You’re busy addressing others’ priorities, but what about your own?
In the bidding world, we spend our time helping others to achieve their goals – e.g. a bid writer supporting her / his client to prepare a winning bid so that the organisation can deliver products and / or services to enable the end client to achieve a business goal. The ‘channel of needs’ keeps the bidding profession and its clients moving, but how much attention do we pay to our own growth as individuals?
No one but you is going to get you to where you want to be. Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” That means we have to live by our own values and beliefs. It also means we have to develop ourselves in ways that make the differences we want to see in our professional and personal lives. To achieve our development, we have to remember to give ourselves permission to put ourselves first.
Spend time on you
How do you put yourself first without overlooking others and their demands on you? One way is to take a steer from the world of coaching so that you can challenge yourself during your busy week. As coaches, we’re seasoned question askers. We ask our clients insightful questions that unlock their full potential.
Being busy in your bid work may mean you have insufficient time to consult a coach to develop your action plan for the development you want to achieve. Have you ever thought about coaching yourself? This can be a surprisingly effective way of creating long-term goals and their associated journey goals. Self-coaching helps you to put yourself first by challenging yourself using questions that help to shape your personal development strategy.
Self-coaching: a way to motivate yourself and to realise your incredible skills
Consider some of the questions that we ask in coaching, and imagine using these questions for yourself when you put time aside during your week:
GOAL: Where are you heading?
- What more can I achieve with my existing skills and experience?
- What do I want to do that I don’t already do?
- What do I want my bidding career to look like?
- How long have I been thinking about taking myself to the next level in my bid work?
- What would it mean to me to achieve more with my skills and experience?
- How would others regard me if I achieve more?
REALITY: Where are you now?
- What’s great about my bid work this week?
- What have I learned about bidding this week?
- What did I accomplish this week?
- Who else will benefit from my learning and accomplishments?
- What can I pass on to others to help them?
- What didn’t go so well in my bid work this week?
- How can I turn that around for a better outcome next time?
- Is my work giving me energy and enthusiasm for the future, or is it draining me?
- How efficient am I being with my time, and how do I know?
- What’s stopping me doing right now the things I’d like to do in my bid work?
- What evidence do I have that I don’t already have the required skills and experience?
- Am I focusing more on what I can’t yet do or on what’s within my reach as new skills?
- What do I believe is holding me back in my bidding career?
OPTIONS: Which roads can you take?
- How can I find out more about development opportunities in bidding?
- If an identical version of me existed, what growth would I be encouraging that person to strive for?
- How can I create more value in my work for myself and others, with less effort?
- What new skills and experience do I need so that I can take myself to the next level?
- What will really make the biggest difference to my skills and abilities?
- How can I be most resourceful here?
- What would my career look like if I took action now?
- If I don’t take action, what will it cost me in the long run?
- Who else will benefit from my new skills when I gain them?
- What’s the first step I need to take?
- How can I make a plan of action?
WILL: How much do you want to develop your career?
- On a scale of 0 to 10, how keen and committed am I to progress my career in bidding?
- What am I willing to start to create change in my bidding career?
- What am I willing to stop to create change in my bidding career?
- If I changed my belief about my own abilities, what would be possible?
- What’s the worst that can happen if I try this new thing?
There’s no time like the present to try something new
Try self-coaching to help make it easier to put yourself first. You can even think about the questions throughout the day as you go about your business, but remember to keep a record of your thoughts, ideas and feelings.
You might find you need to practise self-coaching for a little while before it becomes natural for you, or you might find teaming with a trusted colleague or friend to be effective if you want someone else to guide the questioning for you.
The purpose of the questions in this article is to make it easier to explore what you want to achieve in your career, without having to sit with a blank piece of paper. The questions give you a template to which you can add more questions as you note down your answers.
You need to keep records of your thoughts arising from your responses to the questions. Your records will enable you to track progress over time. For example, you might find that something holding you back today (Qu.16 and 19) will no longer be a blocker in a month’s time.
Why not try self-coaching today so that you can explore your own way of putting yourself first? You may well surprise yourself with the motivation that you derive from realising that you’re more resourceful than you realised.
Where will your bidding career take you next?
The original version of this article appeared in the February 2018 edition of Bidding Quarterly.