The Progress Coaching Blog

I Am Fat, Walking, and Coaching: Volume I

April 30, 2013 Posted by : Tim Hagen
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Recently, I have taken up walking. I take long and fast-paced walks as a form of relaxation and exercise. In fact I'm walking and I'm coaching often at the same time. I love to run but after runs as I get back in shape I would be sore and find excuses not to run. Ok, you must be wondering why I am writing this in my coaching blog. Well, don’t managers find excuses not to coach such as they say they have no time, something came up, etc. But at the end of the year they show up for the annual review depicting areas where employees need to improve. Every year I have a new plan to lose weight and get back in shape, but if it worked why am I writing this? Guess what managers should hold themselves accountable for their employee’s performance much like I should for my built-in customized Wisconsin tire (think about it, it’s funny).

One of the toughest things that I've had to deal with is my ego of not running at a high rate of speed or pace. The walking has allowed me to clear my head and get away from the day-to-day grind of running your own business and providing customers with high level coaching services. I ran the Milwaukee Marathon years ago and started it as an event and NOT a lifestyle. It’s much like what managers need to do. They tend to want to fix employees; whereas, in reality they need a continuous and structured approach to developing their employees. Both are long-term commitments and we must be as managers of people and ourselves committed to any development long-term.

You must be wondering again why I am walking and talking about such a topic in this blog? There are some parallels between walking and coaching. Much like my battle with going slow and not running as fast as I used to a manager must realize they cannot get to the results or the performance as fast as they would like. I have struggled with my weight through the years but realize I must maintain a consistent and constant effort to pursue a healthier lifestyle; therefore, managers must also adopt a continuous and relentless support of their employee’s development. I have a reflection in the mirror and one I am committed to changing. Manager’s reflection is the development of their employees.


As I write  the second half of this blog article on day three I find myself wanting to want to go faster than what really I should be doing knowing in the end I could actually be doing some harm or tiring myself or even risking injury. Isn't that much like a manager who wants results right away we tend to rush things and go too fast knowing that patience is a virtue and knowing that if I actually take the time to walk in reality I build up my energy and my pace ultimately I’ll start running again and go back into something like running marathons but that begs the question "Isn't coaching really a marathon?"  It’s long term pursuit for developing employees knowing that results are not in the immediate future. If it were that easy there would be no training or coaching industry!


By the end of the first week I was running and walking and not hurting per se. I am not embarrassed to share this but what are the coaching lessons? Well, managers need to pace themselves and realize they are not going to complete the marathon right away. Man, is the male ego tough because this is a battle I face every day with getting back into shape. I want to get back to running 10 mile runs with ease and enjoying meals I know I can burn off. Yes, I have gotten so bad Jenny Craig now calls me wondering where I am. Heck, local restaurants call me if I don’t come in asking “Tim, where have you been we’re going broke”. It’s okay to laugh at me many people here do but that’s okay. It’s good to laugh at yourself. Wow, maybe a second lesson. Managers should laugh at themselves a little more and admit things they are working on! Boy, wouldn’t that build greater trust with employees? Last, as I train and coach myself by maintaining a consistent and structured approach I ask myself are my clients doing this? Am I guiding them as I know as much as anyone coaching employees takes time? It’s the one area where I have great patience so I need to be patient with myself in regards to the weight loss and running.


Last, here it comes. The over-sized Wisconsin guy is throwing himself on the sword so get out of the way! My 25th wedding anniversary to my wife Beth is September 3rd this year and my goal is to lose 25 pounds by then. Second I turn 50 December 24th and want to be down 50 pounds by then. Why am I sharing this? For those who have taken our course PLEASE provide a lot of 30 second coaching … I am going to need it. What is the manager parallel? What are your employee’s goals? Can you help them? Will you help them? Will you encourage them? If yes, you are off to a great coaching start!


Good Luck and Wish Me the Same … I’m Going to Need It!



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About Author

Tim Hagen
Tim Hagen

Tim Hagen founded Progress Coaching, a Training Reinforcement Partner Company, in 1997. His entrepreneurial career began in college leading to positions in sales, sales management, and sales training for small and large corporations, and eventually ownership of several training companies. Tim is often a keynote speaker at companies teaching the value of coaching and conversations in the workplace. He possesses a unique combination of hands-on experience, academics, and innovative insight to solve the industry’s most common challenges specific to workplace performance. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Adult Education and Training from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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