Are you spending your days fighting fires and solving problems?
As a young consultant, I saw my role as helping people find answers. I was pretty quick at finding solutions. I did cultural assessments of companies. After hundreds of interviews, focus groups, surveys, and weeks of writing, I provided an extensive report with a complete strategy. I conducted quite a few of these assessments addressing diversity, inclusion, and engagement issues. Many commented on the completeness of my reports and the depth. I wondered how often my recommendations were taken.
Everything changed for me when I learned about the power of coaching. Rather than giving solutions, I trusted that clients had the best answers. A load was taken off of my back. Rather than be the one with all the answers, I became the presence that supported people in finding their own solutions.
I became an executive and team coach and incorporated a coaching approach in all of my work. Seeing what happened when team members felt free to envision and create a meaningful culture was amazing.
Leaders I have trained report that taking an open stance, listening, and providing empathy and space for reflection have made a difference in how they lead. They no longer feel that they have to provide all the answers. In fact, no leaders can have all the answers these days. However, with awareness, they can take a coach approach and support team members to find the best actions. They ask powerful questions, listen and allow space for reflection.
What has been your experience with a coach approach? Are you finding it particularly effective during these times of rapid change and uncertainty?