Coaching in Times of Great Uncertainty.
There is no doubt that we are in a time of great uncertainty with the geopolitical state in constant flux. I cannot recall a more dynamic situation in my lifetime. I am not going to talk about the VUCA world as I have touched on this before.
I am going to talk about how this uncertain world affects us as coaches, not just our clients. This is a time when we need to draw on our inner self, and stay resolute. We need to TRUST our authenticity and specific skills. We too, can get “rocked” by the environment, which can move us off our course. This is when we need to dig deep, and know ourselves so well that we can get the required energy and inspiration we need. With this, we are in a way better place to serve our clients too. Some people take their inspiration from others and some from practising techniques such as yoga or meditation. One of the things that I find particularly useful is understanding where you take your energy from. According to Myers-Briggs if you are characterised as “E” you take your energy from others or the outside, whereas if you are “I”, it is gained from yourself. I find this critical, as in times of stress I know where to go to rejuvenate. Even as a predominant “E”, I still refer to my “I” as a means of staying focused and ignoring distractions. This will make me a better coach.
There are other characteristics required in these uncertain times. As professional coaches know, authenticity is always critical, and sometimes there can be temptations to be otherwise. This is where I like the analogy of the Maslow Pyramid, where we need to stay at the peak of self-actualisation and not get sucked into “Survival Mode”. This is yet another reason for building on our inner strengths. During turbulent times our clients will get distracted, and this is why we will be helping them. In addition to the personal authenticity we need to be empathetic, but also not be afraid of delivering the tough messages. In coaching parlance we call this “Detached Involvement” this is where we listen, and stay close to them, but not get directly involved in their story, which can distract us, and ultimately them.