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Why do I get stuck?

As I reflect back, I realise that a lot of my coaching clients often get stuck on how they perceive the challenges they are facing. My client John ( fictitious name ) came to me frustrated. He wanted to focus on how to be better at prioritising in order to gain back personal time with his family. After some coaching dialogues, it came to his awareness that he micromanaged his team quite a lot. He kept checking in with every member of his team, delegated tasks to people but ended up redoing the finished work to do it the way he wanted it done.

When I explore with my clients about why they do what they do, I often listens to the limiting beliefs and assumptions that is holding them back to achieving what they want. And then explore further if these assumptions are serving them well or not. My questions to John at the time was:

  • What is your biggest assumption about the situation or the person?

  • If it was true once, how did it serve you to hold this belief?

  • What is the pay-off to you holding on to this belief?

  • Is it true now? What evidence do you have?

  • If it is not true now, how would you rephrase this belief so that it is more empowering in this context?

His belief about his team back then was " If you want something done right, you must do it yourself." One biggest assumption he had was that he didn't quite trust other people that they can be 100% dedicated to what they do as compared to himself.

After exploring the above questions, John came to realise that this limiting belief had not served him well. This had consumed him a lot of time redoing things but no value added to his role as a good team leader. To move things forward, he decided to choose a different belief instead that might serve him better. - " I am not the only one in the team who wants to do a good job, my team members want to do it well too as nobody wants to ruin own reputation at work"

Holding this belief, John's behaviour changed - he did not redo what he had delegated, did not look at every detail rather than focusing on the bigger perspective ( that's what his boss told him to focus more on too! ) . He was surprised to see that the team 's engagement increased and his level of trust to his team members increased as well. Most importantly, he gained back more personal time for himself.

John came to me wanting to improve on work prioritisation. It was not about his skills that got him stuck, it was his beliefs and assumptions about people. The way you think about and intuitively feel things affects how you react to a situation. Your limiting beliefs could be triggers to unhappiness. Changing your mindset can go a long way toward eliminating those barriers that inhibit your ability to achieve your goals and move forward.

The next time when you get stuck, try asking yourself " What beliefs and assumptions I have on this matter that is not serving me well?" or find a coach as your thinking partner to help you out.

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