I was recently asked by an HR client to write an article about coaching for a senior leader who didn’t feel he needed coaching. (My client had a hunch that he’d benefit from it)
The leader didn’t believe he ‘needed’ coaching.
He didn’t believe he had a problem to fix.
What could I possibly teach him that he didn’t already know.
And he was absolutely right.
I couldn’t teach him anything - and it wasn’t my job to. And therein lies the challenge for us coaches. (Coaching is one of the most misunderstood professions - with most people confusing it with mentoring or 121 training. They also misunderstand its intention. Fixing problems, although useful if there is a problem to fix, is the least productive use for coaching.)
Coaching recognises that you may not want or need to be told what to do. Because you already have the answers within you.
My job as coach if working with him would be to explore, unlock, unleash and utilise what he already has.
Coaching recognises that you already have the resources and capabilities within you, or your can find them.
Coaching recognises who and what you already are and champions you to be your best.
Coaching ignites the fire and creates steam in the engine. The coach strikes the flint, holds the lamp, helping people see the way in front of them.
People who are coached, as self aware, clear on where they are going and confident on how they will get there. They are confident, connected to their purpose, know what they want, and know how to show up as the version of themselves that will achieve it.
Coaches lighten the load, build resourcefulness and help their person make strides forward.
Coaching is a skilled, positively framed, challenging, motivational movement orientated conversation. It is a communication skill set - A skill set that a coach has mastered, over years.
And combined with other skill sets, like NLP (Neuro linguistic programming) for example, it gets better results faster, unlocking and unleashing the best.
So, in answer to that senior leader client. What can I teach him? Very little. I don't know about his business or how to run it better. I do however know how to help him run himself within his business, better.
I do know how to help him discover his possibilities. I know how to equip him with a supercharged awareness, an ability to serve himself well, and progress forward, leading others engagingly, as his very best version.
None of which will come from me. All of which will come from within him.