“I enjoy our sessions because it feels like before we meet there’s never really anything I want to work on – which is likely ego-driven – but by the end of session, every time, I realize there is actually something I want to explore or lean into. It's really cool.” - multi-business owner, cool boss, philanthropist, supportive husband, proud dad, London ON
I get it. You’re sitting where you are for a reason. You’re successful. Making good money. Employing people. Filling a need. Mentoring others. Life is good. You’ve worked hard. Made your mark. Failed. Got back up. Won. Fell down again. Pivoted. Grew. Stepped out of your comfort zone. And the story goes on..
In 2014 when I was in the process of becoming a Certified Professional Coach, I met a guy, a successful business owner of a manufacturing company, who said, “don’t you think you’ve either got it, or you don’t; and leaders don’t need coaching?”
Stomach drop. Silent gasp. Oh no. Maybe he’s right. He does have a good point. How the hell do I respond to this?
Well .. thankfully .. I’m pretty quick on my feet.
So my response..
“True. Great point. Let me check-in for a moment. How’s everything else in that all-star’s life – like his/her relationship with their health, their marriage, or their kids?”
Response, “Oh. Right. Ok.”
Now let me be clear. Lots of people have successful careers, great relationships all-around, are the epitome of health, are great mentors and influencers, etc. – and in these cases, coaching is a ‘take stock, sharpen + explore possibilities’ kind of experience.
I have known in the depths of my innate that there is always something to offer this elaborate group of hi- performers. A divine knowing; I was intrigued with coaching as a professional service for a reason. Leaders have a lot of impact and influence. Those who subscribe to the pursuit of growth can create a prosperous, collaborative, engaging, fun, ever-evolving, environment that breeds positive impact across the board.
When objections come up about coaching and its purpose – just like they did with the successful 40 year old business owner, here’s where I direct the conversation:
How are the other elements of your life, and what’s the energy like? Family, marriage, health, sleep, fun. What keeps you up at night, or, on the contrary, what do you want more of in your life?
What is well-being to you? How will it support you in living a life with vitality?
What mind-blocks or hang-ups are in your way that keep you from reaching higher?
Did you know business professionals spend waaaay too much time relying on logic, facts and analysis, and can afford to tap into their heart and intuition. What gems and insights are stored there for you?
What’s the awesome that you can leverage or celebrate? What would that look like?
Legacy -- what’s that to you?
Now, some of you reading might think to yourself, true, but do I really want to spend the time “working on this stuff” – I mean life is pretty damn good, why mess with the formula. In that case, then no, coaching and development likely isn’t the right fit for you. As a coach we don't want recipients to show up like locked doors. We want to work with people are open, engaging, curious about their own possibilities, and here’s the reason why ... the fun and joy that can be powerfully co-created when coach and coachee come together with positive energy, mindset and experience has NO limits. It's better with two, rather than going at it alone. The seesaw isn't much fun on its own. Together you will explore possibilities, view perspective, lean into some hard truths, checks your blindspots, and fan the flame to your desire.
What I’ve come to observe and learn is that there is always, always, always room to grow. You climb the mountain, get to the top, and now what? There’s a chance to reflect, pause and explore the view, or plan the next mountain. Possibly it’s a different way of climbing the mountain – possibly something you never thought of. Possibly it’s being of greater inspiration to the other climbers.
In today’s setting – the heart of a pandemic - business professionals are working 150% wearing all kinds of hats. Yes they are accelerating, winning, positively impacting, etc., but at what cost? I strongly encourage the “pause and take stock” approach to coaching. Slow down and explore. Have a coach poke around to help you take the edge off, take a breath, cut what doesn’t serve, sharpen what makes your edge unique, up the challenge if necessary, clarify what you’re working so hard for, and in most cases take the opportunity to reflect on how you can be a greater light of influence.
I invite you to explore coaching. The best really is yet to be. Your partners - at home and at work - and your partner within will thank you. More to come on partner-within. . .
Until next time..