Confidence is a product of success. With success, our confidence grows enabling us to act with greater focus and intensity. Confidence encourages curiosity and fuels courage. It emboldens our thinking and fortifies action. Confidence is a consequence of intent; our intent to become. Frequently, our vision of the future is imprecise, yet we possess images of what we intend to be or plan to achieve. Confidence helps us realize our futures. It strengths our resolve and stimulates momentum enabling coherence in thought and continuity of action as we press forward toward achieving our goals.
The American mythologist, writer, and teacher Joseph Campbell wrote, “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” Often, the challenges of modern life drive us to find “deeper powers within ourselves” to conceive, believe, and achieve our personal and professional visions of the future. At times, our confidence wanes, neither enabling nor sustaining us. It recedes within us, rendering our efforts to achieve goals near lifeless or lost to memory. So, how can we develop our confidence to serve us with greater reliability? What strategies and methods can we employ to build confidence, in turn coherence and continuity in pursuit of our personal and professional visions of the future?
Let’s consider the role of coaching in enabling Confidence.
Confidence and Coaching
Coaches help build Confidence. They enable us to create contexts of honesty and authenticity. They promote self-reflection helping us to acknowledge truths about our talent and potential relative to realizing our visions of the future. Coaches challenge our thinking and rationales for action. They listen intently and intensely in order to stimulate our awareness to trends and issues that may be inhibiting progress. Professor Benjamin Weider, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Academy for Continuing Education shares, “Confidence is developed and strengthened by coaching. Working with a coach can enable professionals to acquire key cognitive and behavioral strategies necessary to achieve consistently high performance.” Performing confidently promotes consistency. For many people, in order to perform at high levels, they need to create coherence or balance in their lives. Coaches can enable Confidence.
Coherence and Coaching
The great English poet and playwright William Shakespeare, in his early tragedy Titus Andronicus wrote “It is a wonderful thing to see the similarity of coherence in men’s spirits.” Coherence is a state of balance in our lives. Achieving coherence and consonance in our personal and professional lives is a continuous process of analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating the conditions in which we live and how we make informed decisions associated with achieving desired goals. Coaches can help us to structure our thinking, in turn, decision making toward achieving coherence in our life endeavors. David Schlamm, Founder and CEO of City Connections Realty, Inc., shares “Balance is a key component of professional success. It provides a firm foundation for building a business and maintaining perspective. Balance enables coherence and stability; it unifies who we are and how we achieve our goals.” Consider employing a coach and build a coaching relationship. Coaches can enable coherence.
Continuity and Coaching
Success requires confidence and coherent performance over time. The continuity of our performance is a crucial factor enabling success. Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter writes “strategy must have continuity. It can’t be constantly reinvented.” Continuity is the result of planning. Planning our personal and professional lives is a challenging responsibility and task. Effective planning requires specific knowledge, competencies, and skills focused on envisioning, organizing, and implementing our thoughts and actions in order to achieve desired results. Continuity is coveted; it is necessary to be successful. Without it, visions fade, and actions are rendered unproductive. Partnering with a coach can increase continuity of thought and action. It can enable consistent, long-term performance. Coaches can enable continuity.
Coaching as Enabler
The Roman essayist and Ambassador Plutarch wrote, “A shortcut to riches is to subtract from one’s desires.” Our desires, visions, and goals associated with our personal and professional lives are the products of the confidence, coherence, and continuity we develop. Coaches can inform and inspire us to embrace the importance of these variables, and then help us to achieve our goals.
To enable others to acts is a prime function of coaching. In their book, the Leadership Challenges authors Kouzas and Posner offer Five Exemplary Practices of Leadership. The fourth Practice is Enabling Others to Act. This Practice is characterized as the ability to build relationships, create an environment of trust and collaboration, and assists and guides others to realize their potential. The authors indicate that “Leaders foster collaboration and build spirited teams. They actively involve others.” They continue, “Leaders understand that mutual respect sustains extraordinary efforts. They strive to create an atmosphere of trust and human dignity. They strengthen others, making each person feel capable and powerful.” While coaches are not framed as leaders, they may play a leadership role enabling coachees to self-lead by developing the knowledge, competencies, and skills necessary to facilitate transitions to desired levels of efficacy.
The coach-coachee relationship can provide long-term support for individuals and organizations when developing personal and professional development plans. To achieve an effective coaching relationship, coaches need to establish environmental conditions that promote engagement, in turn, enablement. These conditions include;
- Acceptance – An environment free of judgment. Coachees will present with a variety of presenting goals and desires. It is critical that coaches help coaches explore and prioritized and “order of operations” that might include consolidating or eliminating competing or potentially ineffective investments of resources.
- Trust – Acceptance fuels trust. Trust emanates from infanthood and continual life experiences. Coaches versed in the psychological and psychoanalytic literature will be well-positioned to cultivate the trust, in turn, transferences necessary to enabling growth and transformation.
- Confidence – Confidence is born through validity and reliability in practice. Coachees ability to learn and replicate desired results breeds confidence in their ability to achieve goals, as well as reinforces the viability of the coach-coachee relationship to enable others to act.
Coaches can enable our Confidence, Coherence, and Continuity.
Get confident; get coached.
*Originally published in the Mann Report, June 2011.
This article was adapted from this article.