Learning and Discovery
Coaching is about learning and becoming aware of, staying aware of, and being in control of your own values and purpose. And, learning to recognize and appreciate others' values and purpose. Awareness requires focus, listening to yourself and others. While it might sound counter-intuitive, being in control involves letting go and allowing yourself to be vulnerable to learn.
Coaching helps you answer big questions
- What are my core values and purpose?
- How do my values and purpose influence my work?
- How do others see me?
- What am I like to work for and with?
- What happens when I'm under stress?
- What comes naturally to me?
Together, we will explore and learn from a variety of sources, the most important being your own self-discovery.
- Create and maintain more productive and positive relationships
- Have a better understanding of your and other's purpose and potential
- Know how you contribute to a team dynamic or culture
- Be more effective at giving and receiving feedback
- Know what strengths to leverage in tough situations and when to ask for help
- Select members for teams and projects with more confidence
- Last, but not least, be more focused with a sense of well-being and happiness for you and within your team or organization
4 factors for learning and leveraging change
These are not linear actions, but are sequential and interrelated. For example, if you are not feeling safe and open to new ideas your perceptions could be limited.
- What kind of physical space, mental space, and support helps you learn?
- What data and information about yourself do you want or need?
- What is your vision? Does it align with your values and motivators?
- What steps do you need to take to get to where you want to be?
The right space
This is first in the sequence because if you are not feeling safe and open to new ideas, it influences how you react to personal data, what you identify as your vision and ultimately your plan. When exploring and learning, it's important not to worry about making mistakes. At work, there is often a persistent message about performing, being "the best", winning. . . Under this pressure, it can be difficult to let go and feel free to try new things, or be imprecise. Learning can be messy.
In the space of coaching, you are in a learning mindset. There are no judgements, ratings or grades. You will be encouraged to say and think the impossible or ridiculous. This doesn't mean there is no pressure to try. I will hold you accountable and encourage you to stretch outside your comfort zone and call you out on comments or behaviors that do not match your goals.
There is also a paradox in that the learning and open mindset must be accompanied by discomfort of some kind. Change is hard and without the desire to want to change and learn, no space will help you accomplish your goals.
What elements of space do you need to thrive? Appreciating this concept of space for yourself and others is an important step to take.
If we work together, our meetings may be in person, on the phone, or online. In any case, I will do my best to understand, create and respect a space that works for you.
Data about you and for you
Data provides both structure and a comprehensive base for discussion and insight. A useful aspect about data is that it has no bias or emotion. Yet, it can provide a platform for exploration, reference and measurement. Even if you disagree with assessment data, figuring out why can be useful.
The use of assessment tools and mapping can spark awareness of the connectedness in different aspect of the data and your reflections. One of the processes I use is Polarity Thinking®. It is a powerful method for seeing, mapping and assessing inter-related priorities.
Information gathered can also serve as valuable reference tools outside of coaching. The assessment information is a benchmark against which you can measure progress or leverage for future questions.
The methods of seeing and mapping in Polarity Thinking® will provide you and your team with a model for working through situations with competing priorities.
Vision and Direction
Fundamental questions at all stages of coaching and becoming a better leader are:
- What is most important to you? ... and, why?
- What does the data tell you?
- What conflicts or interdependencies are at play?
- What impact are you having on others?
- Are you and your team be spending energy in the right places?
How are you going to get there?
With your new or clarified knowledge about yourself, what changes do you want to make? What steps are you going to take? These can be tiny steps, big leaps, mindset shifts or simply being more aware of what matters most to you.
Change is hard work. It requires focus and persistence. Having people around you to cheer you on and celebrate small wins can help. Coaching can help you navigate, gather the right data, pressure-test ideas, and remain accountable. In the end it's up to you to do the work, but with a coach, you have qualified and experienced support and guidance along the way.
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Maya Angelou