Expert Series: Coaching Legacy: When, Why & How. Part 2
In the first part of this series, I wrote about legacy and when to coach it. Now we tackle why.
I worked with a client who had a lot of issues in the workplace. Their boss didn’t give them the choice assignments, their co-workers didn’t include them in social activities, their performance reviews highlighted a number of areas for suggested improvement, and so on. It wasn’t a train-wreck, but it felt like there was tension and trouble around every corner. My client wanted support with sorting each aspect out.
Lesser experienced coaches have a tendency to dive right into each item as if it were a separate problem to be solved. This is normal, of course, because that’s often how our clients see and describe their challenges. They experience their ‘issues’ as, “my issue with Sue, my issue with Bella, my issue with my attendance”, etc.
I asked my client, “what do you want to be known for at work?” By bringing the client’s mind up to the level of the whole of their reputation and legacy in the workplace, we changed the whole conversation. THIS is why I love coaching legacy!
When we shift the conversation from ‘the issue’ to the being-state of the client something amazing happens…our job gets easier and their evolution becomes exponential!
When we shift to how our clients want to be known, what they want to be known for, what they want their legacy or reputation to be, or how they want to experience their lives, we shift to their state of being. Through that view, we can do so much of the transformational work that changes our clients’ lives. Coaching with an alignment to the client’s legacy in mind becomes a powerful filter. The byproduct being that when coming through that filter to look at the various ‘issues’ at work in your client’s life, you’re not supporting them to resolve just the issue at hand. As their coach, you’re helping them transform who they are and that impacts every area of their lives.
So, not only does our job get easier but the value of the coaching increases and the depth and breadth of the impact expands.
The client I mentioned earlier had always thought of themselves as the ‘wise older statesman’ at work. They wanted to be respected, consulted, and revered. Once we were able to identify the desire for that to be the legacy they wanted to leave behind, we were able to quickly apply that filter to every action and interaction they were having. Within a few short weeks, their entire experience at work had changed. Solving the individual issues became less of a challenge, and in fact, solving the ‘issues’ stopped being the focus at all.
Here are a few powerful legacy-oriented questions you can bring to your next coaching session.
See how they change the dynamics for your client.
- What kind of “X” do you want to be? (Mother, Boss, Entrepreneur, etc)
- What kind of relationship do you want to have with “X”? (Money, Leadership, Parenting, etc)
- What kind of “X” do you want to be known as? (Daughter, Parent, Spouse, Employee, etc)
Explore and experiment with changing the conversation away from potential client issues and toward client legacy. Watch your coaching conversations change and your coaching impact
Terri Hase, PCC, MMC, is a 16+ year veteran in the coaching industry. She is Managing Director at Impact Coaching Academy where she teaches a variety of beginning and advanced coach training programs. Her private practice includes Mentoring and Business Development Coaching.
Terri’s direct, casual, and humorous approach has earned her top status among instructors in the coaching field.
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.