I look to partner with leaders to help them in three particular ways.
The first is around their own continued personal development, which in my opinion underpins any form of leadership development. As we get to know ourselves better, and more importantly work at releasing the grip that our personality has on us, we can access increased flexibility particularly in our range of responses in interpersonal situations. This is critical for leaders.
Secondly, I look to help leaders increase the level to which they are able to integrate the different streams of intelligence that we all have access to. To name the three most obvious ones, how does one integrate cognitive, emotional and somatic (gut) intelligence? For too long business leaders have over-relied on whichever form of intelligence they are most naturally gifted in, and usually had a very low level of competence in at least one of the others. In today’s complex world it doesn’t make sense to try and lead with only a third of your intelligence.
Thirdly, I look to help leaders become more present and find a sense of connection to ‘source’, however they define that term. Without an increase in present moment awareness it’s hard to do the work of personal development or integration. And without a connection to source it’s difficult to genuinely lead in complex environments without resorting to outmoded and mechanical leadership approaches.
All of this means that I draw on an eclectic mix of modalities to help my clients – most of our sessions will consist of conventional dialogue, but may also include meditation, breathwork, visualisation or other modalities. I do this whilst respecting where my client is at, what they are comfortable with (or at least not desperately uncomfortable with) and what they have appetite for (always looking to balance compassion and challenge). And all the time linking this back to the imperatives of the business they are serving.
Beyond the actual coaching sessions, I help my clients to introduce new practices into their lives – these practices are what form the real foundation of lasting change for them, after the formal coaching process has ended.
Even though I work primarily one on one with my clients, I recognise that the interpersonal dimension is where leadership plays out (and is probably our richest source of potential learning anyway), so I include multiple ways of bringing other parties into the coaching process – either through 3 way conversations, or 360 degree feedback of one form or another.
Finally, I often make use of a personal development tool called the Enneagram to help fast track coaching conversations to the depth and area of focus that is likely to have the most leverage for a given individual.