We tiptoe into 2021, hesitant yet reasonably hopeful. Admittedly, these first two weeks have not played out as we expected, but there are signs of hope. The vaccine is rolling out (albeit more slowly than we would like). Inauguration, which we hope will proceed without major problems or bloodshed, is Wednesday. Our teams have demonstrated resilience and determination, often well beyond our expectations. We are positioned to proceed and succeed.
2020, however, left its scars. Like many wounds, left untreated there can be residual damage, loss of strength, lingering problems. Yet with the right treatment and attention, the scars may disappear and the patient can thrive, perhaps stronger and better than before. So how do we treat the scars of 2020? What kind of magic ointment can be applied?
You know the answer – there is no magic ointment. Everything takes work. The work takes time and effort. Injuries require therapy. What are the therapies that will heal the scars of 2020, that will allow those injured to survive and thrive?
Consider the athlete recovering from an injury. Let’s imagine we’re past the acute, emergency stage (2020) and are starting the gradual return to full health (2021). The athlete is reviewed and assessed, strengths and challenges identified, and a plan of action put into place.
The work starts with a coach, guiding the athlete into what should and should not be done to promote the healing process. Physical therapy may be part of the solution – weights, repetitions, exercises. The athlete works some with the coach and some independently. Exercise and treatments continue. The athlete confers with the coach to determine what’s working and what should be added or modified. Slowly, steadily, the athlete returns to full strength but this time wiser and better, knowing how to avoid what happened before and what to do differently should it occur again. And through the process, the athlete develops new strengths and talents, better prepared to face even bigger challenges ahead.
Why should the athlete’s process be different for any of us? When we think of the importance of coaching for professional athletes, we don’t blink an eye. Coaching for professionals in the workplace is no different. To recover from the injuries of 2020, every professional needs to learn, practice, and grow stronger. And what better way is there to do that than with the experience and insight of a coach – not someone who is hearing about it for the first time, but one who has “been there, done that” and can help us through the healing process.
2021 is a year of promise and opportunity. It will also bring its share of challenges. Consider how best to leverage your strengths, develop new skills, mitigate your weaknesses, and heal your scars. Could you do it on your own? Maybe. Could you learn how to do it from watching a video or taking a class? Perhaps. But if you really want to ensure you see lasting change in your life, work with a coach.