One of my assignments following my most recent coaching session with Marielle was to review the “Personal Checklist” that I filled out prior to beginning this coaching journey. I discovered that, in many of the areas, I was improving, a work in progress (aren’t we all?).
It would be easy to take the idea of a checklist lightly but, as with many things that are meant to give us a wake-up call, information about the importance of checklists have been bombarding me from all sides recently.
Now, I tend to be someone who works things out in my head. I visualize articles almost fully blown before writing a word. I work out next steps in all (or most) areas of my life in my brain, rarely writing these down (unless pushed to do so by something like this process that Marielle has me going through, or when I am so overwhelmed that I need to look at what is coming down the pipe). Even budgeting is done by looking at the bottom line in my chequing account and working out what I can pay from that (most of my regular bills are on automatic payment).
So, when Marielle asked me to review my checklist, it was a “yeah, sure” reaction, done mostly because I am committed to the process.
Then I was listening to a TED Talk about the benefits of checklists in the operating room. Did you know that, according surgeon and public health journalist, Atul Gawanda, deaths during surgery can be reduced by up to 47% just by using check lists? That checklists help catch a problem before it happens or highlight some item that is easily missed? Checklists reinforce teamwork and create a different set of values and discipline, says Dr. Gawanda.
That same day, my exercise coach suggested that I write down my commitment to getting to bed early, and to be specific. I laughed and said that I know I am supposed to getting to bed earlier. Why would I write it down? He insisted that something changes in your brain when you write it down. It becomes more concrete.
On top of all this, I have had two recent events that required checklists for them to succeed.
So, here I am, a person who doesn’t normally write things down, rethinking my approach. With messages from Marielle, Matt and other sources suggesting that it is important to write it down, I am “working on it”. Not only am I improving in other areas of my life, I am also “a work in progress” with writing my best dreams, my goals and my vision down. Using the simple technique of checklists, I expect that I will move forward another step or so.
About the Author:
The above entry is part of a guest blog series titled “A Coaching Journey” written by my friend, client, and talented writer, Linda Epstein. She has graciously agreed to write on her experience with the coaching process as she navigates it, to give a first-hand view of what the journey is like. Visit weekly to find out more!
Read the rest of “A Coaching Journey” by clicking below: