Through coaching, clients develop their confidence and the ability to act through the regular practice of courageous actions. It is in the doing of things, the practicing, that courage happens and develops.
Here are 3 coaching strategies to support clients in developing courage:
In visualization, clients practice actually seeing themselves in new and successful ways. For example, the coach might ask clients to actually see themselves successfully managing a future situation or handling the difficult reaction of a person they need to confront. Clients then process the experience with the coach. In this way, clients begin to train themselves to see and feel successful. Visualizing is powerful because when we experience what it’s like to be who we want to be, we are more likely to bring about the results we want in the real world. The brain registers that we are prepared to act because it thinks we have already done it.
Through role-playing, clients practice upcoming important conversations, speeches, high-stakes encounters and the like. They get used to talking in and around every aspect of the event, sinking into the role to the point that it feels real. They work through possible outcomes, feelings and reactions from others. At certain points, they can stop to revise their approach or discuss what tools, practice phrases and self-control habits might help them in self-management if things get difficult when the real action comes. In this way, clients – at their own pace – plan, prepare and practice for success.
At the end of each coaching session, clients are invited to commit to the right-size-for-them reflections or action items for the week. Reflections and actions can take various sizes and forms. Sometimes it’s committing to think about something, journal about something, or do a bit of research. Other times the action might be bigger, like actually having that important conversation or actually doing a new draft of the resume. It all depends on the client. The important thing is that the act of doing creates more and more courage. Courage is like a muscle because the more we use it the stronger it gets.
Applying the Model
The Courageous Mindset model is one that has helped me achieve success in my own life on several occasions, and I’d like to share a simple one to illustrate.
I wanted to learn to SCUBA dive but I was scared to death and had been my entire life. At 46, I decided to finally conquer this fear by using The Courageous Mindset.
I am a solid swimmer. I am happy with my body and appearance so not afraid of being at the beach per se. I am physically fit. I have the means to try out diving at a place that is warm and a pleasant location for a family holiday. I have the means to do a private lesson.
Mom – I am an active mom and like to do active things with my kids.
Wife – I want to have fun outdoor adventures with my husband.
I value outdoor adventures as a means to connect with my kids and develop leadership and confidence in myself and them.
I want to be adventure mom and I see myself this way.