My son is an incredible 10-year-old sports person, I know this not only from what I observe but also from what his coaches tell me. Cue the proud mum moment! When I speak to his coaches they generally all say the same thing, that is, he listens, has a thirst for learning and implements what he has been taught because he genuinely wants to improve and he loves playing sport.
As I reflect on my executive coaching practice, I think of those people who embody the same passion and thirst for improvement and those who just go through the motions.
“you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink!”
I am just about to go into a meeting with someone who had hit a career roadblock, he has amazing talent and is incredibly intelligent, however he hadn’t realised that he could step into a bigger leadership role. In a nut shell, he lacked confidence in his own ability and was afraid of stepping up and achieving success. People are complex and the reasons that hold people back are varied and many. The reason I bring up this example, is that, when this person became aware he was the only one holding himself back, and recognised that once he realised this, he couldn’t go back to unrealising it – he had a choice – step into the fear and unknown, knock the shackles off, and create an amazing future career or stay fearful and play small.
Coaching is not all ra ra and lovely. This was a confronting yet amazing realisation to have made. Whilst the light bulb moment was challenging, it was the next steps that would define the rest of his career. Like my son, he too has a passion to learn, so he was open to exploring what is going on inside his head, he is veraciously reading recommended books, using leadership models and techniques, reflecting on what has worked, having conversations in a new way, seeing others points of view, taking risks and moving way out of his comfort zone. As a coach this is immensely rewarding. You don’t always get to be there when one of your coachees does something new and amazing, but hearing about it, is just as good.
By way of contract, this afternoon I have a session with another Coachee. This person has fought hard during our coaching sessions not to have the realisation that he determines his behaviour not the other way around. He didn’t want to see what he saw about himself or learn what he learnt. Being in his bubble was comfortable, but now he is incredibly uncomfortable and not liking it one bit. This person is still looking to blame others, he talks a good game, intellectualises and understands what he can do, promises lots yet doesn’t deliver.
As a coach, we do not easily give up on our coachees. Sometimes however in corporate life as in sport, – some players need to be benched when they no longer have the drive or passion for the game. To be your best a coach can help, but only if you want to help yourself.
If anyone wants to down load our “Managers guide to coaching” – click here http://selectionpartners.com.au/download/ebooks/A-Managers-Practical-Guide-To-Coaching.pdf
Written by June Parker
June is Co-Founder of Selection Partners, President of EEON and an Executive and Career Coach. June has strong business acumen with the ability to quickly grasp the needs of her clients. She has proven experience in the application of critical leadership coaching methodologies and tools. June’s sense of humour combined with her direct yet supportive style enables her clients to feel safe whilst stretching themselves to develop and progress. She quickly develops trust and is known for her common sense practical approach. June is ICF & CDAA qualified.