Why do our attempts to deal with the challenges we face so often fail? Why are we stuck or get stuck? Why do we see the same old patterns repeat?
Often the cause of our impasse is that we are blind to the deeper dimension of leadership and transformational change and essentially our own operating models or what makes us tick. This “blind spot” exists not only in our collective leadership but also in our everyday interactions.
We know a great deal about what leaders do and how they do it but we do not examine our why and we know very little about our inner place, the landscape or source from which we operate. It is this source that I attempt to explore and honour to create new capacities.
“Leadership is a contact sport”
Marshall Goldsmith, Executive Coach
First and foremost coaching is a relationship between people. Clients come to coaching to be more in relationship with themselves and others.
When asked, I explain my approach as a bunch of conversations with a deliberate path or sequence, conversations to discover, define and refine. This is the process map for individuals. For teams the work involves collective workshops and development days where I support the team align against their mandate, membership and mind-set before the development work proceeds. Exquisite beginnings are essential and account for about 60% of a team performance
Contracting forms an integral part of my approach. I am seeking to appreciate the client’s current story/narrative or position. I look to understand what informs decisions or actions, what beliefs are held, what strengths exist and what perceptions others have of the person I am coaching. I conduct in-depth interviews with stakeholders, use psychometric assessments and typically have a depth conversation with the person concerned. I then work to help a client make sense of what is presented and to articulate their desired change.
Armed with increased self-awareness and a desire to achieve stated objectives my clients are typically primed to engage in developmental change. We explore tactics and strategies and experiment with different options to strengthen a client’s repertoire, to stretch and to move in a cycle of action for learning. Each session is a build and also often a different take on a previous concern. I believe nothing changes unless behaviour changes and key to that is working with assumptions, beliefs and values, thoughts and emotions that drive us.
All conversations I encounter with individuals deal with the natural and real phenomenon of resistance, resistance of thought, emotion, and will. My skill as a coach supports indivuals or leaders move past this apparent impasse by facilitating the integration of future thinking, feeling, and will in the context of practical applications and learning by doing. These last few sessions are devoted to consolidating, reviewing, evaluating and reinforcing new ways of being and doing. This work is intensive, seeking to champion change and often, real transformation
Through intentional conversations I help clients build smart solutions to seemingly intractable issues.
A team launch helps the team get clear on their real purpose, objectives and goals and how they will work together to achieve these. The upfront diagnostic information is used to help the team determine where the work best needs to start. I employ a number of methodologies and models to support the work involved. The output is a clear and agreed team charter
Post the team launch the team commits to a suite of development coaching sessions. These sessions last between 2-3 hours and focus on a goal desired by the team, which is related to their stated objectives from the align phase. In addition the team can use the time to work on the team’s process to challenge the efficacy of stated norms. For an individual I typically agree a series of 1:1 conversations staged over an agreed period to support practice between conversations. The intent is clear to affect transformational change.
Subsequent to the team development coaching sessions I help my client’s assess what has changed and what needs to be communicated to stakeholders. I facilitate a discussion and review of the work conducted between us including tasks, projects, milestones and new processes. We use this time to help determine what has been learnt and what still needs refinement. Often a new narrative is communicated to the organisation.