Week FIVE: Relationships need work. So does symbiotic coaching

Smart minds say life is what happens when you are busy making other plans. I guess smarter ones do not let that happen. 🙂 Anyway, that is exactly what has been the case of my symbiotic coach Vladi and me in January and Feb. You guys might have noticed there has been a gap. I got caught up in a major career shift and Vladi was busy stepping her career game on yet another level, too. A couple of weeks flew by. Funny enough, we were procrastinating the week that is all about (overcoming) procrastination. What did we learn and how did we return stronger than ever?

This week’s guidelines and exercises were all about getting serious with both the programme and your tandem partner. I was so caught up in my own little world that I forgot to truly listen to my girlfriend’s needs and struggles. Everything sort of came together when I dove into this week’s readings: “Holding each other accountable equals to reminding each other of what it is that we truly want. Reminders are powerful. Without reminders, we get caught up in the everyday mundanities. Without reminders we might also get drawn into little daily dramas that do not bring us forward,” Philia says. A great way of holding each other accountable are occasional check-ins. Here is an example from Philia: “Alignment with inner values has been a concept in our peer coaching calls that came up frequently for the two of us. So now sometimes when we chat throughout the week, we just ask one another: “Aligned?” This serves as a reminder to live by our goals as much as possible.” Cool, right? We both learnt this week that by supporting the other one with all you got, you support yourself as well.

This week’s exercises were about growth vs. fixed mindset, what areas of your life do either of these mindsets affect and what role models did you have in your childhood. We also read about the role music can play symbiotic coaching experience. As always, most work comes in after the readings are done. So, where did we grow the most this week?

Turn reporting into a fun little routine

Let’s be honest here. As women, we are not in our natural yin energies when we need to report, analyse or plan stuff, right? Tracking progress is essential, though. What helps me holding myself accountable is to make weekly progress reports an integral part of my life. I struggled with filling in the boxes because it felt like something extra I had to do. I tried everything, a shared document with Vladi on Google Disc, e-mailing the progress bits to myself and even the good old analogue method – writing things down on a piece of paper and sticking it onto my fridge. I would forget every time and get back two-three weeks later having a hard time remembering what was it I have dealt with then. And like any other ambitious woman, I need to feel I AM CONSTANTLY MAKING PROGRESS.

So I made reporting part of my weekly calendar planning. There’s a reminder that pops at me every Monday morning at 8 am after I’ve done my yoga and meditation. When I open it, along with my usual planning (what is the most important task of the week, how can I tackle it, who do I want to reach out to, how do I give back), I fill in progress, barriers and success moments concerning some of my middle and long term goals that I pursue through symbiotic coaching. It’s fun, easy and it GETS DONE!

Make it yours = make it stick!

Vladi developed her own system, too. As she says, “I like to take things, question them, deconstruct them and then put my little twist.” We both love that the Philia Programme is so versatile and as flexible as we need it to be. If you are anything like us, you’d probably twist and turn the programme according to your own needs. If you need more structure, that is what you’d find in Philia, too. What we recommend, though, is to stick exactly with the course outline for the first four weeks. That is the time you are still making peer coaching a habit. Stick with it word to word when you are the most vulnerable and then make it yours here and there once you get more familiar with symbiotic growth.

A part of our twisting and turning is realising magic happens when we actually meet for the weekly sessions in person, instead of calls only. It is not easy as I am Prague-based and Vladi goes back and forth between Prague and London with occasional trips to Africa and the US. But we do take this programme seriously. Our growth together is sacred to us. So we put our heads together and came up with a master plan – we’ll apply for a co-working spot in Prague together. Therefore we can not only get together for our sessions but also make this programme naturally overlap into our personal and professional lives. Became our own little community.