Coaching Mastery – The Love Legacy: Beyond prescription to presence with what is
We recently published the issue called “Coaching Mastery – The Love Legacy: Beyond prescription to presence with what is ” written by Janet M. Harvey, MCC, CMS, ACS
“If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy.” With these words, the U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman hypothesizes one path forward beyond disruption. What do you believe is possible in the face of continuous chaotic disruption that you didn’t choose, and yet, are living in every moment?
Choosing to be disruptive comes from examining human motives and character strengths that underpin mindset, behavior, and decision-making. Accidental, unexpected disruption bypasses this deliberate and rational invitation to “merge mercy with might and might with right.” Who decides what is right in a world turned inside out and upside down, smashing the compass of our childhood, carried into adulthood, that seems only to provoke more chaos, no matter what worldview or mindset you choose to adopt?
Fortunately, the International Coaching Federation (ICF) core coaching competency model offers skills that drive disruption in the coaching partnership and provide the potential for courage, mental and moral strength to discern a path toward love as our legacy.
Status quo in corporations dies hard, and the coaching process and experience do not fit a prescriptive approach. Essential innovation for a leader means learning, likely unlearning, and then relearning how to behave to achieve something that does not yet exist and is unique for each person. A focus on the nature of human development for leaders includes considering the complex and systemic influences upon an individual and their teams. The culture offers a set of norms of behavior and practices by which the workforce understands what to do; when, with whom and how to have at minimum, job security; and ultimately, to live with purpose and potential.
To be effective beyond unexpected disruption, coaches must bring curiosity on behalf of the leader so that awareness of these influences is incorporated to the full scope of the coaching partnership. The organization, represented by strategy and performance goals, is the first client; the individual leader candidate for coaching is the second client, and the system-wide relationships for that leader are a third.
Practitioners who possess experience and affinity for a leader’s industry or functional role often struggle to self-manage personal bias in the coaching partnership. As if wearing blinders, your perception of the client is not independent of your own thoughts. The blinders interrupt creating awareness from the inside out of the leader. The stakes of today’s environment anywhere in the world demand that you take off your blinders and challenge your mindset to risk beyond any fear that the relationship cannot contain the depth of learning possible and necessary.
Leaders receiving coaching that is content-rich often do not sustain ownership for the personally disruptive change that empowers breakthrough behavior and contribution. While a business and system orientation are useful for strengthening compassion for the leader’s situation, a tension in your partnership also occurs. One aspect of that tension includes your motivation to share business content to evidence your competence to the client. The second important aspect focuses on your full trust in the client’s capability to choose wisely. The consequence of sharing content you perceive as useful compromises your trust in the client’s capability to create and tap their own resources and competence to choose to do something different. A focus upon balancing these two tensions grants the choice, transparently, for the coaching partnership to determine what serves as a reframing for what is right.
The engine of innovation is born in the coaching chalice, fully expressed with potential consequences assessed before commitments to action occur. Every coaching exchange embodies the potential to induct courage. Courage changes everything. The climate for courage unlocks the assumptions, preferences, and habits to transform. The process for transforming limiting beliefs invites the leader to declare a new basis for decisions, one that better supports the organizational goals the leader is expected to fulfill and the reality of the current environment. The coaching partnership allows disruption in thinking before disruption in action, based upon the breadth and depth of new awareness you as the coach tenaciously evoke. Your mindset and focused attention unleash a most powerful force as its ally, fear. Fear is the stealer of optimism, an enemy of change, the champion of the half-measure, checked swing and almost there thinking. Your choice to challenge yourself to risk beyond fear models for leaders the sovereign choice to break free of the status quo and rise to what the environment now requires.
Engaging a coach empowers leaders to, in the words of John Chambers, chairman of Cisco, “Be a role model versus a rule maker.” People want to feel valued so they can contribute and engage with creating a positive future.Be valued for what you awaken that is so vibrant a leader chooses a new way of leading to produce the results that are necessary now to invite a new relationship with self and others. Surrender the bias to be seen as smart, competent and wise and choose to serve leaders by being evocative, encouraging and enlivening so that you induct courage to innovate.
Every person is destined for greatness, and it’s a path that must be chosen, over and over again. Every person feels fear and uncertainty when the climate is volatile and ambiguous. Human beings are not born with an operator’s manual. We engage life as learners and the best lessons are those we chose to pursue of our own volition. Partnering with a coach allows leaders to share the burden of shaking off doubt in favor of creative optimism.
The practical influence of exploring the inside of the self and translating this into how each person uniquely leads, deliberately disrupts, and drives human innovation makes love feasible as our collective legacy.
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