The Learning Ear – A Leadership Lesson From Jazz

When someone goes hunting a deer, he goes into the forest. In a similar fashion, when you hunt for prospective executive coaching clients, you need to go where they dwell. And they dwell in the corporate world circles. So you need to go there two.

Why did you… something. When you ask your coachee why he did or thought something, you are asking him about his own psychological processes. First, he may not be objective about it, and may give you a misleading answer without intending to. And second, unless you are a Psychologist as well as a coach, you have no training and no authority to go into the coachee psychology. Trust me – you do not need to go there to get your results.

catalyst coaching and mentoring executive coaching helps clients summon the courage to change their stories about themselves. It helps them imagine and create a different view of their lives – to see themselves as capable of seeing anew.

People with a “growth mindset” are more likely to keep on learning and are less worried about protecting their “fixed identity”. They are willing to look at mistakes, use feedback and alter strategies. Because they know they can grow and learn, they can feel confident in the face of perceived failure.

Especially with people like this VP, who have a prior history of losing trust, they will become cynical at the first sign of our not being trustworthy. A little white lie now and then may be OK with some people, but not with these ones.

Of course, it was very difficult for me to build a trusting relationship with this VP. Slowly he came to believe that I did have his best interests in mind and that I did keep our conversations confidential. When he ventured to say something confidential, it never brought him harm. My ability to be present and have empathy with him drew him into our relationship and grew his trust. In addition, I was honest, straightforward, and open with him.

Give it time. It may take weeks or months to correct and improve on a weakness. Be patient. Work on making changes at your own pace and you will be rewarded with lasting results.

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The Learning Ear – A Leadership Lesson From Jazz

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