Thinking about your Thinking (#TAYT)
Want to be more self-aware? Want to be more conscious about what makes you react the way you do? Want to know about being more purposeful? What about being better at getting the best out of other people? Want to know about how to manage yourself more effectively during change?
Okay, so I had better come clean at the outset. I am a coach and I make my living from listening to other people as they think out loud. In fact I don’t just coach people. I also work as a facilitator, mentor and trainer. For me the unifying aspect in all of these activities is that I help people to think about their thinking (TAYT). As a trainer I will offer you some new ideas to think about; as a mentor I might guide you on the basis of my own experience; as a facilitator I will create an environment and a process for you and your team to think about something important to you; and as a coach I will help your thinking using your own skills and experience to arrive at actions that will help you to be more purposeful.
You might think ‘but hey isn’t thinking about thinking called metacognition’. Yep, your right and there is a lot of great understanding about metacognition out there. For me TAYT is different by inclusion of the word ‘your’. Your makes is specific to you and TAYT is as much about the emotional influences on your thinking as the cognitive process. TAYT is about how your values, your feelings and your assumptions influence your thinking.
I am convinced of the value of coaching in helping people to challenge their own ideas. You might say of course I would be as it is good business for me to believe in my product. Again you would be right yet I also believe that good coaching starts at home, in your own head and in your own body. The more self-aware that you are the greater power you have over your thinking process and the more you can challenge it, perhaps think again and then make a better choice. So adopting a self coaching approach is a way that you can TAYT to good effect. However, a note of caution. Adopting a self-coaching approach will come up against the buffers because of our incredible powers of self-deception and our tendency to interpret our beliefs as facts without being conscious we are doing so.
That’s why you need to rely on others to help you and recognise your capacity to help others. By using some of the tools of coaching we can adopt a coaching approach towards each other and in doing so hold a mirror up to the thinking of our friends and colleagues. It’s not necessarily as quick as simply telling people what to do but it is worth the investment of time and effort. So as well as self-coaching we can take a coaching approach with each other with the latter going some way towards helping us distinguish between our beliefs and facts. It can also ensure that we recognise another person’s perspective may be different from ours and why and in doing so enrich conversations with family, friends and workplace colleagues.
I will be very happy to live in a world where self-coaching and adopting a coaching approach to others becomes more common. I am delighted to play a part in this by talking to people about how to become better at TAYT to self-coach and to adopt a coaching approach to others. I like the idea of having a small but appreciable influence over a potentially large group of people by working like this. In my view being more effective in self and peer support in this way will also help potential clients to judge when my coaching services will be of value to them, something that is of interest to me and my prospective clients. Being clearer about what coaching is and what it can do will lead to a much more positive experience than simply ‘taking a punt’.
There you have it! A little more about what TAYT means to me and the way that I deliver my coaching, facilitation and training services. I hope you have a better understanding of what it might mean to you too. I am always pleased to talk more about TAYT to see how my approach to helping with TAYT can align with meeting the your needs, or those needs of individuals and teams that you work and play with. However that conversation starts is just fine by me. Over the phone, over a coffee, or through an invited presentation. Just get in touch with me to find out more without any commitment on either side until we are both sure that working together will be the right thing.