“Can Ya, Can Ya”, No this is not a story about the rock band “The Who”. It is a quick quip about my experience this week at an executive level coaching course based around individual strengths.
I have just completed day three with 14 other mid and senior level individuals from a variety of walks of life. Some HR and OD, a couple of independent consultants (corporate refugees) a CEO, a President and an entrepreneur. There’s a lot of IQ and even more EQ in the room, not to mention two of the best facilitators money can buy leading the group.
I went into the week-long seminar with the intention of building a whole new set of skills to add to my “bag of trix”, and I am. What I didn’t count on was two things.
First and foremost, to be a great coach of others you need to first see yourself for all of your assets, and yes liabilities. All of the coursework is done practicing on yourself or classmates. Half the day is spent with a mirror to your makeup. It’s a very important part of being a successful coach to others. First you must be coached and to some degree coach yourself. Some things that seemed obvious about my themes, or strengths were much deeper then I had ever imagined. I always knew I was good at evaluating options and then moving quickly to outcomes, forgoing testing and evaluation. I also knew that I was self-assured and sometimes a little stubborn. What I didn’t know was how these attributes or strengths, impacted not only my own actions but the world around me. I make no excuses for who I am, and never have. However the need to self-regulate and make coaching about the other person is really a lot more difficult than most believe it to be. All 15 of us have struggled together to overcome this very important aspect. I am learning to listen and probe without making suggestions directly or directing. If nothing else this new self-awareness is worth the cost of the program (even if I never coach a single client).
The second thing I have gotten out of the program is answers to questions I need to ask myself about my career choices and actions, but have never really asked. We call it seeing the nose on your face. So close that you can’t even see it. By practicing coaching and being coached I have hit on themes and topics that I have never really explored in the proper context my whole career.
As the saying goes, better late than never.
This has been one of the best weeks of learning in the past decade. It will not only impact me, but those I work with. A win-win for all.
I will be back in a few days with more conventional posts. Have a great week!!!