I’ve been reading Otto Scharmer’s book, Leading from the Emerging Future, and it is striking how much of what Otto talks about can be realized through practicing good coaching skills. The basic premise of his thinking is that opening up a deeper level of awareness is the source for the process of bringing something new into reality.
Now that’s why I got into the coaching game to begin with! If you want to get a different result you have to show up and act in a different way. Simple to say, but the method of birthing that new awareness is the sticking point. As I’ve written in my book, Walk on Water: How to Make Change Easier, “Clarity comes from observing your thinking and your behavior and taking a new and different action based on the awareness of more choices.”
That said, a very effective way to expand your awareness is through the coaching process. Because the coaching process is based on asking provocative questions and digging down to the source vs. dealing with symptoms, urgencies, problems or even opportunities that lie closer to the surface of our awareness, it allows us to perceive from a new place and therefore see what was unseen before.
As leaders, being faced with the challenges of the increasing speed and complexity – and most important – uncertainties of change, we need to be leaning into that uncertain future and acting from there. With old structure crumbling we have to lean in, as Otto says, to the future that wants to emerge from the rubble. Studies show that people who learn coaching are actually more effective at problem solving. They are paying attention to something other than what they usually focus on in order to come up with a better result. When we do our Vital Business leadership coaching seminars we often say the trick to leadership is consciously using your intention and attention.
So whether it is strategic planning, management, leadership, growing your business, or ___________(fill in the blank), remember that coaching is a tool that can get you to the new place you don’t even see yet!
Here’s a short video on Otto’s “Theory U”…
How can you apply these ideas to your leadership today?