We have all experienced failure at some point in our lives; whether it is a lost job, a dysfunctional relationship or simply a terrible first date. However, only a fortunate few are surrounded by people who empower them to transform that failure into a learning experience and a seed for future success.
On a personal note, I recently missed a chance for a promotion, I failed an interview and I suffered the deterioration of valuable relationships at work – all in a very short period of time. Being the dramatic person I am, I felt that my progress stifled, my confidence shaken and my career was collapsing. I was faced with two simple options sink or swim. Sink with the weight of my perceived failure or swim with the help of a qualified coach.
After a failure, we tend to focus on our problems, we dig deep into the Drama and we act like victims. All this drives our emotions of fear, resentment, and disappointment which confiscate our brains – even if we don’t always admit it. Victim oriented behaviors are rarely rational or helpful leading to further failure. In such moments, well-intended friends come to Rescue us by offering a shoulder to cry on, a forum to vent, or a sympathetic acknowledgement of our helplessness. Unfortunately, they unknowingly reinforce our victim mindset.
A few of us are blessed to leverage coaches after a failure, in order to smoothly transition from victimhood to the empowerment mindset. Qualified coaches guide us out of the drama of the failure that passed by inspiring us to focus on the future. Coaches start by holding the basic assumption that we are capable of creating and realizing our purpose. They then focus on fostering an environment that nurtures a positive state for our brain to think better, try harder and achieve more. Such a state of mind is created by following five steps:
1- Increase our Status and self-worth through sincere acknowledgement
2- Provide us a feeling Certainty and clarity by explaining their coaching structure
3- Embrace our sense of Autonomy by offering us the driver’s seat while coaching
4- Build a Relationship of trust and intimacy
5- Ensure Fairness in their coaching exchange with us
To help us overcome today’s setbacks and plan for tomorrow’s success, coaches refrain from telling us what to do. They rather encourage us to challenge the status quo and to see new possibilities via thought provoking questions. Their coaching process always starts with the end in mind and by empowering us to define our Desired Outcomes. They allow us to fully understand the Current Reality of both our strengths and our barriers. They carefully navigate through the conversation allowing us to move from the dilemma to an Insight. From that moment on, coaches become accountability partners holding us to our commitments. They rigorously follow up on our actions, review our progress and help us adjust our plans to enable our transition from failure to success. Great coaches derive their satisfaction from our sense of empowerment to confront future failures as growth opportunities.
Those who experienced the value of coaching amidst the joy of success will definitely appreciate the power of coaching in humbling experiences such as failure. For those who have not yet worked with a coach, coaching can change their framing of the world – especially when one is most vulnerable. Personally, I choose coaching to transform failure into a stepping stone towards awaiting success.