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Give Yourself An A!

I’ve already written about how to give constructive feedback that motivates others, but did you know that the first step to fine-tuning your coaching skills is turning your attention inward?

In the face of challenging goals, it is tempting to worry about how much more needs to be done. Let’s face it: More always needs to be done. But an anxious, worried focus is never helpful. Worry is draining and debilitating. It deprives you of enthusiasm and stunts your creativity. Unfortunately, it is such a common and natural response that you may not even know you are doing it!

Pay attention: If you you find yourself dwelling on what you haven’t, should have, or could have done, you are caught in a deficit-based thinking (DBT) downward spiral. To interrupt the cycle, how about valuing your progress and giving yourself an A instead?

By deepening your belief in your own effectiveness, you expand your capacity for creativity and become more proactive.

You prime yourself to lead positive.

Keeping track of your achievements, contributions and forward progress builds your personal momentum and drives your own asset-based improvements. But what is more, you get valuable practice in seeing the assets that are working for you and your team!

How to Give Yourself an A

The next time you find yourself getting frustrated and you feel like you’re just spinning your wheels, take a personal, asset-based inventory of your day.

1. List the accomplishments that gave you a sense of pride—big or small.

2. Give credit to those who provided you with assistance.

3. Note any good fortune or windfalls that came your way.

Repeat these steps three times: once on your commute home, then at dinner, and before going to bed. These three instances provide a transition from the sharp, analytical and often DBT-focused attention to more diffuse, creative Asset-Based Thinking.


Dr. Kathy Cramer

Kathryn D. Cramer, PH.D.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Cramer Institute