Patience & Resolve
I constantly keep reminding myself of this. It was the mantra of an old “Boss” of mine, which was his way of saying never give up, or keep the flame burning . Easily said, but not so easily done. Even as an experienced professional coach, I have to constantly keep reminding myself of this. It is a continual challenge. Individual clients in large organisations can potentially be the most difficult, because quite often it has been suggested that they get coaching by a colleague or a supervisor rather than themselves. This means that there is no “pull” factor. Furthermore, the rationale for coaching the client in these environments is usually a behaviour shift and we know that certain behaviours can have been embedded for some time. This is why Marshall Goldsmith’s work resonates with me. These types of changes happen with “baby” steps through a process of realisation and inner work. It takes time, objective feedback, the ability to depersonalise and considerable patience. One of the key elements is the impact on others and self awareness. It is usually a struggle for those with a more technical background, where processing and logic are foremost in their minds. This is where a coach should try and engage with the emotional side of the brain. Knowing when to flip between the emotional and the logical has key benefits. It is important not to exclude the logical aspects as this will resonate with this type of client and will demonstrate a level of recognition for their skills.
This is another area where Marshall’s work is so powerful because he talks about the need to abandon certain behaviours. It is not about adding new ones, but abandoning or changing old ones. This will take patience and resolve by both the coach and the client. As Marshall frequently says, if you are going to make behavioural shifts, then you need to announce them. That way your colleagues are more likely to believe it, rather than reverting to their previous perceptions and seeing the same old you. It will take time and in my experience will happen at the end of a coaching relationship. I have plenty of recent examples and not just in the manufacturing world which tends to be my domain. I am working with a marketing company where they have highly skilled and creative people where their passion sometimes gets the better of them. Reducing passion is never the objective, it is about channelling the energy.