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Meet Your Serving Men

Posted by on February 11th, 2013 with 0 Comments

Too often it seems like we’re alone in our efforts to achieve our goals. This situation can occur for a number of reasons:

  1. We don’t like to admit we’re struggling.
  2. We don’t know where to turn for help.
  3. Our friends and colleagues are too busy.
  4. Experts are too expensive.

So, we’re on our own. Or are we?

I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew);
their names are what and why and when, and how and where and who.
– Rudyard Kipling

There you go. You now have a team of six helpers.
This ‘advice’ may seem trivial, but it’s not.

Most coaches will tell you that a large part of their coaching is helping clients gain clarity in these six areas. A good coach helps you stop complaining, worrying, and blaming by asking:

What

  • What is your current problem or opportunity?
  • What is your goal or desired future state?
  • What can you do to close that gap?
  • What resources do you need?
  • What boundaries will keep you focused?

Why

  • Why do you want this?
  • Why should those around you want it?
  • Why this?
  • Why you?
  • Why now?

When

  • When do you need it by?
  • When can you get started?
  • When can you pay me? (just want to see if you’re paying attention)
  • When have you or anyone else done this before?

How

  • How can you succeed?
  • How can you change yourself instead of others?
  • How do you have to change?
  • How have you tried to do this?

Where

  • Where will this lead?
  • Where is the best place or location for this to occur?
  • Where have you tried to do this?

Who

  • Who can help you?
  • Who is holding you back?
  • Who have you asked for help?
  • Who do you have to become to make this happen?
The job of a coach is to ask you questions and give you the space and support you need to answer them honestly. To accomplish that he or she will rely heavily on these ‘six servants.
So, you can hire a coach or you can just summon the six servants yourself…

SMART as Hell Exercise

  1. Identify a problem or opportunity that you’re struggling with
  2. Use your ‘six serving men’ to help you gain clarity around your challenge
  3. Use these questions as a starting point for even more questions.
  4. After you’ve answered these questions, use the six serving men to challenge your answers.
  5. Lather, rinse, repeat. Just make sure to let them rest once in a while…

Share your findings below.

 

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