eMail coaching musings


2005-7-15

I have started doing the eMail-coaching thing again I wrote about some time ago. And interestingly I hit the exact same kind of 'block' with my clent as before. See my post 'reluctant volunteers' for more on that. But here a pattern seems to form.

People who sign up are all enthusiastic about the introspection and guidiance the process promisses them. But once the first eMail is out, there is commonly only little responce. After some time, when asked, most reply like "Ah, sorry. I didn't have time to really sit down and think about the stuff yet. I'll see to it when I have some air..."

So where's the enthusiasm gone now? And in my feeling exactly those persons with 'too much work to think' are the ones who most need to do this kind of reflexion I guide them to do!

Today I had this thought while answering one such eMail: "This is seen as being work! I am asking these people to do more of what they already have! I am asking them to sacrifice even more of their valuable time they do not have enough of for themselves!" Little use that they would actually only be working for themselves, for their own good. It's very much the same problem many had with homework in school. It always fealt like we were doing this for the teacher, who seldom was that kind of person one would voluntarily do anything for. Little did we realize the teacher had actual very little (personal) interest in us doing homework. It was for our own sake...

But to what does this lead us, what do I learn from this? If I want people to react positively to my coaching eMails and actually sit down and do the exercises, I need to reframe this image. It can't be "work that needs doing". It rather needs to be "a little recreational fun" and "a brek from the drudgery". It needs to take the style and attitude of an informal chat at the watercooler, or a pleasant conversation on the phone. It needs to be uplifting and naturally flowing. And it needs to be quick enough to be done in a few minutes, no deep-thinking and "take youre time when there will be no distraction".

Maybe this is the birth of the "Coffee Break Coach". That'd be me then :)

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