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What if I thought of something differently?

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

A few years ago, I found myself coaching a number of senior leaders in a particular organization who were really searching.

The organization was facing significant challenges as they sought to re-invent themselves in a changing marketplace. Some of the leaders were ready to do something different but were not sure what that “something” was. They were looking for change, a different perspective, or had new compelling goals to reach. Over the course of our engagement, two of them found what they had been looking for AND discovered the courage to step into it.

It wasn’t long until I was “summoned” by the Chief Human Resources Officer and asked, “What is going on? Two people you coached were solid members of our team, and both have left the organization after having worked with you.” I could certainly understand the concerns she had about her ROI from the coaching investment they had made. What I couldn’t tell her (because of confidentiality) was that in fact they were both quite disengaged and one had “quit” some time ago, but hadn’t left the organization. 

So I chose to be curious about how she was framing what them leaving meant for her. I invited her to think about how she could reframe what some one leaving could mean to the organization.

It was amazing to witness over the next 15 minute “coaching conversation”, the lights go on with the simple reframe of something that until that moment had been framed as a problem and was now being seen as opportunity.

Once she shook the “stuckness” of her paradigm, she was open to exploring. She was curious about things like “What would be different to have people in those roles who were actually 100% engaged? What would be different on those teams if they had an inspiring leader?”

You see, when actually stopped to reflect, she admitted to herself that she had had some level of concern with the two individuals, for some time. It was simply that with everything else on her plate, working with them was not a burning fire. In the end she was able to see the true win/win of what was emerging.

That is the power of coaching!

What are you thinking about today that is a problem or challenge? How could you think about it differently? What difference would that make?

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