Ever feel impatient that the conversation is missing the point?
In a recent coaching circle, the group was keen to stop having the same conversations at the surface, and increase the development gain for each other. They needed to shift from constantly seeking to move forward, and instead highlight patterns, change the focus, think about time differently, view action in a fresh way and adopt a different mindset.
They felt like they were missing the point, and wanted to encourage greater insight.
To get insight you need to create depth.
One of the main purposes of coaching is to create insight: to do this you need to take the conversation deep. To plumb the depths vs skim the surface. And rather than getting into murky emotional stuff that feels uncomfortable, it helps you to achieve insight for the person you are coaching.
It avoided because leaders are:
✔︎ Not sure how to take the next step
✔︎ Worried they’ll get it wrong
✔︎ Worried it’ll be too personal
There are four kinds of conversations that leaders can have with their people, and with each other when they coach:
✔︎ Avoid them altogether – stick with polite, shallow chat
✔︎ Fake it – project compassion, but stay shallow. This is a ‘skimming stones’ kind of leadership
✔︎ Go in for a deep dive, then stay polite – we’re in over our heads
✔︎ Use compassion and ask a deeper coaching question, to help achieve insight.
It’s not GETTING personal, it’s how you do it, that counts.
Shallow conversations are good to get things done quickly. Deep conversations are about being, who you are.
Compassion, taking an interest in the whole person, is much more likely to get someone to an ‘aha’ moment than keeping your distance.
Coaching guru James Flaherty has a great frame for this. Coaching is all about creating new capabilities, new horizons and new opportunities for people.
Coaching focuses on:
📌 Long term performance, not just fixing today’s problem
📌 Helping people to find and fix their own problems and mistakes
📌 Helping people to self-generate – to own their development
👉🏼To inspire more learning in your team, focus on who people are, and listen with compassion. That way you will help them to gain insight, and better balance insight with moving forward.
How do you help your team to achieve insight?
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