Working with a group of people a little while ago, I took a gamble, encouraging them to tap into self‑awareness.
There was some noticeable discomfort in the room as they revealed, slowly, that they don’t get much chance to think about themselves, to reflect on attitudes, behaviour, performance – what a shame! – yet most said they liked what we did together.
They said they were expecting me to tell them; they never expected so many questions and challenges to work things out for themselves. One said he really liked the work we did and could see how this was relevant to the work he’s doing with a mentee.
I reflected afterwards that I could have gone in and played it safe, but that through this challenge (and telling them that I would be taking a risk with them) some at least responded to new ideas and increased their self‑awareness.
Moments like these give me courage to be similarly innovative with other groups.
And at the heart of what I do is always a firm coaching foundation:
- challenging questions
- listening to others
- using silence to provoke a response
- interspersing appropriate models and ideas to promote self‑awareness
- encouragement re conscious practice of emotional intelligence and working it out for yourself