Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5W System(sm) for Contemplating Change

Author: Rebecca Kiki Weingarten M.Sc.Ed, MFA

Lots of what I need to know about coaching I learned by teaching 1st grade. Clients don't have to raise their hands to ask a question or take the pass when they go to the restroom but so much of the work leads back to the beginnings of learning something new and substituting new skills and mindsets for old ones. Reading comprehension was a real toughie, especially for children who were new immigrants to the US but using the 5Ws worked in most cases.

Here are the 5Ws for contemplating career change.

The 5Ws sm? Simple. Who, What, Where, When and Why.

* Who are you today and who would you like to be a year from now?
* Why do you want to make the change? Emphasis on YOU*.
* What changes in behavior and shifts in attitude will you need in order to make the changes and achieve your goal?
* Where can you get support to help you make the change? People, books, websites, journals etc.
* When is the best time of day/week/year for you to make the change? To evaluate the change? To take action toward achieving the change?

*A couple of tips to help you answer the “Why” for YOU.

OK, you've decided you want to make a change. Think about the change you've decided you want to make. You. Yes. Not anyone else who wants a change from you. You. OK. Are we there yet? One more minute. Think about it. It's OK - you can say, "I want to _______". If you need to whisper it that's OK, I can listen very carefully. If you need to write it down and burn it before anyone sees it, that's also OK. If you want to send yourself an email describing it, try that. Whatever works.

Now that you've decided what it is that you'd like to do/be/achieve, what mountain you'd like to climb, what number you'd like to see on the scale or in your bank account, which salutation you'd like to see before or after your name, what new places you'd like to explore or books you'd like to read....there's another step to take before we start planning the How.
Why do you want _________________________?

Find a place and time where you can sit quietly and think and have a real conversation with yourself or with your coach. Explore the reasons. Sure there are the first few surface/off the cuff that come to mind easily. Dig deeper. Keep asking yourself why until you've gotten to the real reason you want to achieve "whatever".

If we were working together I'd keep asking you why, why, why until we got to the real results you were after. So? What's the real reason? What do you really hope will be the result of your resolution?

Once you've figured out the "Why" it's easier to schedule and sort out the rest. You'll know the end result you're trying to achieve. By answering the Who, What, Where and When you'll be able to schedule the small tasks needed to make the change into your schedule.

Why? Why not? Why shouldn't you a new, exciting, fulfilling work life and experience? Can you think of one good reason? I didn't think so. So go for it! Out with the old and in with the new.

About the author:

Rebecca Kiki Weingarten M.Sc.Ed, MFA is an Education/Government/Web 1 & 2.0 executive turned Consultant/Coach & Developer/Trainer for Corporate, Executive, Career, Healthcare, Education, Transitions, Multi-industry programs/seminars and speaker, as well as personal coach and the Co-Founder and President of NYC based DLC Executive Coaching and Consulting/Atypical Coaching. She coaches individuals, corporations and educational institutions to enable them to transition and grow effectively and to attain their goals through individual coaching, workshops and seminars. She has been a featured expert in national publications including The New York Times, AP, ESPN on the Obama transition, Business Week, Forbes, the LA Times, Pink, Chicago Sun Times, Dow Jones/Marketwatch, MSN, WebMD, Yahoo/HotJobs, Monster.com, Better Homes and Gardens, Self Magazine, University Business, American Society for Trainers and Developers and others.

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