Appointment? Appointment! How planning actually becomes implementation

"I hate planning! No wonder my competence is shown as moderate", said Martina M. - spokeswoman of the board of a medium-sized company - when we scrutinized the results in her LINC Personality Profiler on an intensive day.

The LINC Personality Profiler (LPP) competencies provide answers - based on the client's self-assessment - to the questions: What am I particularly good at? What is easy for me, and what is difficult? On the one hand, they are thus a valuable indicator of the client's learning and development potential. On the other hand, they show the areas in which the client already feels competent and confident.

"As much as I hate planning - it's clear to me that I need it for my job. Let's take a closer look at that today, please," Martina M. continues.

Tell me...

As a coaching method, I decided to use the "Episodic Behavioral Analysis". It sounds complicated at first and is very practical in its implementation.

The "Episodic Behavioral Analysis", which the LINC Institute recommends as an application method in connection with the LPP, is about analyzing individual episodes from the client's life and working out where the personality - consisting of character traits, motives and competencies, among other things - has its effect. The first step is to initiate development and to show the client how strongly the personality influences all areas of life. Everything that happens in everyday life - successes, problems, etc. - are influenced by personality. This is best recognized by looking at various episodes from the life and then analyzing them in detail.

Five steps to the goal

Step 1: Definition of the topic the client wants to change

First, I ask the client, "What specifically would you like to change about yourself? Give an example from your everyday life that is currently particularly bothering you." Martina M. spontaneously answered, "How can I schedule 'Stop & Think' appointments better and, above all, sustainably in my calendar? I always write them in - but don't really take the appointment seriously."

Step 2: Concrete episode that describes the problem.

 "Describe an episode from your life that relates to the issue you would like to change. This can be a success or failure story. The description must include details: Who was involved? How did it all go down? How did it unfold? What was the impact? Fill the story with life!" "For a long time now, I've been planning to keep the spaces I create in my calendar for thoughtful downtime. The times when I also allow myself to 'moonshot thinking' - implement 'out of the box' thinking - read articles I've been saving from newspapers for years. I firmly believe that this process is essential to the Future of my business. But I simply don't succeed. Time and again, day-to-day business gets in the way, or I'm urgently needed at home (note: Martina M. has three children aged between 2 and 7)."

Step 3: Look into the personality analysis (LPP).

Which competencies play a role in this context? Which competencies does Martina M. lack to act better or achieve her goal of meeting Moonshot-Thinking deadlines sustainably? What patterns lie behind this? During the coaching session, we first go through several comparable appointments, which she also repeatedly discards. In addition to the "think appointments", Martina M. notices that personal sports appointments also frequently "fall victim" to her daily work routine. But she also repeatedly reschedules jour fixes with her managers because the planning times are not correct. She recognizes three patterns: 1. the times with which she plans appointments are usually much too short. 2. appointments with supposedly "soft content", such as think-tank or sports, she does not stick to her planning, or they are unrealistically planned in terms of the time window. 3. she often cancels appointments that are a "personal luxury" for her. The poor planning is also reflected in her LPP: In addition to her "moderate" planning competence, she weakly developed self-care competence. This means that the same appointments that are good for her and bring her joy are in danger of falling behind. The good news is that skills can be developed.

Step 4: Target behaviour

I ask Martina M.: "How would you like to behave in a similar situation in the Future? What behaviour would you like to exhibit in the Future that you have not exhibited in the past?" The point here is not to define a perfect target behaviour. The important thing is to develop a target behaviour that fits the client. That is realistic. This may require changing the framework or redeveloping the previous approach.

Step 5: Develop concrete action steps

How does Martina M. succeed in anchoring a "think tank appointment" in her calendar in the long term and in such a way that it does not fall victim to other topics? The following coaching process reads like this:

"What would be a first step in creating a sustainable appointment?"

"I need free space in my calendar - so far, it only says 'block' on my calendar."

"How often do you actually create that free space?"

"So far, I've put down four half-days per month. My goal is one day a week. The only problem is - as I said - not even the half-days are happening."

"What would be a first step to help you meet the deadline?"

"I might have to give it a different name. Instead of Block, it could be called Future."

"What else would be helpful?" I want to know.

"I'll book myself another room. Get out of my office. I need to be somewhere else."

"What else do you need for sustainability - what day would be realistic?"

"Clearly Friday afternoon."

"What time?" "2-6 p.m."

"Good, then your calendar now specifically says every Friday afternoon: 2-6 p.m., plan for the future."

"What else do you need to make it a 'no matter what appointment'?"

Martina M. thinks and brings up some more formal considerations, like calendar colour or reminders already on the days before. "Is this a 'no matter what appointment' now?" I ask her. Martina M.: "At least it's a step forward."

"What else do you need?" Martina M. thinks. "May I make a suggestion to you? What do you think about planning the content of the appointments? Planning refers not only to formal aspects but also to content. Fill the afternoon with life. What possibilities do you have?"


That was the lasting result:

  1. "Brainstorming appointment" just for me: sifting through a folder of articles, reading, researching, thinking about the Future. Have my assistant prepare the appointment with inspiring texts and videos.
  2. Invite sparring. Invite an interlocutor either f-2-for via online meeting. Prepare the content of the appointment.
  3. Listen to Ted Talk or similar together with board colleagues and discuss afterwards.
  4. CEO coffee time with alternating staff - listen to future ideas, collect, evaluate and implement if necessary.

Step by step, the CEO improved her planning skills, increased her self-care (the future appointments became the highlight of the week for her!) and incidentally developed a 'no-matter-what appointment for her company that is now firmly anchored in her daily routine. The first valuable ideas for the Future are already in the implementation phase, where I accompany her with my team.

[Translate to English:] | Andrey_Popov