There is a lot of mystique surrounding coaching, but it is a relatively simple, common sense process. In recent years, I have added coaching services to my business, helping successful executives become even more effective.


Here are 7 steps below for you to take to coach yourself and improve your own behaviours or performance


  1. Clarify your top 3 priorities. Using your own experience, formal feedback mechanisms, and more informal feedback from colleagues, identify areas that you can drive forward to help you achieve your wider goals? Don’t automatically focus on your perceived weaknesses. Take time to assess what will have the greatest impact. You may end up with a long list, but just pick two or three areas where you can focus and make big progress. Where would you like to improve most?
  2. Turn your priorities into specific, achievable objectives. “Learning the piano” may be one of your major ambitions, but to move forward you need to turn this goal into more pragmatic objectives. A goal of having 10 piano lessons in the next 3 months makes this goal real and helps you take pragmatic action.
  3. Set up a 60 or 90-day plan to deliver your goals. You can get a lot done in 2 or 3 months if you maintain focus and commitment. Break down each objective into weekly milestones and commit to them.
  4. Make delivery of these plans non-negotiable. This is the most important step. Make sure that these milestones are your top priorities. Fit other activities around them, not vice versa. I have found that my clients appreciate having a visible chart that shows their progress as a way of keeping them focused on action.
  5. Find an accountability partner. Being accountable to a third party keeps your feet to the fire, and helps you to keep your promises. Your partner shouldn’t be a friend, or a shoulder to cry on, but someone whom you trust and who is willing to give you honest, objective feedback.
  6. Monitor your performance. Ruthlessly track progress against your milestones and assess how this is impacting on your effectiveness. Compare your own views with feedback from others you trust. As you become more aware of your performance you will rapidly improve it.
  7. Reward yourself. As you achieve your goals and plans (and even as you complete difficult tasks) take the time to reward yourself. This need not involve a huge financial outlay. For instance, one of my clients rewarded herself for delivering on a key action by leaving early from work one day to take her kids out for dinner.


If you repeat these steps you will find, over time, that you can transform your capability and results. So, what are the improvements you’d like to make to your skills, behaviours and performance? And what could you realistically achieve in those areas in the next three months if you gave it real focus?


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.