Coaching for Rapid Impact. Flexibility. Part 4 of 4
In Part Three, we examined the role of the “invisible” parts of the internal system and how “Fast-Finding” can be used to accelerate results. In this part, we explore the role that Flexibility of thinking and behavior plays in creating rapid impact.
The rigidness of thinking and behavior is a speed killer. It limits the possibilities for creative solutions that are often needed to create new, extraordinary results. Think of when your muscles are tight. Turn just slightly and you may suddenly have a painful muscle cramp that is unpleasant and slows you down.
Finding where the client has the flexibility and where there is inflexibility of thinking and behavior helps you help them. As with a muscle cramp, you may need to work on and massage those areas of rigidness in order to return the client to optimal function and best results.
For example, Lee was an account executive who was finding it difficult to continue to produce great sales results following some organizational changes. Bored and unmotivated, Lee was finding it difficult to match his previous top sales record. He came to coaching to find answers for himself and get “back on top of his game”. In the coaching, Lee discovered that in his observation of how the company changes were being handled, he was certain that “I’ve seen this movie before and it doesn’t end well.” He was convinced that some of the younger account executives were “coming up on his tail to overtake him” just as he had done earlier in his career. He also was solid in his belief that “it takes too much work to maintain that level of performance and I shouldn’t have to do that anymore.” His thinking left no room for creating a positive outcome regarding the organizational changes. Nor did he consider that with his experience he could well “work smarter, not harder.” His rigid beliefs had closed out the very possibilities that could have brought him the success he desired.
Tool and Technique
Use your active listening skills to listen for where you hear firm conclusions in the client’s mind, the fast dismissal of options, the omission of opportunities, or the certainty that only one outcome is possible. Behind these are perceptions, beliefs, expectations, assumptions, and habits that slow the client in getting the rapid results they seek. Challenge the clients certainty with, “How do you know that is true in this situation?” and “What makes you so certain that it is not possible to (other possibilities)?” You will discover what needs to be re-evaluated.
Explore It For Yourself
Think about a situation where you have experienced conflict or different point of view with another person. How do you know your position was “right?” What perceptions, beliefs, expectations, and assumptions in your mind were driving that conclusion? What if there were many more possibilities than that? If you were stuck, ask a fellow coach or trusted friend, “What other possible options were there in this situation?” BTW, most people seek agreement with their own point from their friend or colleague rather than challenging their own thinking. This wastes time and prevents rapid progress.
Rapid coaching impact is the result of employing your coaching skills and directing your attention to take advantage of the “3 F’s” – Focus, Fast-Finding, and Flexibility.
About the Author:
Jonathan ‘Jeb’ Bates, MSOD, PCC is an executive coach and leadership development consultant based in Cambridge, MA. He is the Chief Experience Officer of ThoughtAction, a firm focused on bringing the unique, transformative Results SystemTM coaching process to clients and coaches. With over 10 years of experience as an executive coach and a Master’s in Organization Development from Pepperdine University, Jeb focuses on helping organizations, teams, and individuals to create the results they desire professionally and personally.
The Expert Series is brought to you by choice Magazine as part of our ongoing efforts to bring opportunities for learning and growth to the coaching community. Delivered in four parts every two weeks, each series covers useful topics for business development and coaching insights, serving the needs of leaders in all areas and walks of life. Archived copies of the previous series can be found here.