Monday, August 3, 2009

Business Coaching - Change That Makes a Difference

A friend of mine has an interesting philosophy: that every person is right about half the time and wrong about half the time. My friend's perspective has given me food for thought over the years, because I'm generally the type of person who takes a position and tends to dig in. I can convincingly and vociferously argue my point of view, substantiating it with examples and "facts," until the proverbial cows come home.

What I began to realize, though, was that for every person I converted to my way of thinking, I alienated two or three. Moreover, I discovered that, when I began to actually listen to others' perspectives, I had a keener understanding of how they arrived at their points of view. As a result, I found that I began to modify some of my firmly held beliefs about issues great and small.

Like most people who become less rigid, I didn't have a single "light bulb moment." My change was gradual. Looking back, I can see that the seeds of change were planted when I wasn't moving forward in my career as quickly as I had hoped. I thought I was a stellar performer, and could efficiently and effectively complete the tasks assigned to me. However, my workplace evaluations, while generally favorable, noted that I had difficulty working in teams and motivating those around me.

Eventually, my frustration led me to engage the services of a Denver business coach. I know that some people swear by business coaching and life coaching, but I was resistant at first. A former colleague, who had really moved up the corporate ladder with the help of a Denver business consultant, was instrumental in getting me to visit my coach. Early on, I recognized that self-development and self-improvement were critical to my success. I don't usually go for the self-help gurus, but I have to say that my Denver business coach really helped me. In large part, this was due to the coaching tools he used.

Although he used a variety of strategies and coaching games to help me with introspection and self-development, the one that really changed my perspective involved associative playing cards. These Denver business consulting cards helped me to understand how specific issues were manifesting in my career, and taught me that there were multiple ways to view a situation. They weren't at all like tarot cards, but rather were a launching point for me to examine the ways in which my rigid framework was holding me back.

My Denver business coach guided me through these exercises, and shared with me a book that had sections corresponding to each of the cards. For each card, there was a story, relevant quotes, questions, and associative thoughts. Afterwards, he'd work with me to compile insights that arose from the coaching cards, and them to devise an action plan to integrate those insights into my career and my life.

Since then, I've changed employers and have been thriving in my new position. I find that I'm more open to other people's perspectives and that I'm a much better team player. I've also realized that my friend was correct: I'm only right about half the time, so it pays to listen to what others have to say.

(Source: Chris Robertson,

1 comment:

sigsoog said...

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