The power of be-have-DO

I was working with a client recently and no matter how I initially phrased my question on what action they wanted to take, the answer I got was: “I want to be…” or “I want to have…”

Every time I received these kinds of answers I had to remind the client that coaching is all about taking action; simply stating what you want to be or have (or feel) isn’t going to make it happen.  Only an action that you carry out will help to create your desired end result.

A classic answer from some clients that state intention but not action are:-

  • I just need to be more confident
  • I want to work on being more understanding
  • I want to feel more comfortable in this situation
  • I’m going to be more proactive
  • I going to stop smoking

All of these statements came from clients when I asked them what action they were going to take over the following week. None of these answers are statements of action; they are all intentions or desired results.

It’s great to have clarity around the result you want, but without knowing how you are going to achieve it you’ll end up putting all your hopes into something just ‘happening like magic’. Just because you said it.

Intentions or statements of a desired result often contain the words “BE”, “HAVE”, “FEEL”, “WANT” or “NEED”.

If you find that when you are setting yourself actions to progress, you are using the above words then chances are you aren’t setting yourself an achievable action. This makes it impossible to complete, so it’s guaranteed to fail.

Make sure you are setting yourself real actions by following these simple steps:-

  1. Think of your action as being something physical you have to do.
  2. Your action should be something that takes a certain amount of time. It can be just a few minutes or even seconds, but if you can’t imagine how long it will take then it’s not an action!
  3. Research is still action! Talking to others about something or looking up more information is still 100% better than just wishing something will occur. Schedule time in your diary and talk over things with a good friend – preferably a good listener.

So once you have decided what you want to “BE” or “HAVE”, consider what is it that you are actually going to “DO” about it.

Remember, just taking ONE small action is infinitely more effective than just thinking about it!