Transformation is not easy, ask the butterfly – Maya Angelou

Recently, while talking to an HR professional/consultant on coaching for one of her corporates clients, she expressed her discomfort with ‘transformation’, as a possible outcome. While she was personally open to ‘transformational shift as a possible outcome’, she did not want to put up that as an outcome of leadership coaching for the client leadership team.

I felt perhaps the client was not ready. Or she would rather ‘promise less, deliver more’. I wondered if it was also the difficulty to measure the ROI. 

Coaching is about moving from the current state to a more resourceful state. 

The coachee/client decides what is ‘being more resourceful’, or the goal of the engagement. If a sponsor organization is involved, with the help of the stakeholders we arrive at the goals.

During the engagement, the coach helps the coachee to explore and arrive at options that would help her/him to make the shift. The coachee herself/himself chooses the best route, pace, and everything that is needed.

Does it also depend on where the coachee is at that point in time, in life?

As such the coaching goals can not be just transactional shifts, in certain areas of life. But a transformational shift, in life. An experienced coach will explore how the goals of the overall engagement and the specific session are linked to the coachee’s life goals. Not as a coach’s agenda, but purely to serve the coachee.   

Any coaching conversation that is not about life, at the core level, can not be professional coaching. As such transformation has to be the outcome, whether explicitly set as a goal or not. 

What the caterpillar calls the end of the day, Master calls it a butterfly                          -Richard Bach

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