If you’re like me, you like a good crime drama and, judging by the long runs enjoyed by the various “Law & Order” and “CSI” series, we’re not alone.
What is it about those types of shows that attract us? Well, good writing and acting is a part of it, but there’s more to it than that. We get involved in the story. Along with the characters, we search for, and try to identify, clues. We examine the evidence and try to solve the crime. We become part of their team.
Being a coach isn’t very different from being a crime scene investigator. A successful coach will always be seeking out “clues” to help our clients, and ourselves, produce the desired results. When we have conversations, even with ourselves, we need to listen for clues like, “maybe” or “I guess” or “I think” or “I’ll try.” These are examples of protective words that are so often used; they don’t give off any type of confidence or decision, whatsoever. We forget how often we do that to ourselves. We’re already determining our future because what we’re really saying is, “I’m gonna try it, but I already know I kind of expect failure to happen.”
The next step in our “investigation,” once these clues are identified, is taking action on them. We need to ask the question, “How can I turn this ‘try’ into ‘I will’ or ‘Definitely’?” Like any good investigation, this will lead us to uncover the motive for the “crime.” What are the deeper reasons we’re saying these protective words?
By identifying these clues, we gain the ability to delve into the motivation for using them. When we throw ourselves into it and really get aware of these clues, results will come faster and easier, because we just keep building success upon success upon success.
Just like most cases on CSI that aren’t quickly solved, we need to practice the same diligence in developing the right attributes to solve our “crime.” It’ll certainly require that level of practice to develop those mental attributes, to be able to pick up on those things that serve us, and to pick up on those things that limit us.
It may not come the first week you focus on it, but it’ll get easier the second week, the third week, the next month, the month after that, and so on. Eventually, all the clues will come together, and we’ll solve our case.
Live on Fire!
D. Luke Iorio, CPC, PCC, ELI-MP
President & CEO
Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC)