A peek into performance coaching

Akshay Kapur Avatar

Client: Can you give me ways to be calm and focused at work?

Coach: When do you experience the greatest calm and focus in general?

Client: Hm, when I’m rock climbing I guess.

Coach: What is it about rock climbing that does that for you?

Client: I don’t know, it’s just me and the wall, working together.

Coach: What do you mean, “working together”?

Client: It’s like the wall isn’t the problem, I’m solving the problem with the wall.

Coach: What is that problem you’re solving?

Client: I guess the challenge itself. In rock climbing, there are problems based on classes, and a class 4 is tough and grueling, but I love it.

Coach: It’s tough and grueling, and you love it?

Client: Yeah, it’s motivating to problem-solve it.

Coach: What’s a current work challenge right now?

Client: There’s just too much on my plate.

Coach: Is there anything on your plate that’s tough and grueling?

Client: No, there are things I just have to do, but they’re not that hard.

Coach: What’s truly hard for you?

Client: The 3-year strategy plan.

Coach: What makes it particularly hard?

Client: It’s a massive undertaking, I have to get the VPs together, understand the skillsets of our teams, do research on the market and how it’s changing, and get a baseline on how our products are doing, all before I even write it.

Coach: Is it a Class 4 problem?

Client: Hm…yeah I’d say that.

Coach: What if you started there?

Client: You mean do it right now?

Coach: Yeah, can you put everything aside for a few days and focus only on what it would take to write the 3-year strategy plan?

Client: I don’t know if I can clear my plate like that.

Coach: What’s stopping you?

Client: I have too many commitments to too many people right now.

Coach: What if you were sick and took a few days off? Could those commitments wait?

Client: Sure, they’d have to then.

Coach: Are you willing to take two days off to focus solely on the 3-year strategy plan?

Client: I get your meaning. I could do that.

Coach: Can you take a look at your calendar and block off two days right now?

Client: Yeah, I can’t miss the Monday kickoffs, but I could take off next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Coach: How about we start there?

Client: I can, but I want to know why.

Coach: Because it’s possible that starting with a class 4 makes it easier for you to tackle a class 3, or 2, or 1. This is an experiment to find out.

Client: Okay, that makes sense. I’m excited to try it!


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