Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Choosing change - issues in coaching

I've recently started work with two new coaching clients - one who has fought tooth and nail for a coach and another who has been told come. As you'd expect the contrast between them is stark: client 1 is very clear about what they want to work on and very motivated, whilst client 2 is every so slightly resentful and more than a bit fuzzy about 'their' goals . As you can imagine this impacts the work hugely and I'm working hard to find an agenda that client 2 can call their own ... and still aligns with the organisational need that sent them to me in the first place.

I believe we have to choose change - especially personal change - and that it is nigh on impossible to coach someone in directions they don't buy-in to or pay only lip service to. I don't think this necessarily renders them uncoachable so much as uncoachable on an imposed agenda. The 'trick' (if trick it is) is to connect to what people really care about, the reputation they want and the changes they are trying to make in the world... and then see if it aligns with the organisational paymaster.

So I'm with Peter Senge when he says "We don't resist change. We resist  being changed". Coaches are on dangerous territory if they see themselves as changing other people - we can only hope to help people change themselves in the directions they choose for themselves.

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