We’ve all experienced “aha moments”—those sudden glimpses of insight or comprehension that change everything in an instant. They are the mental equivalent of putting on glasses that suddenly give you a crisp, clear view of the world after struggling with fuzzy eyesight.
On a personal level, those incredible flashes of clarity are the fuel for innovative ideas and breakthrough performance. And for a business? Aha moments are often the raw material used to manufacture game-changing competitive advantages.
Helping clients have more of those aha moments is actually my goal as a leadership coach. Not to give them advice. Not to explain how things work or tell them how to fix their problems. While that’s probably what some people imagine it’s like to work with a coach, the truth is we are more like guides. We simply illuminate the path on their journey, allowing them to see things about themselves more clearly—who they really are, how they can reach their potential, how they might be inadvertently undermining their own success (and how to avoid that), and how to maximize their strengths to be a better leader.
In other words, we provide a unique environment that dramatically increases the odds of having those career-catapulting aha moments. If you’ve never worked with a coach, you might be surprised to discover how much progress you can make in only 30 or 60 minutes. Even short sessions have helped clients change behaviors, push through difficult circumstances, or face tough issues. The results continue to amaze me.
Today I want to share with you (anonymously, of course) some of the aha moments my clients have experienced this year. Hopefully their insights will provide value for you, as well.
1. “I need to jump in when faced with a difficult task and not let fear get in the way.” 2. “I need to build more camaraderie with my team, encouraging open dialog and showing more appreciation.” 3. “I finally understand the importance of taking care of myself.” 4. “I discovered that our team achieves more when we utilize a problem-solving framework.” 5. “I cannot let the rule-follower in me take charge if I want to be seen as an innovative leader.” 6. “I realize that over-scheduling myself takes a huge toll on my ability to focus, so I have to protect my calendar to stay on track.” 7. “I need to practice showing more empathy to build stronger relationships with my colleagues.” 8. “I need to stop absorbing the stress from everyone on my team.” 9. “I have to make collaboration a priority; I can’t reach my full potential if I continue to be the Lone Wolf.” 10. “I am in charge of inspiring and empowering my team.” 11. “I have to delegate and trust if I want to advance.” 12. “I need to infuse more language about our team’s values into our daily tasks, building long-term thinking into short-term goals.” 13. “I get better results when I test reality by asking open-ended questions.” 14. “I need to slow down in order to go fast.” 15. “I need to shift from ‘problem talk’ to ‘solution talk’ if I want to move forward.” 16. “I need to transition from telling my boss the problems to making recommendations for solutions.” 17. “I feel mentally drained when I work with people who question everything, so I need to strategically schedule meetings to minimize that effect.” 18. “I learned the importance of asking better questions of my team members.” 19. “I can produce much better outcomes if I plan my conversations in advance.” 20. “I can’t assume I know what is going on with my employees; I have to ask.” 21. “I need to give myself permission to celebrate success and experience joy.”
Since this is the time of year to express gratitude, I want to thank all of my clients for doing the hard work necessary to learn and move forward. Your aha moments inspire me every day.
Had a pivotal aha moment in your career? I’d love to hear about it.
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