You recently finished your coaching engagement and are excited by the new insights and behaviors you’ve added to your tool kit. Now it’s time to ensure that you don’t fall back into old patterns of thinking and behaving. Your coach is gone and is no longer your accountability partner. How can you set yourself up for success? What strategies are you going to implement to keep your hard-earned coaching results on track?
RAM-3, 2, 1 is a mnemonic I created to remind my clients of strategies they can implement to reinforce the coaching benefits that they have worked so hard to achieve.
R: Reflection, Recognition, Routines (3)
A: Accountability and Accommodation (2)
M: Mindset of learning (1)
Schedule time to regularly reflect on your coaching progress. This should ideally occur regularly, and it can be as little as once a month. Some of my clients review their notes and action plans; others keep a journal or a log. The key is to set aside intentional reflection time.
Remember to celebrate! That might mean taking a few moments to recognize a win and congratulate yourself or treating yourself to a special event with your spouse or a friend after some weeks of maintaining your coaching results.
Create rituals or routines to reinforce your coaching results. Common rituals range from visual reminders in your office or near your workplace to mantras that you repeat before challenging work situations. Examples of effective routines include regular mindfulness exercises, checklists and playbooks for repeated events and processes, and prioritization systems.
Find someone to hold you accountable after the coaching is over. Will your boss play this role? Is there a trusted colleague who agrees to give you feedback if she sees you reverting to behaviors that you worked hard to change?
Be kind to yourself, and remember that progress isn’t linear. If you have a setback and see a backslide, try to refocus on what you have already achieved, and visualize continuing those behaviors.
Mindset Of Learning
Maintain your curiosity about your personal and professional development by collecting articles, books and blog posts. Just remember to set aside time to read them!
You don’t have to use all these suggestions at once. In fact, that would probably be overload. I suggest starting with one or two of these strategies and building from there. And remember not to let a desire for perfection get in the way of achieving the possible. Be realistic about which strategies make the most sense for you. For instance, if you know that you are not a morning person, a ritual or routine that involves getting up earlier might not be the best choice, at least not as a starting point.
The journey that you started in coaching continues afterward, and it will be more successful if you use RAM-3, 2, 1 to create some maintenance scaffolding for yourself along the way.