Coaching a manager through organization of his work, decision making and steps to develop a high performance team I mentioned a book I am reading called ‘The As If Principle: The Radically New Approach to Changing Your Life’.
Suggesting that he should act ‘As-If’ his work life was organized, his executive team made better decisions quicker and his team achieved what we defined as high-performance. This was more than a thought exercise, it was time for this executive to actually behave As-If.
The challenge with thinking and visualizing is that there is a disconnect. You can imagine until you are walking in a dream land, but placing action into the behavior shifts your brain into thinking that it is actually doing, which in turn reinforces the behavior leading to more action.
This correlates to my work with Solution-Focused Coaching, very nicely, while coaching this executive the questions asked were pragmatic and action orientated:
- What is it that you want to have happen?
- If your co-worker was to notice this action, what would they see?
- Say you go home tonight and while you are asleep your work-life became more organized (you had the ability to choose faster based upon sufficient information, your team was at the performance level you indicated) BUT because you were asleep you did not know this happened. What is the 1st visual / concrete thing you would notice about yourself and your work that makes you realize things are better?
- On a scale of 0 – 10 with 10 being you are doing what you described and 0 being the opposite, where are you as of today?
- What are you currently doing that places you at x ?
- What would you be doing if you were 2 steps closer to 10?
- How are you already behaving As-If you are 2 steps closer to 10? Even a little bit?
- Based upon our discussion, what are you going to do between now and next week?
He chose some behaviors to try and behave As-If he was accomplished at doing what he wanted.
When meeting for coaching the next week, he mentioned to me that at first he did feel like an imposter in his own body and office chair. Although, as he kept behaving As-If following the time in our leadership coaching session, he found himself actually doing what he was, at first, pretending to do.
“You do not run from a bear because you are afraid of it, but rather become afraid of the bear because you run from it.” – William James
What do you think?
Do you agree with the As-If principle of behavior or acting as-if is what creates emotions? Reading through the questions what are your responses? How can you behave As-If and shift your work performance?