Monday 29 March 2010

Coach as 'Strategic Thinking Partner'

While I was training to be a Coach our Lead Coach Trainer a great guy and brilliant Coach called Philip Brew himself a Master Certified Coach used a term that perfectly described the role of a Coach at the most Senior levels of the organisation........

That role is a "Strategic Thinking Partner".
What great clarity and a superb positioning statement!
To operate effectively and add Value at that level the following things are essential. They come from Carl Rogers, who's globally respected as an authority figure on 'Change'. He pointed to 3 things that when they exist in a Coaching/Change environment a positive relationship is not just possible, but in fact inevitable.

Once the Relationship is in place and that vital 'connection' has been made, being a Strategic Thinking Partnership happens quite naturally and quickly in my experience. Both parties loosen up and enter into a positive flow. These are the key enablers:
  1. Authenticity- How you 'show-up' and how credible you are are vital in building a relationship. Is what you say and do consistently the same...?
  2. Congruence- This is the ability to be 'you' in any given situation irrespective of rank, role. To me, it really means can you be authentic under pressure!

  3. Unconditional Human Regard- This means you suspend judgement and listen to what is being said without interference from your own agenda or the agenda of a 3rd party. You accept what is said and your sole intention is to understand and objectify what you hear.

I try very hard to adhere to these core principles and find when I do the quality of my work is highly effective. I attribute this to the quality of relationship that's possible when you BECOME that type of person. You attract your client into this space. You accomplish several things simultaneously when this happens:

  • You build a profound and meaningfully healthy relationship with another human being who trusts you and themselves in this space.

  • You role model what's possible to another person and as Dale Carnegie once said you give them 'a fine reputation to live up to'.

  • Finally you offer hope. This is important. Sometimes you may be the only ray of hope and sunshine in that person's life. Hope offers light and with enough light things just crystallise.

I came across a great saying in a book recently about how individual and yet how powerful all are. It is relevant here and shows why the Client should lead and what's possible when they do:

"People are like dynamite.

The action is all on the inside.

Yet nothing happens until the fuse is lit.

This can happen routinely when you give people space in which to operate, enough support to explore issues and when you trust and honour the process. This in my experience is the gateway to sustained change. What's your experience...?

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