The Unlock

A Farm In Kentucky

I’m always searching for it. Even when I’m sure I already have it. For me it’s about the infinite game when it comes to what I can learn about my potential, not a finite one. This space here on IBtP is the output of that and holds me accountable to learning as I search for new topics to share. My favorite part though isn’t even about what it does for me, it’s what it helps me do for others.

The world around us is always moving, changing, and expects something different from us. I’ve been reading more and more that our skills have a shelf life. Right now with the connectivity we have to instant learning, that shelf life is about 5 years. Helping others unlock this potential for themselves is easier said then done. I love the challenge in that. If you have that same desire to help others become their very best selves, then you’ll enjoy my share.

The potential of others you go to unlock is all around you. Your social circles. Work circles. Being a coach can happen for anyone. It’s less about consulting and advising which is where many think it lives. It takes trust. That is something anyone can earn. It’s essential before you go any further. Your not coaching someone if you don’t have their trust. Trust allows the communication to flow between both you and the coached. Trust helps you understand what makes the other person or party tick. Trust in you is essential to them actually taking what you have to share as something they will want to try.

Potential as I said earlier is your belief or assumption that the person/party has the potential to grow. To become something better than what they currently think they can be. They just can’t see it. With trust and understanding their potential you’re ready to get the commitment and their willingness to do or try the work that will help them unlock the potential you se in them.

Commitment isn’t just a “yes” it’s something that you can bring out in them that they internally feel is something that benefits them greatly. This involves a lot of questions that you’re going to want to ask. Deep questions. Actively listening as someone unpacks this idea of what they could become. This is hard, because you see their potential clear as day and they don’t, but you’re listening to learn. Not respond. When you have the coached in front of you starting to realize their goals personally, professionally, the difference they want to make, and what skills they want to improve you’re getting to the place of commitment.

As a coach I work really hard to not push or pull a person or group to their fulfillment. I’ve found rarely an outside in approach to pulling someone’s potential helps them get there on their own. An inside out way of coaching creates a transfer of ownership to the other person. A sort of empowerment that they came up with the next steps, even though you helped them get there. You want them to get there themselves. If the work is still yours, they’re not going to reach their potential.

We probably don’t think of coaching as an ability to challenge attitudes by definition. But, that’s exactly what your faced with. At times a person or group that feels they know better than you, that creates resistance to your first ideas of a way forward. What does make it easier is if you can consistently work on your character and competence. I think we all know what character is. Competence refers to skills and capabilities. Why I continue to learn anything I can get my hands on for example, has increased my capabilities. Those capabilities as they get deeper and wider, help build competence. That competence as others come into contact with it, help my character building. Together, they become attractions for others that want to improve.

We can make the mistake as the coach that our feedback is the most important thing that someone needs to get to reach the unlock. Again, the best chance someone has to reach their potential and beyond is when they have the idea they did it on their own. Spending time as their coach getting them to give themselves their own feedback through pausing the game, having them reflect, are great ways to get them in the space to give themselves their own feedback. The goal is to help them see what they don’t see, not tell them what they don’t see. The way forward has to be their way forward, not yours.

“It is better to have Grade B strategy with a Grade A execution, than the other way around.”

Harry Chambers

It’s a long game. An infinite one. You’re building as a coach a better tomorrow in someone else. After that person is there, there will be another that needs your help. There won’t be an end to the journey. You might even create another coach. Long term focus can stay in focus through the day to day learning along the way. For me 5 minutes of reflection in the AM and PM on what I was able to do, keep me in focus of the bigger game ahead. The same is a great practice for someone being coached. Reflection is a great way to refine the approach to the unlocking of their potential. It shows how growth is happening along the way acting as an accelerant and driving a desire to keep going.

What I love about coaching is being gifted with an opportunity to help someone understand their innate potential. I’ll always be a coach first and everything else second. I have a passion to want humanity to be better. To achieve. Status quo doesn’t inspire me. Seeing someone approach, achieve, and realize their unlocked potential is an incredible feeling. It’s very rewarding.

The world needs coaches. If you want to understand more, please reach out. I’d love to help. More importantly, I’d love to learn from you. Maybe you can help me more than I can help you. I’m good with that too!

✌🏻 Shawn

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