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The Q's of Qlick: The importance of self-coaching as a leader
Recently we conducted the first interview in the series ‘the Q’s of Qlick’, in which we invite interesting business leaders for a conversation on leadership. We consciously chose these leaders because we believe they each have a particular skill in the different competencies of 3D-leadership.
Today I am interviewing social entrepreneur Stefanie Veraghtert (the Big C) on the importance of self-coaching as a leader.
At 33, Stefanie has already come across several challenges in her life such as dealing with the diagnoses of cancer. Her ability to self-coach is well developed and we dive deeply into the topic.
What is self-coaching for Stefanie?
Stefanie defines self-coaching as the ability to talk kindly with yourself. It is your constructive inner dialogue.
The evolution of Stefanie’s inner dialogue
When I ask Stefanie how she experienced this self-dialogue in the past and more recently, she replies that this dialogue has changed quite a bit. Initially she started with a feeling of injustice and there was a lot of anger and disappointment. Stefanie then made an important switch and decided to invest in herself, starting from a positive attitude. ‘Self-investment is your biggest asset,’ she claims. ‘It all starts from a positive attitude. It starts with you.’
How to make the shift from being angry to being positive
This is not always easy. So when the anger still comes up, how does Stefanie shift from being angry into a positive inner dialogue?
‘I allow the anger’, she says. ‘I accept it. I then apply tools and methodologies to feel my strength again, to change my mindset. These may be different things such as meditating, cooking, journaling, talking with a friend.’
Stefanie gives the example of a battery with a + and a – and explains how her mother taught her to always focus on the +.
How to prevent comments from impacting your inner dialogue
Stefanie learned to go beyond her ego and not to judge. She talks with herself in a peaceful way which reflects in her interaction with others.
In coaching we call this the ability to connect with a person at an identity level and see the words or behaviour as ‘just words or behaviour’. A twist on the well-known saying of ‘playing the ball, not the (wo)man’.
The importance of self-coaching for leaders
A great leader helps to unlock the potential of the people in the organization. As a leader your personal leadership should be reflected to your team; You need to give them the tools for self-reflection, teach them critical thinking etc.
‘The human capital in the organization is the most important capital and not prioritized enough in most organizations,’ Stefanie says.
Start to self-coach
Being a coach, self-coaching has become a second nature. It is also something we encourage our customers to do. Here are some suggestions to install a self-coaching attitude:
- As a leader, build in some reflection time and consciously focus on your inner dialogue. How do you talk to yourself? We often learn tools on how to have better dialogues with other people, but we forget to practice this dialogue on ourselves.
- Become more conscious of your inner critic and your inner coach. Which voice is more prominent? Which side of the battery do you focus on?
- Build your mental strength. For example, daily practices of gratitude really help.
- Acknowledge your emotions. Understand your emotions, name them and put them aside when they don’t serve you.
- Listen, listen to your internal adviser. He/she may be hidden deeply but is definitely there. Trust your ability to find the solutions that are best for you.
Be inspired by the insightful interview with Stefanie and enjoy practicing your inner coaching dialogue.
Listen to the full interview on our youtube channel.