Why does coaching work? So you’ve set some goals…..what next?

A guest blog by Jennifer McCanna.

Why does coaching work? This is something I often explore when running coaching skills courses for managers. There are lots of answers: it provides a non-judgmental space for you to come up with your own ideas, solutions and priorities. When you strip back the noise of the emails, the WhatsApp’s and the back-to-back Zooming, it’s amazing how swiftly you can access a way forward.

A great coach will also give you the right level of challenge and support to try the tricky stuff, to make difficult decisions, to stretch and grow. It’s hard to consistently stretch ourselves on our own.

A key part of helping you stretch is holding you accountable for the actions you commit to. You’re much more likely to commit to having that difficult conversation if you know you’re reporting back to your coach about it in a month’s time. That’s another reason why coaching works.

Accountability is crucial to how successful you will be achieving any goal. How often have you set some goals, and how often have they been drowned out by the noise of everyday life and not been achieved? We create accountability in many ways, not just working with a coach or mentor. For example, when we set up a fundraising page for that charity run and send it to our friends, we are creating accountability. We have to do the run now, because our friends have each donated a hard earned tenner to see us do it.

I’ve seen how setting goals and being held accountable to them really helps people make progress.

That’s why I’ve created a goal setting webinar especially for Lucidity Network members. These might be work goals or goals relating to a next career move. It’s a 90 minute webinar that incorporates both space for reflection and some accountability both to fellow participants and to me as a leadership coach.

Thinking about what matters to ambitious managers, I know you want to learn, grow, stretch and make the most of your talents. That’s why we’ll be spending 90 minutes really getting under the skin of what the next 6 months looks like, using some creative exercises and then turning those into really practical actions.

Crucially this goal setting webinar includes a follow up a month later so we can all be accountable to each other and I’ll be setting myself some goals too around helping you to achieve yours. Through this group approach we can all move our work and our careers, forward.

This year has been, let’s be honest, totally weird. But it’s not over yet. If you want to focus on making the most of 2020, and if you want to start 2021 really knowing where you’re going, join us!

To get access to this goal setting webinar as well as training materials, group coaching, a business book club, networking events and connected to an excellent group of people who will help you be accountable to reach your work life goals, join the Lucidity Network today. 

Jennifer McCanna is a leadership coach working with leaders & managers to develop the strategies, confidence and resilience to create a fulfilling and balanced work life, through 1-1 coaching and group programmes.

Follow Jen in her supportive corner of Instagram for coaching tools, models and powerful questions to help build your confidence, skills and influence. 



Do you ever feel stuck?

Everyone gets stuck. It’s part of life. We all have problems to solve, a tendency to procrastinate, a fear of failure and slumps in motivation. At one time or another, in your career it is inevitable that you will feel like you’re stuck in a rut. There are a few simple steps to pulling yourself out of a rut, but the process is hard work for most of us.

Being able to recognise when you are stuck, unpick why you feel that way and then take action to move forward is an important part of your personal and career development. Good managers are also able spot the symptoms of ‘stuck’ team members and help individuals ‘unstick’ themselves.

The symptoms

The first step in moving on from a rut is to recognise you are in one. Have you ever felt that you lack motivation for your role, or felt frustrated that you are not achieving enough, or bored by doing the same tasks? Sometimes being stuck might be more than just experiencing these feelings; perhaps you had a disappointing appraisal, were turned down for promotion or didn’t get the job you wanted. Take a step back and acknowledge how you feel. Consider how long you have felt these lacklustre feelings – if it’s more than once and consistent over weeks, months or even years, you are experiencing symptoms of stuck.

Why are you stuck?

If you suspect you are in a rut, the next step is working out why. And a way to do this is to ask yourself ‘why?’ five times. Sometimes described as ‘toddler syndrome’, repeatedly asking ‘why?’ helps you get to the root cause of why you are stuck. Find a coach, mentor or trusted friend to help you work through your ‘whys’. If you find yourself answering ‘I don’t know’, try to break that pattern. Ask yourself: ‘If I did know – what would I say?’

How to overcome being stuck

There are several proven ways to push through being stuck and get moving again.

First, connect with your purpose. What is important to you? What activities make you happy? Why do you do the job you do?

Then take a step back to reflect. How is what you are currently doing helping you achieve your purpose? Are you in the right role, working environment or organisation that is congruent with what’s important to you?

Then focus on where you want to be in five years. I know it’s a contrived question, but it’s only when you know where you want to be that can you plan your route to get there. Your current rut might be a means to an end and knowing that can be helpful. Make a plan: what do you need to do to get to where you want to go?

Stop thinking about what you have to do and just do it. Force yourself to take the first step on your plan.

What stops you?

The above tips might sound simple, but simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. From my experience, the main reason that we get stuck is fear of failure. Being in a rut might feel miserable but it feels safe. Changing your situation can feel frightening because the majority of human beings feel apprehensive about change. Focus on where you want to go and why. Surround yourself with positive people to support and encourage you, and use that momentum to help you push through the inertia that fear creates.

Ruts can be good

Sometimes if you’ve had the same job for a long time, you might feel pressure to move on, change or do something different. Don’t let employers, colleagues, friends or family project on to you their perception of being stuck in a rut. If you are happy and satisfied where you are, stay put.

Finally, remember that being stuck is normal and it is part of the process of growth. Often, that stuck feeling intensifies right before a breakthrough. Acknowledge that being stuck could be a positive signal and work with it.

This blog was first published at People Management. 

If you are stuck and would like some help to get unstuck, drop us a line. Lucidity coaching might be just what you need to get moving in the right direction.