The Coachable Moment: A Lesson on Self Coaching By, Ken Long

The following is a trader’s check-in report, submitted to me a few months back.

Ken, two things –

1. There’s a good trading education opportunity I have become aware of. It costs $4k. Do you think it is worth it? Not only from a value and learning standpoint but also from the point of view of my trading development – is it a good idea for me to learn new stuff? Or should I keep focusing on making bricks in the usual way?

2. Monthly Check-In: You challenged me last month to be ready for my 1st monthly check-in and although I have grown in leaps and bounds and progress is excellent, I cannot be honest and tell you I am ready for my first check-in as I need to do some serious work in these ten areas:

  • Manage my risk better
  • Manage my risk better
  • Manage my risk better
  • Maintain Zero state better
  • Maintain Zero state better
  • Maintain Zero state better
  • Continue to work on the owl technique
  • Continue working on better exits
  • Continue working on adding scoops
  • Manage my risk better

Things I Did Well

  • Showed up
  • +24R this month
  • Added scoops along the way
  • Protecting open P & L realizing 60% at least
  • Focused on 4-8 usual suspects

Needs Improvement

  • Lost my psychological capital yesterday and will not trade the rest of this week
  • I need to figure out how to protect my psychological capital
  • I do not need to be in every trade all the time
  • Stop worrying about missing out on the upside and
  • Protect my mental and trading capital
  • Need to be more prepared with all stats on the markets I trade
  • Post more trades in the room
  • Keep track of individual trades
  • Build histogram
  • See attached results

Thinking, Feeling, Reflecting, and Doing

Rather than provide my response to this trader for you right now, use this as a coachable moment and answer the following questions for a lesson on self-coaching yourself –

  • How would you feel if you were the trader in this position?
  • Compare this trader’s month to how YOU feel about YOUR trading in the last month.
  • Do you empathize with this trader?
  • How would you reply to the question about learning a new trading method?
  • What do you think I might say as a coach?
  • These questions follow the Thinking, Feeling, Reflecting, Doing process.

After you have thought enough about answers to satisfy YOU (and even written them out), scroll down for my reply.

In my initial response, I directed the trader to follow a process, a systematic journey through his psychology. Completing this process would generate some answers he could imagine me giving him. (This is meta-coaching 🙂 )

Hi X,

I have written out an answer but now I will challenge you to develop two courses of action on how to proceed. This is a lesson in self-coaching.

I recommend that you do the following:

  • Describe the environment.
  • Consider the factors, actors, and circumstances.
  • Assess the performance from multiple vantage points, including what was done, what was NOT done.
  • Apply a Sustain/Improve/Action model.
  • Conduct a modified SWOT analysis according to the template… place that other course as an opportunity.
  • Consider the four categories of strategies.
  • Consider the four roles of actors Prospectors, Defenders, Reactors, and Integrators: what do each of those voices suggest to you to do?
  • Consider your “Purpose, Place, Progress, and Posture” to make a recommendation for action to your Boss.
  • Remember that your Boss (your Executive, your Chief Decision-maker) has responsibility and accountability for results and always takes the Strategic view about what to do.
  • Act as a Chief of Staff to make your recommendation for Short Term and Long Term actions.

After you go thru that process, then let me know what comes out. 🙂 My response is in a “sealed envelope” in my email draft folder which I will send to you when you ask me to send it.

Here’s what I said in my sealed envelope –

  • If I lost my emotional capital yesterday, I would NOT be looking at new techniques to add to the skillset but would address the inner work that leads to more resilience and psychological robustness.
  • Those courses will always be there.
  • If you are not ready now for a regular check-in, then adding new materials from different instructors is more likely to be a distraction than a cure.
  • Do the harder work, which is getting your gear together, and “get set”.
  • The time to add new material is when you KNOW you are routinely satisfied with the professional production of R with your existing systems at the lowest risk moment.
  • Time to look at the game film in detail at the end of last month to determine what changed in your ecosystem to generate those end-of-month results. Address the tasks that emerge.
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