After Mowing It Over…

May 23, 2010

For years I had a commitment to post something here weekly related to my career journey. A few months back I decided just to post things when I was inspired or moved or had indigestion or something like that. My productivity fizzled.

A couple of weeks ago I decided to get back in the habit of posting weekly again to the Travel Log category, which is the descendant of my original blog. If Ken can post often about doing something daily and Darcy can keep trying to write something regularly to see how it works for her, I figured I could easily go back to doing something I was able to do for years.

Last week it was easy. This week I was left drumming my fingers next to the keyboard for days instead of dancing across the keys. Thank God for mowing!

As I turned the back pasture into a labyrinth with my Kubota zero-radius mower, I had grass flying around, bugs flying around, dirt flying around, and thoughts flying around. I found myself thinking about how to structure an information product I’m writing. I realized I want to create a version of it to be used for a training and coaching program, where clients read and do some exercises and then talk with me about what they’ve discovered.

Boom! I drove across a deep rut and sent a cloud of dirt into the air. It seemed to jostle my brain, because a lot of ideas landed on me as the dust was settling. One tap restarted a train of thought triggered originally by a post on a coaches’ forum by Morgana Rae. She said she’s moving her coaching business from “a la carte” coaching, where you buy a session or a month at a time, to coaching packages, where you pay upfront for a full experience that lasts several months. It’s more complete, more expensive, and more clearly defined.

Another idea jostled awake was the memory of a conversation I had with my wife and a good friend many years ago over dinner when he had come back into town. This happened long before I had coach training, when we were in the middle of selling our business and I was thinking about what I would do next. I told them about an idea for doing a form of personal development consultation in a set package. In that plan a program might have eight sections of reading and exercises, and the client would buy the package upfront and schedule a phone call when the first section was done. He could schedule the second phone call when the second section was done, and so on. It would be up to the client to pace himself, taking as much or as little time as he preferred.

Another idea that settled from the dust cloud was the realization that this design was my own, from my own thoughts. I set it aside and nearly forgot it when I started coach training and learned the standard service model of monthly coaching. I have struggled with that model and looked for alternatives for years. I finally came back to my design after being detoured by other people’s ideas for too long.

The bestest idea (not a word, but it should be) was the one that helped resolve a dilemma. I know coaching is a process and won’t work well if it’s systematized. It has to be organic and adaptive to the moment. But teaching and training can be systematized. In fact, education works best when some sort of system is employed.

The idea of coaching people in a fixed way through an ordered series of topics didn’t sit well with me. But the idea of teaching people a topic in sequential steps makes sense. A package that combines systematic teaching for information, plus individualized co-created coaching to help the client absorb and apply the new knowledge to his circumstances, brings these two approaches together.

I figured out a long time ago that I want to coach, but not exclusively, not as a purist. I want coaching as part of my mentorship service model. The idea of creating a mentorship package with defined training materials in a certain number of steps, combined with individualized coaching for personal application, is my “of course” answer. It made so much sense when I thought of it that it seemed like I knew it all along, like I must have thought of it before and forgotten it.

Which, in fact, is what happened.

May You Know the Joy of Sharing Your Gifts,

Steve Coxsey


One Response to “After Mowing It Over…”

  1. Darcy on May 24th, 2010 8:18 am

    What a cool experience, getting back an idea that lay dormant for a while. Here’s to mindless chores that allow our brains to percolate. Speaking of which, I think I hear my laundry calling me…

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