This was originally written in 2011 and shared via Coaching Confidence’s weekly email round up.
The squirrel and the ducks
This past week I took a short break. The place that we were staying was in a country setting. Woodland and a lake were all within the vicinity.
I happened to walk past a bird feeder hanging from a tree where a squirrel was busy helping itself to the nuts contained within. If you are familiar with squirrels then I suspect that this wouldn’t particularly surprise you – they are well known for using bird feeders as a source of food – even if they have to manoeuvre around complicated assault courses to be able to access them.
There was no assault courses with this particular bird feeder. There was however a group of ducks gathered below. I am not certain if the squirrel was deliberately feeding the ducks at the same time or if this was just a happy accident. One thing that did seem to be apparent – this was not an unusual occurrence and the ducks were quite happy to accept assistance from someone else.
I may be wrong but I didn’t see those ducks read any more into the situation than it was an opportunity they were not going to miss.
Sometimes, we cannot be as willing as those ducks to accept assistance or even see such opportunities that arise. We may have an idea in our own head that it is important to do everything all by ourselves.
I’ve seen that self-sufficiency manifest itself in coaches in all sorts of ways:
- Missing the possibility of hiring someone who loves to do the business bits you hate/spend lots of your time doing. I’m not saying that you will never have to spend any time communicating or keeping track about what is happening with such tasks, just that the option is there to get assistance.
- I’ve seen beliefs that in order to be a coach you had to be perfect, have all the answers and not require or want to use the services of a coach/mentor/other professional.
- Choosing to “beat yourself up” and just “try harder” if you encounter a skill you’re not happy with rather than consider another alternative.
- Ignoring/ not seeing marketing possibilities because you didn’t create them from scratch.
Today I invite you to consider the following question:
If it really didn’t mean anything about you, your skills or your business, what would be different if you took extra assistance?
Have a fantastic week