Why do leaders seek out coaching?
The desire for growth and change can come from within, or because of feedback received. We may desire changes critical to our way of being as a leader, and as a person. Changes we can’t make on our own. Most of us are unable to get a clear view of our blind spots, well-worn patterns and habits that may have served us in the past but hinder us now. Or perhaps we simply feel stuck and unsatisfied with our work and lives. Coaching can help us create small cracks in old habits and allow new learning, which can lead to change.
Sustainable coaching outcomes start with building self-awareness and understanding what we want to change – and why. We identify the mindset and behavioral changes needed to build the path forward, identify the obstacles that get in our way, and build the daily practices to stay on that path.
💡 Aspirations: Who Do You Want to Be?
We start with an aspirational vision of who we want to be as a leader. This vision captures our values, beliefs, and desires. It is this vision that sustains change.
How do we want stakeholders to talk about our value?
How do we want to be described by our team members?
At the end of our life, how do we want to be remembered?
What are the qualities of leaders who inspire us?
💡 Process: How We Get There
To grow into our aspirational north-star vision, what do we need to change within ourselves? What mindsets and behaviors need to be developed? What behaviors will we experiment with? How will we sustain our courage?
Change doesn’t happen in big steps; it happens in small increments. Obstacles to change will begin to surface. The mind will desperately hang onto the status quo and resist change, thus the importance of behavioral experiments that provide reflection and learning.
💡 Assessment: Progress
How do we know if we are making progress? Revisiting our aspirational vision and our mindset and behavioral goals can help to determine how we’ve changed. Revisiting stakeholder feedback or other assessments to measure how we’ve grown. Reconnect with people whose opinions we value to ask what changes they’ve noticed in us. Be specific with our request for feedback. Looking internal, how are we feeling in this new state? How is our stress level?
💡 Sustainability: Personal Operating System
Personal reflective practices in our daily lives supports a more conscious and deliberate life: daily reflections, meditative practices, nature-based exercises, and spiritual-type practices. This is our personal operating system, sustaining our new found state of being and desired outcomes.
Here’s the thing, change isn’t a closed loop process. As we sustain these outcomes, we discover new areas for growth. It’s an iterative, life-long process towards that aspirational north-star.
The decision to work with a coach is an important one. I hope this series was informative in helping you select an appropriate coach for this important journey.
All the best to you!