Passion Fit: the culture and accomplishment coaching at Passion Fit we are striving to create is a self sustaining culture of accomplishment. Culture is everyone knowing how to behave without being told. However, by definition takes time to develop.
So what follows are the key behaviours we have seen demonstrated from accomplished individuals that over the the last 30 years we have consciously observed them engaging in day after day. While you read through the following we would strongly recommend that you consider the following questions as you do.
- What do you currently do well?
- What could you be better at?
- How will you do that?
- Who needs to help you?
- What is accomplishment coaching?
- How does this differ from performance coaching?
We are all familiar with the term ‘performance’ and also the term ‘accomplishment’. At first glance these may seem to be exactly the same thing, but they are not. Well not within the Passion Fit community. Performance (and success) are generally measures of outcomes and end games. Accomplishment is a measure of the way you execute a process regardless of the outcome. Performance is an objective linear measure, often linked to a comparison with others or a desired outcome. Accomplishment is a measure of the execution of a process, regardless of the outcome.
As accomplishment coaches that predominately specialise in triathlon and other endurance sports we are approached week after week by athletes asking for our help and the majority of these athletes completely misunderstand what it is that we can do to help them. In the majority of cases athletes are asking for support for one or more of the following reasons (these characteristics are not limited to just endurance athletes though, they can be relevant to a diverse number of athletic, professional and personal journeys):
1) They have failed to prepare solo for their goals and/or have not given themselves adequate time to prepare so want us to magically get them ready in less that adequate time and think a coach can work magic tricks to find them a quick fix. Remember we do not hold the Marvel Comics Time Infinty Stone or The Doctor’s TARDIS.
2) They are poorly motivated and want a coach to act like a personal trainer and group exercise instructor by making them WANT to prepare for the goal they say is important to them.
3) They want you to find an impossible solution to their own poor time management and lack of willingness to make sacrifices or contact with the other important people in their lives.
4) They just want you to set them a process that will magically take them to their goals without them changing anything else in their life.
5) They want you to be aware for them. For you to identify what they need to do better and not own this themselves by developing their own self awareness and intuition. The frustrating part is that they often only want you to point out the parts that they feel good about not the parts that challenge them.
6) They want someone to constantly reassure them and praise them for everything they do well. They lack grit and resilience and are craving encouragement even when they may not be doing things in a way that will lead to them achieving their goals.
7) They want reassurance that their goals are appropriate and value adding to themselves and those around them.
This is simply not what accomplishment coaches do. Yes these do form parts of the process but this is the easy bit, any personal trainer or corporate manager with some basic knowledge of training or personal development principles plus some enthusiasm can offer this. In fact most individuals could learn enough in a couple of months to write a fairly effective training or development plan for themselves. Accomplishment coaching is so much more and to benefit from this you need to be coachable, understand what coachability is and how this leads to accomplishment.
Accomplishment coaching is not about setting you sessions and actions and motivating you to do them. It is not about celebrating mediocrity. Accomplishment coaching is about developing a way of thinking, a way of acting, a set of behaviours, a set of values and a mindset in the coachee. It is about creating a consistent and self sufficient way of behaving in the coachee that will allow them to continuously move towards a higher version of themselves and the ultimate goal of self mastery. Passion Fit coaches do not measure the accomplishment of individuals by their performances and outcomes, they measure them through their execution of the ‘hows’, behaviours and their resulting coachability. If these are executed perfectly then the performance and outcomes take care of themselves.
So next time you wonder what your coach is looking for or you want to understand how to become more accomplished (after all this is what you are asking your coach to help you be) then review these behaviours, this is what your coach is doing all of the time. If your coach is challenging you about something then it is likley that one or more of these behaviours is not where it needs to be (remember many affect each other), they are unlikley to be challenging you because, for example, you missed a session or because a session went badly. Missed sessions and sessions that do not produce the desired result are part of the process sometimes, even for professionals. It is the root cause of the issues that coaches review and what you did to influence this, or maybe what you didn’t do. In an ideal world you will know the root cause, be aware of your actions, have reviewed possible adjustments or solutions yourself long before you engage with your coach. The further you can get along the process yourself the more effective your coach can be in helping you find more subtle and marginal gains towards your goal.
If you know an accomplished fully self coached athlete it is more often than not as a result of them being able to get almost all the way through this process with every part of their journey all of the time. This is exceptionally difficult to do. Do not underestimate how hard when you think you fancy having a crack at coaching yourself.
What will you experience from a Passion Fit coach?
If your coach is accomplished themselves then it is likley that they will become deeply invested in your own journey and deeply committed to your own individual success, not for their own glory but because leading others to success is their passion. If you do not share the same level of passion that they do for your journey it will frustrate them. If it does not then you might question if they really have the passion they should and care as much they claim to.
Some coaches will share and show this passion, some will be better at masking it in some way. When coaches share their frustrations it can be challenging for coachees to deal with. However tough (and for some less resilient coachees, demotivating) that may seem, it saves time, speeds up communication, creates clarity, cultivates sincerity and trust and ensures messages are concise and accurately received. When coaches mask it then it can more motivational, more positive, more inspirational and encouraging but may miss some other key factors that will create a more efficient journey to accomplishment. Different coachees respond better to different styles and at Passion Fit we have a diverse line up of coaches that offer different styles as no two people are the same and not everyone will become accomplished with the guidance of the same coaching style. However, there is no doubting that most highly accomplished individuals challenge themselves and get more frustrated than the coach would ever be. At this stage the coach’s job then becomes about redirecting that frustration into positive and value adding action.
Beware the coach that always gives you praise or the coach that only ever challenges you.
Balance is key. We all love praise but too much praise can be a bit like sugar, it makes you feel great at the time but could ultimately be preventing you from truly becoming accomplished. Many coaches make a great living out of rewarding their coachees for every single thing they do right no matter how remedial. Some coachees crave this more than they realise and so feel motivated and empowered by coaches like this. The reality can often (but not always) be that the coach is holding the coachee back by making them feel that they are accomplishing their potential while unwittingly reinforcing their need for this type of coach. This extends a coachee’s need for the coach as it can slow their ultimate progression down and they become ‘addicted’ to the praise and are unable to function without it. In this situation coachees can also become ‘deaf’ to the challenging feedback too as all they tune in to is the praise and think they maybe doing better than they are. Ultimately they do not progress as much as they should but love the feeling they get. This also works in the coach’s favour commercially and you could even argue that some coaches do this on purpose (in fact in the fitness industry this is often true as retention is the a key measure for many, not client progression).n
Now this can also work in reverse, a coach that just brings you down and criticises you is of limited value too and this can become a toxic environment. Never rewarding a coachee will never help them progress. There are almost always ‘wins’ that need to be recognised and it is arrogant of coaches to assume that a coachee may not need praising for these, in fact one great coach of mine once said, “winning is important but not knowing why you won is unforgivable”. However, just because someone tells you something you do not want to hear does not mean that they are wrong or not adding value. Balance is the key. Praise when it is genuinely earned and warranted, challenge when it will help improve awareness, learning and progression. See it like this, if you praised a child too much for doing the simple things like being on time for school and did not challenge them enough about the standard of their work, would they ever really progress to their potential and would they develop much resilience? They might enjoy school and want to go more often or stay on for longer but they might ultimately fail to achieve their goals. Criticise them too much and they lose all self esteem and motivation and give up all together as they may believe they could never be good enough. Both the coach and the coachee have a responsibility to get this right.
In our experience the coachees that tend to become accomplished need little or no challenging though as they challenge themselves enough. If you respect your coach and they challenge you more than you like maybe ask yourself why?
So at Passion Fit we are not interested in how fast you are. We are not worried about how experienced you are. We do not even expect you to have world beating goals. What matters to us is that the goals you do have are well thought out, you are compelled to achieve them and they aligned with the other aspects of your life. We want to work with you on measuring your accomplishment by how well you execute the process that will ultimately take you on a journey to achieving your goals.
Next article coming soon: The Behaviours Of The Accomplished