doesn’t help you reach your goal by making you work hard and be more ‘serious’. A great coach grabs the performance in you and wrestles it out of you onto the playing field…even as the two of you are inventing that field…and generating your fans (customers).

With the right goal, you take immediate action without thinking; it doesn’t take time and it doesn’t seem hard. You don’t have to work hard at it and be more solemn unless you want to be a monk. Is that your goal?..to be a monk? I didn’t think so 😉

Rather than time, you need hunger. If you are hungry enough for change, you make it happen. But not in the way you expect.

I am the kind of coach that makes people reach the goals they didn’t know they had. Based on the Sage University Curiosity Model of coaching, I activate the hunger in you based on what lights you up.

One client recently had coaching confused with therapy. He thought we were going to do a lot of talking about sad things. Instead, at the end of our first session I told him to turn his heartbreak story into a movie. By the next morning, he emailed me that he had just completed a 25 page script. He also said he felt, “More alive than he has in a long time.” He was ready for his next session and not even one day had passed.

A few days ago he had his third session. Afterward, he was ready to start on his third screenplay. It is only a matter of time before he is ready to write treatments, shoot pilots, and/or start his own small production or acting group.

What happened to him seems to have happened suddenly, but actually it happened incrementally, in small steps. This brilliant storyteller was so much in the flow of writing, doing what he was born to do, that it did not take time or a commitment to a huge life change for him to take action. It just required a few extra hours on the computer (which he would have done anyway, only this way the time spent on the computer is much more satisfying!)

Let’s take another example. Now I’m not saying you need to lose weight because I like you just the way you are. But let’s say if you DID want to lose weight, there are many approaches to reach this goal.

You could take a drastic path like eliminating 60% of your caloric intake per day. Experts say you will reach your goal with this method, but you will gain the weight right back as soon as you reach your ideal weight.

In the book, Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard, Dan and Chip Heath say change happens in small, simple steps. For example, obesity was decreased dramatically in a community that was persuaded to switch to low-fat milk. These people did not change anything else about diet or lifestyle, just that one thing. And nearly all of those who were at risk because of obesity lost weight.

What’s more, those people have a much higher likelihood of keeping the weight off because a small change is easier to make into a habit (in other words, maintain) than a big change.

Another example is how Rudy Giuliani made Times Square safer and ‘tourist-friendly’ by focusing on one thing, graffiti-free trains. And, in one region of India hunger was eliminated simply by convincing people to feed their children three small meals per day, rather than one large one (where most of the food was wasted because the children could not digest all the food.)

If you think you need to wait until you have more time before you can make a change you are giving yourself misinformation! A truer truth is that the sooner you take a small action step toward the change you want to create, the easier it becomes to take the second step.

All you need is the courage to take one step. It takes no time to do this. If you do not have the courage, your coach can provide the outside force required. If I am not your coach, I can be! I can provide just the right double-bind to spur you into action. If I am not a good fit for you, please ask for a recommendation! There are many fine coaches to choose from and see what is the best fit for you.

One response to “If You Want Big Change, You Must Start Small..

  1. Gary Newsom September 16, 2013 at 1:29 am

    Great article and accurately describes your enthusiasm and coaching style. It works!!!!

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