Coaching: the LEAN approach to behavioural change

by | Dec 2, 2015 | Achieving goals, Coaching, Focus, Learning | 0 comments

I’ve been following the IRWCC online world conference (International Recovery to Wellness Coaching) which has brought together thought leaders from around the world to share how they are shifting the way we approach recovery and wellness. Want to take part? It’s free to join

Central to Coaching is a Paradigm Shift

Coaching takes us from

“we, the experts, know what’s best for you, so do as we say”


“let us help you reconnect to meaning, your inner strengths and empower you. Then you can develop your own path for recovery and wellness. And I’ll be your mirror and support as you go on this journey.”

It’s an incredibly powerful shift.¬†Sometimes, we have a problem and we don’t know what we need to do. For example, for my gut health issues I knew I needed to do something to heal my gut but I didn’t have the knowledge of what to eat / not eat etc. So I hired a nutritionist. I got the information that I needed. It was fantastic.

But, then I needed to change a lifetime of habits. I knew what I needed to do but I would slip up. That’s when I needed the help of people who know about how to create behavioural change. Fortunately, I know the power of coaching and I have successfully changed my eating patterns. For good.

Traditional therapeutic approaches to behavioural change have the following characteristics

  • Expert knows what you need to do and will tell you the right action plan for you
  • You are “broken” in some way, so of course you can’t figure this out on your own
  • By looking at the past in detail, the expert can figure out where you are going wrong, and then figure out the solution for you

Now, I’m being deliberately bold and blunt in my description. Why? Because, despite the mastery and skill of the practionner, in this approach we have an inherent bias towards

  • Judgement
  • Disempowerment
  • Push mechanism (“you need to” versus “I will”)

Plus, all this investigation takes a long time. Anyone who has every been to therapy will recognise that it takes quite a few sessions before you get anything out of it, except for the relief of being able to talk openly about your concerns.

So, what does LEAN have to do with this?

The lean approach is built on the principle of Build-Measure-Learn:

  • get an idea
  • develop it
  • test it
  • fail fast
  • learn from the failures, adjust and test again

The approach of coaching is

  • Clarify where you want to get to / goals
  • develop strategies / action plans for how you can get there
  • test it
  • evaluate what you learned from the successes and failures
  • adapt, test again

See the similarity? Even the most mediocre coach will have you leaving the first session with a clarity on your goals, new insights and an immediately actionable plan. No hanging around, trying to understand the universe.

Explore. Learn. Implement

So if you have something important that you want to do or achieve, join the lean revolution. Invest in yourself to get the greatest return.




Want to be able to shift to positivity more easily? Want to know how this can help you personally? Ask about the RAW program: Resilience Agility Wellbeing. Sign up in December to start the program in Jan to get the 2015 special rate.

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