How coaching can be applied to oneself as an LP during hard times

Application of coaching during the COVID-19 temporary chaos, written by Co-Active Coach and ILCA Co-Founder, Martin Richards

You have surely noticed the chaos around you. National government decisions are affecting everyone: the resulting travel restrictions, business slow-down, social distancing and lock-ins. As a language professional, your contracts are being cancelled, face-to-face classes are going online, one-to-one clients are postponing their language training, your income is reduced – a few examples of the many other issues that are arising out of the chaos of the global responses to COVID-19.

As you navigate the uncertainties of your personal life and your business, how you meet your clients, how you do business – you are looking for where to put your feet. It’s good to keep your balance, yet there is a risk if you only look at what is here and now, you will lose sight of what else is possible just over the horizon.

The pause in your work gives you the opportunity to stop and reflect on what you really want to create with your business, as well as the strategies you will use to create it. I encourage you to take five minutes a day to look up at the horizon, to where you want to be in the future.

“Believe in yourself, your neighbors, your work, your ultimate attainment of more complete happiness. It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in Autumn.” ~ B. C. Forbes (Founder of Forbes Magazine)

Which aspects of coaching can you use?

All of them! And for brevity, I have chosen 10 and included some open-ended questions to guide you.

  1. Focus
    Be mindful of what you focus on.
    What has been on your mind today?
    What do you want to have on your mind tomorrow?
    What do you need to do, to achieve that?
  2. Ethics
    Take no shortcuts. The world is watching.
    How do you feel about those ‘business offers’ that you see?
    What ethical stance do you want to have in your business?
    How clear is your business statement of your ethical position?
  3. Curiosity
    Yes, there is chaos. Accept it rather than fight against it.
    How can you increase your sense of wonder and curiosity?
    What else is here for you to discover?
    What is wanting to happen through you (and your business)?
  4. Non-judgement
    Quick judgement kills opportunities.
    What judgements did you make today?
    Which helped – in the greater perspective?
    What (negative) judgements could you choose to let go of, for a while?
  5. Humour
    Humour is intelligence having fun.
    How much fun did you have today?
    How will you make sure that you have (more) fun tomorrow?
    How will you share the fun?
  6. Intention
    Your business (and life) will head in the direction that you face.
    What has been your intention today?
    How will you adjust or maintain your intention tomorrow?
    How will you track your intentions over the next weeks and months?
  7. Mindset
    It’s easy to think that this is happening to us. It is. And, it is happening for us. Change is being forced upon us. You can guess why.
    How much did you react to what is going on?
    How much did you respond to what is going on?
    How can you refocus minute-by-minute on taking charge of what you do in response to the changes?
  8. Goal-setting
    Your goals pave the way to your results.
    How well did you do with your goals today?
    What adjustments do you want to make to your goals for tomorrow?
    Who needs to know about your (new) goals?
  9. Celebrating progress
    Celebrations don’t need to wait for the finishing line. You can celebrate every single step, however small.
    What progress can you celebrate today?
    How can you celebrate today’s progress
    What celebration would you like to have for reaching tomorrow’s goals?
  10. Asking Powerful Questions
    Powerful questions reveal information that was hidden.
    Which powerful questions keep you focused?
    Which powerful questions make you happy?
    Which powerful questions help you to look up at the horizon?

That’s all for now. I hope you find the ten aspects of coaching useful and use them in your practice as a language professional.

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