3 Promises of Leadership Coaching

admin — 02 September 2018

There are 3 elements in the coaching I do that take form as promises I bring to the people with whom I’m privileged to work.

Promise #1: Sounding Board ~ Have you ever needed to find something in a jam-packed closet? You know it’s in there, but it’s buried under or behind lots of other things you don’t need in that moment. The best approach is to remove things from the closet. The Sounding Board promise works like that.​My job here is to provide you with a safe space for you to clear out the ideas, thoughts, and feelings that are bouncing around in your head and heart so that you can find what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a decision you need to make or problem to solve—simple or complex—you’ll likely find what you need by simply “thinking out loud,” with another human being. You should expect good listening from me, often marked by my reflecting back to you what I’m hearing you saying. Some topics need more than this sounding board dynamic, though. That’s for the next Promise.

You’ve reached an impasse—tried everything, and remain stuck.  Neither of us can see or knows in the moment, the right answer or path to follow…  This is where the gold lies…

​​Promise #2: Counsel ~ Some coaches adhere to the “no-advice-from-me” model. I don’t. While I’m not an expert in all business areas, I have over 35 years’ experience as a teacher, senior- and chief executive. I’ve effectively led multi-million dollar companies. I have a wide range of operational and strategic experience, learning and achievement, most of which left a wake of mistakes that contributed mightily to their development! I also bring my life experience to the mix, which, while it doesn’t make me an expert in living, does have its own inherent value.​So, if I hear you struggling with something that coincides with an experience I’ve learned from, with your permission I will share that with you, and recommend a course of action for you to consider. Also, as desired and appropriate, I’ll refer you to someone in my network of subject-matter experts I’ve developed throughout my career.

Focus attention on being the best leader you can be anywhere, and you’re likely to experience greater satisfaction and effectiveness in how you show up everywhere.

Sometimes the topic is very entrenched. You’ve reached an impasse—tried everything, and remain stuck. Neither of us can see or knows in the moment, the right answer or path to follow. What’s needed is something more or different than advice or a sounding board. This is where the gold lies, and where the 3rd Promise emerges.

Promise #3: Attention Management ~ Ultimately the only thing over which any of us has any control is our attention, or mindset. According to productivity guru, Maura Nevel ThomasWhen you control your attention, you control your life. It follows that one of the most powerful outcomes in a coaching interaction is when that interaction causes one’s attention to shift from what seemed impossible to seeing things differently.  It could be a decision, a problem, or an opportunity that has you stuck. You’ve hit a brick wall, and seeing your way through or around seems absolutely impossible. If I can find the right questions to ask in the right way, we may arrive at previously undisclosed or noticed assumptions. What’s the belief system that creates that assumption? What’s the goal underneath the stated goal? What are the unspoken conclusions or judgments that haven’t been voiced that, when brought to awareness, can be diffused, discarded, or dissembled?

By uncovering what’s operating underneath, the net impact of these interactions is like the turn of a kaleidoscope, bringing an entirely new field into your scope of vision. It can help to bring out the very best of who you are, what you know, and importantly what you don’t know.  And what emerges as the fog lifts is a path through to the decision, solution or opportunity where there’d previously only been an impasse. This kind of work is not necessarily easy, and getting there requires trust and the kind of vulnerability that Brene Brown describes as a willingness to let ourselves be seen. It’s also among the most powerful experiences that you can have. And the learning and achievement this type of interaction makes possible is transformative.

​I’ve found during coaching work that any topics that arise dealing with business strategies or tactics, or with being a good executive, are best processed using a leadership framework. That’s why I prefer to call it Leadership Coaching, as opposed to Business or Executive Coaching.  Focus attention on being the best leader you can be anywhere, and you’re likely to experience greater satisfaction and effectiveness in how you show up everywhere.
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As a Chair with Vistage Worldwide, Inc., Mike Pelfini leads private executive advisory boards whose members are challenged and supported in a dynamic environment to LEARN, TRANSFORM, and ACHIEVE. Along the way they become the very best they can be. One-to-one coaching also supports this work. Please message or call Mike to learn more.

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