Prospective clients sometimes ask me about my approach to, or philosophy of, coaching. What informs the work that I do with my clients? How does my mental model of coaching resonate with what a potential client believes would work for them? Obviously, no coach – or any advisor of any sort – is right for all people all of the time. If you are thinking about engaging a coach, whether it is for yourself, your team, or your entire organization, see whether you connect with these Five Pathways:
In my view, a coach empowers clients through Five Pathways, namely, coaching: Enhances Awareness; Enables Leadership; Engages Tactility; Enlists Superpowers; Energizes the “3 Cs.”
Shakespeare (in Hamlet) was possibly the very first coach, when he has Ophelia observe: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be” (Act 4, Scene 5). My primary role as a coach is to guide the client towards unlocking the knowledge of “what we may be” deep within oneself, of which s/he is as yet unaware. Perhaps more important, together we unlock the knowledge of “what we may become.”
In researching truly contemporary organizations, I have discovered that: Contemporary leadership is about creating a conducive environment of shared experiences from which an alternate future becomes possible. My intention is to enable each client to enact their own, personal version of such leadership for their life, career, and organization. That is, through the shared experience of coaching, and encouraging new shared experiences with others throughout the client’s life, s/he creates the possibility of an alternate future for themselves—a future, perhaps, they could not ever have imagine beforehand.
In today’s world, where complexity reigns and nothing remains unchanged, vision is no longer a sufficient sensory metaphor for leaders. One’s true leadership – who one is at their core – is expressed in their Tactility—whom they touch, and how they intend to touch them. Tactility, in other words, comprises the effects that one enables and creates in every decision and action. By being mindful of the interconnections among these effects, one becomes able to successfully navigate the intricate complexities of the contemporary world.
Each person possesses two unique sets of superpowers that can be called upon in any situation, at any time, at will. They are one’s Signature Strengths and Core Values—the heart of my coaching engagements with clients. Signature Strengths are positive attributes that one has enlisted successfully throughout one’s life that enable their best performance, irrespective of the situation, but especially when challenged. Core Values power one’s passion and flow. Together, these superpowers enable a person to tackle any challenge, overcome any difficulty, and develop remarkable resilience because they are able to engage the power of their best self.
A person connected to their best self attains clarity in difficult and complex situations. Clarity brings one confidence about their choices—decisions and actions that propel a life and a career. Clarity and confidence enables one to maintain constant connection to their best self—a virtuous cycle that one can invoke at will, in any circumstance.