I ask many of my coaching clients to start keeping a journal. Fairly consistently I get a quizzical expression in return! So, this is a moment for me to pause and explain why.
Many people turn to coaching to changing habits and build new ones. Perhaps these are new ways of responding to conflict, of thinking, of leading people. Changing our habits is incredibly hard, shockingly hard for some of us! There is great research into this area and one of the behaviours that increases chances of successfully changing your habits is journalling and curiosity.
Noting down your current response, getting really curious about what you do right now, what you say, under what circumstances, what you feel, what happens in your body. This all gives you much more insight – and the beginnings of a choice in how you respond in the moment – rather than defaulting to your ‘normal’ habit.
Let me give an example – you want to improve how you influence your peers. I’d ask you to start journalling about how you prepare for the meetings, how you approach the conversation, how you feel in the conversation, how they respond, what ‘stories’ you start telling yourself about the peer. The learning you get from just a few weeks of journaling is invaluable and creates the launch pad for your new habits to start to grow.
For more information, read this article from @hbr https://hbr.org/2016/01/want-to-be-an-outstanding-leader-keep-a-journal