Unstuck in 5

December 13th, 2012 | Coaching

Guest Post by Pam Smith

Everybody gets “stuck” once in a while.  Even those who coach others on a regular basis can get stuck.

In preparation to instruct a group of counselors on how to use coaching as a tool in their profession, I used the letters in the word “STUCK” to identify 5 steps to getting “unstuck” and then provided a number of good questions to use for each step.

Here are the 5 steps:

  • Set the Focus
  • Talk about Options
  • Unleash a Plan
  • Check for Obstacles
  • Know Commitments

Why 5-steps and not 3 or 4?  Well, just like when trying to pick something up with one-hand, the true strength comes in using all five fingers.

Here’s another way to think about it: I read an article by a pretty good bowler. He had three 300 games, many over 290, and a high three-game series of 790.  He stated that a 5-step approach is used by most of the higher average bowlers.  Here a summary of what that 5-step process looks like:

The first step is the speed step that sets up the entire shot.  Step two is the push out where the bowling ball is set in motion from its starting position towards the lane where the bowler wants it to go.  In step three the ball is allowed to fall into a natural swing motion. Step four continues the motion by ending the back swing and starting the ball back towards the lane. The final step is the slide and the all-important follow through.

Here’s how the five-step “STUCK” process compares to the technique used by high-achieving bowlers:

  • Set the Focus (like in bowling, this establishes where you are starting and where you want to go)
  • Talk about Options (this is where you push out the ideas to begin forward motion)
  • Unleash a Plan (now you frame a plan that feels both natural and achievable)
  • Check for Obstacles (like in bowling here’s where you make any adjustment needed)
  • Know Commitments (here’s where the all-important follow-through takes place)

When you read the 5-step process for bowling did you find yourself visualizing a bowler going through the process?  Since it is more difficult to visualize the “STUCK” process, here’s a copy of the front and back of the laminated cards I provided to the counselors:

Next time you feel “STUCK”, give it a try.

Pam Smith – VP for Student Advancement, Biblical Seminary www.biblical.edu

Author of: Nine Ways Woman Sabotage Their Careers

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4 thoughts on “Unstuck in 5

  1. Great post – simple enough that I think I can remember it! And the cards are an extra bonus!

  2. Joe Longo says:

    Pam, I love how you used the Bridge to come up with the acrostic for being Stuck. I have a coaching session today and my participant’s comment on his coaching sheet said he felt Stuck. I noticed you clarified some of the bullet points on the bridge handout. This has helped. Thanks for your expertise.

  3. Joe this sounds a lot like JITI (Just in time inventory) but in this case: JITQ (Just in time Questions)

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