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28 Coach Culture I like

28 Coach Culture I like to think of it as a co-created partnership where the coach and the client are working together to achieve the client’s goals. They’re equal partners, so there’s no subordinate-superior relationship. The coach is an expert in the coaching conversation. The clients are the experts of themselves. The coach doesn’t need to know anything about the client’s subject field—their job is to ask questions to reveal the client’s own wisdom. PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT VERSUS COACHING If I am an equal as a coach, how can I be an effective leader? The coaching conversation is one that is appropriate for aspirational and open-ended thinking. The leader/manager conversations that involve a directive, usually referred to as performance management, are not coaching conversations. A leader can move back and forth between roles or simply incorporate the coaching skills within the conversation. The important piece is that when coaching, the coach does not have an agenda; in performance management, we do. We’ll cover this in more detail in Chapter 10. LEADER’S ROLE

What Is Coaching 29 Benefits to this process include greater ownership of the solution. Often when we get advice from other people, if we don’t like it we don’t explain why. We don’t work through it; we just don’t do it. The advisors have no ownership of it; they might not even be aware. If, on the other hand, we come up with our own idea, we’re usually more excited about it and more prone to move forward. The coach’s role is to ask those pointed questions, the questions that inspire the client’s own genius. Then it’s their idea, and they’re passionate about it. At that point, the coach’s role becomes one part cheerleader and one part accountability partner. We check in: If you said you were going to do this and you haven’t yet, what’s going on? Sometimes, we get into unpacking elements of fear. That’s when we have to uncover those hesitancies, those insecurities; we break it down into baby steps so the client can feel more comfortable. Sometimes they just need a pep talk! Whatever the focus, the two most important aspects of having a coach are: A.) The coach doesn’t have an agenda. They’re there to serve the client. B.) They’re not held back by the limiting beliefs that the client has. WHAT ARE LIMITING BELIEFS? A limiting belief is a limitation we impose on ourselves. It’s not necessarily something logical in terms of an obvious obstacle; it’s a belief that, whether subconscious or not, we treat as fact and limit ourselves accordingly. An example is the belief that ‘women can’t be doctors.’