Anyhow she finds that this is not the time to start working deeply on those issues and agrees to try a different approach supported by the coach to reach fast results.
The approach taken is continuous action (the word improvement was deliberately not mentioned here to keep the start as easy as possible). With the coach Lisa unpacks her task list again paying attention to the time needed to accomplish each task and breaks them down so small that the time to execute them is available. She builds a structure around the meetings she has, to make sure she is completing a certain number of these new small tasks every day. The coach works closely to her, keeping her accountable, acknowledging and helping Lisa to see the development.
Day by day and week by week Lisa’s projects are moving continuously forward with a steady page. Keeping in action is self rewarding for Lisa, but the acknowledgement from her coach and colleagues make it even more energizing. Completing tasks inside the timelines gives Lisa more self confidence and she is able to define her place in the company with more clarity. She finds the peers to collaborate in giving and receiving support and finally she is even able to limit the number of the meetings she is attending. Learning to focus on the really small steps helps her to support her subordinates
with more empathy, be present and see the beauty & fun of short moments. Lisa starts to enjoy her life and work again.
Continuous Action as coaching tool
Continuous action is a coaching tool that suits well in different situations. It’s a great approach when client feels overwhelmed by many concrete tasks and needs to overcome the workload first to be able to move to deeper issues witch might be the root cause of the situation. Continuous action can be used also in situations where the issue is a more abstract one. Clearing the path one small step at the time and making sure that there are wins every day is very rewarding and energizing. It is a process that has a tendency to start carrying itself on.
Stepping in action and keeping there builds self confidence and it might be sometimes the opening needed in a new coaching relationship to build trust to
the coaching process.
A journey of thousand miles must begin with the first step
Is there any area in my life, where there haven’t been no action for a while (stagnation) even though I long to see it? What is the most trivial, smallest action possible I can imagine to move to the desired direction? Think again, is this really the smallest action possible? Can I do it today? When exactly? Once done it, do I repeat the same action tomorrow or what is the next smallest action to take? When exactly do I do it? Keep asking and answering the same question every night… and before long you have the answer ready even before putting down the question.
Encourage the vision; how would your world look like once completed this task? What would you look like once in action? How do you feel once you are in action? Shift perspective; What other ways could you imagine to make this happen? Change scale: What would be the smallest step to move forward? / Can you find a step forward you could execute today (tomorrow)? Support and structures; What supports do you have in your life to make this actions possible? and last Accountability; Would you like me to hold you accountable on this? When would you like me to check in and ask about this?
dictionary.com The Kaizen Way, Robert Maurer Ph.D