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Commitment vs Obligation

The commitment is a fundamental element for a coaching process. It generates action, change and, therefore, learning. The commitment is substantial to the human being and directly influences our interpersonal relationships and the achievement of our objectives. We are committed to something and that leads us to make one or the other choices. We call these elections to prioritize one task over others . To do this, it is essential to first identify our goal, our objective and check what our level of commitment is .

Here you have to be alerted to the "I have to", "I would like to", "I would love to ... but ..." and pay special attention to the "I want", "I'm going for it" ..., the latter are indicators of commitment . The commitment is a lever that leads us to prioritize, so when I'm clear about what I want and I'm committed, the excuse of "I have no time" disappears .

If we look at where we focus each of us, we will realize where we are most engaged. That is, if we are more than 14 hours working, we may be more committed to our work than to our family. If I spend some time daily in sports and take care of my diet, I will be committed to taking care of myself. If we ask for a temporary leave after the birth of our child, I will be more committed to raising the baby than to my professional career.

The commitment involves choosing one thing for another and giving up on others. Here it is important to know what my goal is and measure my degree of commitment. The interesting thing is to ask what we are committed to in each situation, set a goal and implement the actions to achieve it.

Another point to consider is to identify the emotion that is generated when a person or a team is committed to its objective. If we read the domains of acting in coaching such as language, body and emotion, we can identify when a person is committed to their goal or not.

For example, if we look at their language we can find words of the type: "I want", "I'm going to", "I'm committed", "It fills me with enthusiasm", "It's what I like", "I enjoy", "Right now" . If we appreciate their corporality, we will be able to observe some behaviors of the type: the eyes light up, the expression of the face is open, its trunk and shoulders are expanded and its passage is firmer and safer. If we perceive their emotion, we find emotions of the type: illusion, ambition, overcoming, optimism and confidence.

The level of commitment is evident both individually and in a team. Sports fans often read this type of behavior on their team, measuring their degree of commitment when they step on the pitch. To illustrate more clearly, let's think about the distinction contrary to commitment, obligation .

On the other hand, paradoxically, we can live a commitment from the obligation . This can happen when we have engaged a priori with someone or with something and we will not be able to comply with it or the fact of fulfilling it can cause us significant complications. In this case, if we continue with the commitment we can become an obligation. And if we break it we have breached our commitment. What do we do?

In coaching we hold the belief that a commitment can be renegotiated and even broken, a person has the flexibility and the choice to say what to do at all times. It is important to note that if a person is continually renegotiating and breaking their commitments, their public image may be impaired and this affects their credibility. However, once the benefits and risks are weighed, it is important to feel free when deciding whether to move forward with a commitment, renegotiate or break it. In our hand it is related to us from the commitment or from the obligation.

In a coaching process, the client commits to what he wants to achieve, and the coach checks with him his degree of commitment and if the actions and behaviors are aligned with the achievement of the objective. Being committed to a goal means having made a free choice and identifying both the benefits, as well as the cost and effort that such choice entails.

Ultimately, the commitment has the power that each of us freely decide the objective we want in our lives, that we position ourselves from where we want to live it, whether or not we act according to that objective. And we ask ourselves, from what emotion do we want to feel it? With what attitude? and with what language?

Examples of judgments and associated beliefs:

The following examples will show you common statements indicate each case:

1. Obligation. Those phrases that begin with: - "I have to….".

- "It is my obligation ..."
- "There are things to do even if you don't like them ..."
- "If there is no choice…".
- "I can't break a compromise."

2. Commitment. Those phrases that begin with: - "I want ...".

- "I will…".
- "I pledge".
- "Yes".
- "I'm willing".
- "Count on me".
- "You have it for X day."

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