“If I begin coaching, then the learners will be successful in PM, but I may not succeed with some people.”
Part 6: Asses the learner’s level and range of self-mastery, then use level-appropriate coaching approaches
Once the coaching role has been clarified, the appropriate coaching methodology has been selected (short-term, crisis, or long-term coaching), and viable coaching goals have been defined and connected to the learner's key motivators, developers (Coaches) can tailor their coaching approach to the learner's self-mastery level to maximize results.
The Self-Mastery Model above illustrates the various components that comprise an individual's self-mastery.
- Self-awareness Conscious of own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; realistic about strengths and weaknesses; understands impact on others
- Responsive to feedback Receptive to feedback and has the clarity to choose what is useful and actionable and what is not
- Self-responsible and self-motivating Fully responsible for self and has a problem-solving rather than blaming orientation
- Self-managing and emotionally mature Makes balanced and wise choices; receptive and flexible; encourages honest, respectful dialogue
- Personal vision with integrity Consistently trustworthy with constructive values and congruent behavior
- Personality integration through lifelong learning Dedicated to ongoing self-development with the ability to take effective, integrated action
The following chart describes how individuals behave at low, moderate, and high levels of self-mastery for each component. There is also wide variation within each self-mastery level. This is particularly true for the largest group, moderate self-mastery learners. Individuals at the high self-mastery level are the easiest to coach, while those who consistently function at low self-mastery can challenge even the best developers and cause serious problems within the organization, particularly if they are in leadership roles or other high-impact positions. In fact, chronically low self-mastery individuals are not good candidates for coaching and may need to be referred to outside specialists.
Different coaching approaches work best with different learners, depending on the learner's self-mastery level. For this reason, it is important for the developer to assess the learner's normal (or average) self-mastery level. The learner's range of self-mastery-that is, his or her highest and lowest levels-also provides important information. If the learner has a wide range of self-mastery, the developer can predict that this individual may have dramatic behavior swings during the course of coaching. If the learner's self-mastery range is limited, his or her behavior is likely to be very consistent, but the learner may also have more difficulty moving into a higher level of self-mastery.
Coaching Approaches to Enhance Self-Mastery
- High Self-Mastery Learners
Coaching approach- Encourage the continuation of what they are doing; provide additional ideas and methods for enhancing their self-mastery.
Explanation- Self-motivating and committed to lifelong learning, these individuals are self-aware, take responsibility for their own behavior, and are easy to work with as long as developers are also at the high self-mastery level. If not, developers feel anxious and learners question the developer's guidance.
- Moderate Self-Mastery Learners (Most learners are at this level.)
Coaching approach- Stimulate their internal motivation and provide them with concrete development suggestions and activities.
Explanation- Because they are generally comfortable, most moderate self-mastery learners are not motivated to grow unless they are under pressure. Learners at the high-end of this level grow at a faster pace than those at the low-end, but developers need to challenge all to grow by stimulating desire and providing interesting activities with a great deal of follow-up.
- Low Self-Mastery Learners
Coaching approach- Provide support, guidance, and clear boundaries.
Explanation- These learners are struggling and need support, guidance, and clear boundary setting so that they know what is acceptable and what is not. Because they are more defensive and fragile than other learners, coaching must proceed carefully and takes longer.
REMINDER Knowing the learner's self-mastery level is important to be an effective developer because the coaching approach differs fundamentally from each level. As a developer, make your best guess and then revise your assessment as new data and patterns emerge during the coaching process.