Getting better at what we do
When we are not proactive, we hit plateaus. Our growth doesn't automatically continue. We might still be learning intellectually, but we are no longer improving.
Our ability to learn, adapt and get better at what we do is part of human nature.
Personal improvement plateaus after a while. When we start our careers, the rate at which we improve is up through the roof. We learn continuously; new challenges allow us to learn new techniques and develop new ways of thinking and being.
After a while, when we are not proactive, we hit a plateau. Our growth doesn't automatically continue. We might still be learning intellectually, but we are no longer improving.
We cannot improve what we aren’t aware of. We start to plateau because the small things that could help us improve aren't readily available to us; they reside in our blind spots.
We are at a disadvantage when we try to improve on our own. When we try to make it on our own, we can eventually run into a problem: either we don't see the issues standing in our way, or if we do, we don't necessarily know how to fix them. As a result, we stop improving.
How do we get better?
Take, for example, this surgeon, Atul Gawande. After noticing his ability to improve had plateaued for a while, he decided to ask a retired professor he knew to coach him to see what kind of results he might get. After a few months of being coached, he says his number of complications (the metric used for by surgeons to track how well they are doing) had gone down, something he hadn't been able to accomplish on his own before.
Accepting we need coaching requires humility. Coaching works, and yet, it's not a widely adopted practice. We grow up learning to be independent so we can leave home and make a life for ourselves.
Being independent becomes so important to us that we are willing to compromise our growth and development by not being open to the idea that we need help and don’t realize it. We need others to help us grow beyond our plateaus.
As the world we live in becomes more intricate, recognizing when and where we need help is essential.
Here are ways to recognize you might be ready to work with a coach.
You are currently in a plateau and have been unable to improve.
You face resistance within yourself in some critical area(s) of your personal or professional life.
You are yearning for a different way, something more, and don't know how to navigate that.
You are getting glimpses of a new way of doing things but don't know how to tackle that transition.
You are repeating the same efforts over and over without any sustained improvement.
Deciding to invest in ourselves and working with a coach to grow and breakthrough our plateaus requires humility, vulnerability and accepting we can't do it alone.
Have your plateaus caused you not to get the promotion(s) you want? Have they made it impossible for you to create the impact you seek? Are they holding you back?
We all have blind spots, areas we don't see about ourselves, ways of being that aren't necessarily available to us that stand in our way of getting what we desire.
Are you willing to ask for help to get better at what you do?
A favourite this week
Want to get great at something? Get a coach by Atul Gawande: Watch this TED Talk where Atul Gawande shares what he learned by getting a coach and how it helped him as a surgeon to get to the next level.
Sparknotion – Think Differently.