The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for July, 2009

Existence Systems Part 3: Access to Causing Client Success

Last week I distinguished the notion “existence systems” and their importance to people who are Up To Something.  Then I speculated on what are the underlying, defining characteristics that make them great.  Now I want to explore their role in coaching relationships, and I’ll do so looking from where we [at CoachAccountable] aim to contribute to the coaching profession.

Everyone has his or her own relationship to existence systems. For example, one can overall be empowered by them, resistant to them, or indifferent/oblivious to needing such things (I’m proud to say I’ve graduated from that third category).   Most coaches will find, among their clients, that there are relationships to existence systems that are all across the board.  A coach working with a client who is already a master of utilizing an existence system has a big leg up in the process.  During my year as a coach, it felt sometimes like one of my responsibilities was to BE the existence system for my coachees (“How did you do with those four actions you created last week?”  Pause.  “Umm… can you tell me what were they again?”).

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Existence Systems Part 2: What Makes a Good One?

Yesterday I distinguished the oddly phrased concept “existence system”, which unravels to mean “a system for keeping things in existence”.   Or put another way: a system for managing details in life and staying on top your commitments.  Today I want to speculate on the defining features that make such systems really great.  In the years since I first became acquainted with the notion “existence system” (including an initial bout of resistance to having my life chained to anything of the sort), I’ve experienced plenty of what does and does not work for me, and here are the unifying gems I’ve found:

Easy or Automatic Data Entry

By “data” here I mean the details of whatever you need to keep in existence: appointments, meetings, outings, all of it.  If it’s all gotta go in (and it does all gotta go in, if you want to be able to say with confidence whether or not you’re free next Wednesday at 11:00am for one hour) it better be super easy and fast to do so.  Otherwise laziness will understandably kick in, soon rendering the system incomplete and out of date, and thus pretty much useless.

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Existence Systems, Part 1: A look at the value of tools for managing things in time

“Existence system” is not a phrase commonly known or used in English.  A Google search for it in quotes yields a paltry 7,470 results and none of the first few pages of results contain the meaning I intend to share here, so let’s look at the phrase newly.

Said another way, I mean: systems for keeping things in existence*.  We all know the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind”, right?  Keeping something in existence means keeping it present over time: it is the antithesis of letting something fall through the cracks. Many people don’t need an existence system: it is easy to remember the big things like going to work on Monday morning and brushing the teeth at night.  If those are your only responsibilities in a typical week, you really don’t need to check in with a day planner first thing in the morning.  And if you should happen to forget Aunt Pam’s birthday, well, she’ll probably understand.

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