January 16, 2010
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone, It's Complicated
Last weekend, I saw the movie, It's Complicated. It was sidesplitting hilarious, heartwarming and poignant all at the same time. A divorcee of ten years steps out of her very tidy and perfect comfort zone and experiences a few adventures and new discoveries.
The movie made me think about how important it is to step out of your comfort zone when you're delivering your group coaching programs. It means you have to shed your inhibitions; or share yourself generously; and listen to your learners (or group members) with compassion.
When you step out of your comfort zone, you're free to coach your learners with depth, skill and authenticity. You stand confidently in your expertise and it readily shows in your interaction and how you deliver your content.
Thomas Leonard coined this sense of freedom in your coaching as "coaching from your big toe." I just love that!
I know it sounds absolutely wonderful, right?! You CAN step out of your comfort zone when you know the steps to easily guide you:
Step 1: Invest in your own personal foundation
Very simply, get your own proverbial house in order. As coaches, we sometimes overlook the importance of looking within ourselves for understanding, clarity and direction. Hire your own coach or therapist to work through your personal goals and challenges. In THE FOUR AGREEMENTS, Don Miguel Ruiz' agreement #4 is: Don't take anything personal. Having a strong personal foundation almost guarantees you're well-positioned to follow this agreement whether you're in an individual or a group coaching setting.
Step 2: Know your content like the back of your hand
You developed your group coaching program from your own experiences and research. You know your content because you developed it! That makes you the expert, right? I challenge you to get very familiar with your content so you don't have to rely heavily on your notes or an outline. Wear your content like a new outfit so you grow more comfortable with it. Then, you can focus on being the expert you truly are. How kewl is that?!
Step 3: Bond with your learners, compassionately and purposefully
Get to know your group learners and give them an opportunity to know, like and trust you, too. Bonding begins by listening and caring for your learners with one clear objective in mind: understanding how you can help solve their problem. Remember this is the problem that brought her to you in the first place. Keep this in mind as you continue to build the relationship with the individual learner and the group as a whole.
Now, you it's your turn to try coaching from your big toe for yourself.
Get ready to step away from your notes.
Focus on staying in the present moment by listening to your learners. Then, surrender to your expertise and knowledge.
Step out of your comfort zone whether it's complicated or not. You'll experience rich rewards and so will your learners!
What will you do to step out of your comfort zone a little more each time you lead a group coaching program?
Wendy Y. Bailey is a Master Certified Group Coach, Certified Experienced Coach and Certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner. Affectionately called "WendyY" by her business associates, colleagues and friends, she's also the Creator and Founder of Group Coaching Mastery - Master Group Coaching with an NLP Twist. WendyY helps coaches, speakers and trainers learn to create, design, market, fill and deliver bestselling group coaching programs using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (persuasive marketing, language skills and influence strategies.) More about Group Coaching Mastery programs