Just try it

For those of us who are safe and secure enough to be able to reflect on the future, now is a time where you have the freedom to try things in a different way to how you might usually approach them.

It’s important to act compassionately and with empathy. Don’t get fully caught up in the place you are coming from, be considerate of who else you are working with and their current situation.

In these times, a lot of your old rules of thumb may not hold true. Contacts may be more amenable or open to opportunities. Others may be closed down and unable to act. A digital solution might now be feasible when it wasn’t before. It might be the right time to offer something for free, or to charge quite differently to how you may have done so in the past.

With this uncertainty, it’s difficult to predict an outcome. The best thing to do is to find something to try, and to learn from. If you want to achieve, then try the simplest possible thing. You’ll discover something that takes you a step closer to success, you’ll have learnt something valuable and you’ll have started on your path towards lasting change.

If you want to figure out the simplest possible thing for you to do, then get in contact and we’ll discover it together.

Coaching Leadership

Coaching Spectrum

The spectrum of coaching approaches is presented by Miles Downey, and is an excellent way to recognise when we are being more or less directive in our approach as coaches. It is a powerful way to recognise how your interactions will shape the outcomes and determine your future effectiveness.

Non-Directive / Following Interest
Listening to Understand
Asking questions that raise awareness
Making Suggestions
Giving Feedback
Offering Guidance
Giving Advice

As coaches, we are pushing towards the top of the spectrum, the further up we are then the more likely we are helping a coachee find their own solutions.

As a leader, you will flex up and down the spectrum as appropriate for the situation. If something is on fire, you might ‘tell’ or ‘instruct’. It’s a situation that requires the directive approach. Afterwards, you might give feedback on how the situation was handled, and then return to a coaching posture by letting your direct report consider ways to prevent the fire happening again, while you summarise or reflect to cement their understanding and commitment to the solution.

We aim to move up the spectrum as high levels build stronger commitment and ownership of solutions from a coachee, and empowers them to solve future similar problems with their own resources.

Each step up you can take will make your coaching more effective in the long term, so look out for opportunities to jump up to the higher levels wherever you are able.



I’ll Know It When I See It

Sometimes it’s incredibly easy to tell if you’ve achieved your goal. If it’s measurable, if it’s concrete, or if it’s a binary yes/no outcome, then you will just know. You either get the promotion, or you don’t.

A lot of the time, you’ll want to work on something that isn’t easily measured. It can be anything from improving your presentation skills, to expanding your emotional literacy. What can you do to understand this growth and progression, without being stuck in an “I’ll know it when I see it” hole.

Self-Reflection – Do the thing you want to get better at. Have a tough conversation or give that presentation. Afterwards, write down what went well and where you felt there were areas to improve. Focus on those areas, do it again and repeat the cycle. This is great for understanding the things that you can see and recognise, and an excellent resource to take into a coaching discussion.

Feedback – Gather thoughts from a trusted partner. Sit them in the audience, then ask them what was the best moment of the presentation, and what was the weakest. This opens you to the views of others and lets you close down your blind-spots.

Surveys – In a leadership position, you might be lucky enough to benefit from the results of regular engagement surveys, or you may be able to run these following a particular interaction. These are sources of large sets of feedback with an aggregate view. The aggregation is key here. Don’t get hung up on outliers or single comments, but look for themes and trends to measure improvement.

Recognition – If you are the go-to person for a skill or a trusted source of advice on a topic, then that’s a strong indicator you are really great at that topic. If you don’t feel you deserve this recognition, then ask the people coming to you what’s driven that decision. This will really let you understand what’s helping you succeed, and to see the growth you’ve managed through the process.

If you are working to improve a skill or to make a change that’s hard to measure, then use these techniques to understand your progress. They are powerful tools for growth and learning that will turbocharge your journey to greatness.


Where’s your Reality?

Before you can make any great plans to achieve your goals, before you can feel that your goals are within your reach, you must understand your current reality.

In these times, it’s especially relevant. You might be safe at home and working remotely. You might have to suddenly manage childcare, work and support for others in an unfamiliar new configuration. You may be working endless days in the most extreme of environments.

This is not normal, and you’ll need to recognise this.

People are busy celebrating free time, taking on major projects and streaming to the world. If you aren’t in a place to do those things, then reflect on where you are, then do what’s right for you now.

Given the changes to our daily lives, you’ll need to do a fresh accounting of your now. Once you understand this, then you can re-evaluate your goals, set your direction and drive forwards towards positive change.