Leaders, how often do you stop, take your foot off the pedal, breathe, think...I mean really deeply think and ask yourself "How am I doing?" All too often the answer is "rarely". I regularly coach and facilitate leadership workshops and I hear people say "This is the first time I've stopped to think about me...to consider how I'm doing...to truly contemplate the impact I'm having."
Without exception, I find that people are glad of the 'time out' and 'exploration' to gain a fresh perspective on themselves and the impact they are having on others they lead and interact with.
Coaching allows the time to stop, breathe, think and identify where you are in relation to your goals. It helps people gain a fresh perspective, to stop 'doing' and start 'seeing'. Now, as you read this, you may be thinking "Nonsense Zoe, I constantly do the 'big picture' stuff, I'm all over strategy, planning, forecasting, etc. I've got the 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plan in place...the big picture is where I'm at!" However, that's not what I'm talking about here and almost always that's not the stuff that's giving the leaders grief or preventing them from reaching their true potential.
The majority of the time, I'm working with people on the 'inner script' and enabling them to hear their own inner voice that for much of the time is silenced by the outside 'noise'.
The questions we start to open up are often:
"How are you doing against your own goals and your personal measures of success?"
"Which area of your work or home life would benefit from your focussed attention right now?"
The visual metaphor in the image above is that as leaders, we are often at the peak of the mountain and much of the time is spent looking down and out, in coaching we look above and beyond to gain a fresh perspective on what could be...