Just Do It | 120 Seconds to Better Leadership

What is Experience-Based Coaching?

What we’re working on this year is more experienced-based coaching. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “behave your way out there.” And while working with an executive coach definitely helps people get their minds ready for something different, and helps them work through those emotional challenges. You can also grow and develop by simply engaging in action.

My action for last year and this year is more public speaking, because after all these years of doing it and doing so much of it, my knees still shake, and I’m sick of it. So, I’m just going to put myself out there over and over until that goes away.

Replicate Work Stress

What we’re finding too, with our client base, is that while the talk of executive coaching is certainly helpful in developing them, if we put them in situations that are radically outside their comfort zone, we can replicate the way they respond to work stress very quickly.

We’ve taken clients and done things like chaos medicine. So you’re treating a wounded guy in the back of a truck that’s going down a dirt road fast. We teach them the skills first, but they undergo pretty intense experiences like outdoor survival skills, how to handle firearms, how to shoot. We even did a room clearing in a basement – huge like six room basement – with air-soft guns full of bad guys, and a client who had to learn a very foreign skill very quickly and we ramped up the pressure on him very, very quickly to see what his stress responses were.

So, even if you don’t want to engage in that kind of activity, I get that’s not for everyone, it’s amazing how learned work behaviors show up under stress situations that are not related to the job at all.

Force Yourself to Grow 

But here’s the bottom line, and here’s the point, and here’s the takeaway for you. Sometimes working on yourself is an inside job. Sometimes putting yourself in situations where you simply have to deal with it, be outside of your comfort zone, work through it, it forces you to grow on the spot.

So, if you’re not the sort of person that wants to talk to people about what your issues are at work, force yourself into a new project, into a new role, something that’s really going to stretch you, and figure it out. By the end of that first six to nine months, you’re going to feel like a different person.