3 Pitfalls of Coaching Time Management
#1 Pitfall: The Coachee will not want to change their behaviours, though they will tell you that they do
This is a common challenge with time management. The reason that your Coachee will be reluctant to change their behaviours is that they have been doing time management most of their lives. This is not a new skill. In the last decade, they might have learnt to present more effectively, and been willing to change their behaviours because A. It is a more recent skill, and B. They want to look good in front of other people. Time management is an ‘old’ skill and has had a bad reputation because the silver bullet is still believed to exist. It does not.
The solution is as simple as knowing these 3 things and then as hard as spending a good amount of time enabling your Coachee to understand these too:
- There is no silver bullet.
- Better to change one small behaviour and develop a habit, than to attempt to change ‘everything’. They’ll want to. Help them to resist.
- They will tell you how busy they are. What you can’t say is, ‘Everyone is. Busy equals job’. What you could do is empathise to a point, and then ask them to choose whether they want your empathy of how buys they are, or they genuinely want to improve their time management. In some cases, they’ll admit, they need empathy. That’s ok.
#2 Pitfall: The Coachee will become overwhelmed
In my time management coaching sessions, I see Coachees struggle a lot. This is because often it can be the first time that they have taken a space in their lives to stop, and reflect. When they do, they realise how much they have to do. How overwhelmed they are. How much pressure is on them. They can get emotional. Upset.
The solution is to give the Coachee the opportunity to have that realisation. Your questions should be about helping them to understand their current situation, and explore the why. Not move forward with how, but stay in the why:
- Why do you feel like this?
- What makes you feel like this?
- How have you got to this point?
- How do you fix it?
- What can you do to improve it?
- Name one thing in your time management system to remove.
Stay with the Coachee in the here and the now, understanding their current situation. This may happen in the first stage of Capturing. Actually, you are not in the ‘Capturing’ stage but a stage before which is all about preparing and laying the foundation for the Coachee to be coached. You are at a zero stage of creating the right mindset before coaching.
#3 Pitfall: The Coachee might not understand some of the tools, language, and concepts
Learners and Coachees can become very stressed when you discuss their time management. They can quickly move from joking about their own time management and how bad it is, to be very defensive, to attacking new behaviours. This is because they are resistant to change, as we discussed above.
The solution has two options:
- To avoid going anywhere near new behaviours and concepts, e.g. Eat that frog or the 4D tool. And just stay on their own understanding and how they would improve their time management.
- Encourage the Coachee to research some techniques that they have found that might work for them.
- Share your own version of the 7 hurdles by first understanding it yourself. These 7 x 1-minute videos will help:
Tools Mentioned in the Coaching Cards
- Whitepaper of the 7 Hurdles on Amazon.
- Remember the Milk website.
- 4D tool article.
- Hare and Tortoise video.
- 43 Folders video.
- S.M.A.R.T. Targets article.
- Eat That Frog Video by Brian Tracy.
- Key Result Areas article.
- Understand the Pomodoro technique.
- Cabbage Butterly podcast.
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