Coaching Women to Be Decision Makers, by Kelly EvelethOct 10th, 2011 | By Kimberly Dinsdale | Category: Coaching Women - Guest Posts
Recently I attended a teacher training and we discussed what it takes to teach students how to think. Our world bombards us with messages that tell us what we are supposed to buy, wear, do, go, etc. We tell kids to make good decisions but the question is do we as adult women know how to make good decisions? How do we think through a situation to make a good decision? What skills do we need? Well, I believe our school system has failed in this area and that is one reason so many people love having a coach.
The first time a person spends time with an effect life coach, its like, Wow! That was an incredible session. Coaching is all about helping someone think through a situation and make decisions. We are teaching people what it takes to make thoughtful decisions that are the result of ones individual values instead of what someone else tells us to do. Even good decision makers enjoy the coaching process because the coach sharpens the mind of the decision maker.
Here are four characteristics commonly found with todays women:
- Many women have been trained since childhood that the man is the head of the family.
- Many women did not anticipate the situations they now find themselves in.
- Many women wear too many hats and are overwhelmed with expectations.
- Many women are givers due to our common nurturing characteristics.
As a result of these characteristics the process of making decisions that is beneficial and true to her values is challenging. At some point we ask ourselves, Is this what we really believe and want? And many of us discover we want different things and find it difficult to think through how to make changes. So, what can coaches do to help women be better decision makers? Here are 10 suggestions:
- Be patient.
- Be aware.
- Be kind.
- Be non-judgmental.
- Break ideas down into smaller pieces or steps.
- Assume that making decisions for just herself, not considering other people, is a new experience.
- Provide time for exploring values and encourage her to know why she believes what she believes.
- Clarify independence verses interdependence.
- Find something she is already doing well, simply for herself, and use as an example of good decision making.
- Fill in the gap. In other words, if she is in situation A and wants to move forward, she may be wanting C and cannot see that she needs to get to B first.
For the last suggestion, I have a personal example. I wanted to have all my teaching materials organized so I can find them easily. Im a pack rat and have 20 years of teaching materials stored in various containers and places. I have the knowledge of how to organize and the space to do this. I needed a good coach to help me realize that I had other projects to accomplish before I could start that one. My first project involved steps improving my health. Even if I hired someone to help with the organization, just working through my health issues took so much mental energy I didnt have the mental energy to make the decisions involving the decluttering, sorting, and filing process. I was not just trying to resolve physical energy issues. When a persons health is not optimum, all other basic decisions require more energy and therefore additional energy for more in depth, effective decision making just isnt available. I knew my situation. I knew where I wanted to go. I had to think through, however, all the stuff in the middle of how to get there. It took a lot longer than I expected and had to get to point B before I could get to point C.
Helping women think through situations and make effective decisions is an essential role. Metacognition is thinking about how we think and make decisions. It builds awareness and allows a process of self discovery. Why did I think I could get to C without getting to B first? I had to spend time resolving that question before I made any progress of actually getting to B. As a result, I learned a lot about myself. When we discover what our beliefs are, how those beliefs are acted out or not being acted out, we are empowered to make changes if needed. That empowerment is the fruit of life coaching.
Kelly Eveleth, a life coach and educator of over 20 years, is the creator and founder of KJ’s Cottage, a virtual “cottage” where women and parents can gain information and participate in events for coaching and personal growth. KJ’s Cottage provides resources to strengthen the spirit through life coaching, teaching, writing, retreats, sharing other excellent resources, supporting personal growth, and encouraging others to know their core values and living life authentically.