- What is easy for one person may be difficult for another.
- What one person loves another can’t stand.
- What motivates one person may be the very thing that discourages someone else.
We can harness our unique strengths and passions to positively change each other and ourselves. If I didn’t believe that people could change and grow, I wouldn’t be an executive coach. While it is not my job to “mold” my clients, it is my job to help them find ways to activate change in themselves. My clients often ask the following two questions:
- How much can I change?
- When is it appropriate to do so?
For most clients, the answers to these questions come from following two important steps:
Become Aware of Who You Are
My engineering background and concrete focus leads me to use analytics and measurement whenever possible when I’m coaching leaders. A benchmark or initial assessment to allows me to help clients set measurable goals and continuously monitor change. I have found the following assessment tools to be both valid (they measure what they say they will) and reliable (they produce the same results when given more than once):
The goal of knowing about personality types is to understand and appreciate differences between people. How do you perceive your environment and make decisions? How do you relate to people and the world? Often your struggles, frustrations, and hang-ups arise when your personality type conflicts with a situation or person. A better self-understanding enables you to make these experiences less frustrating and provides strategies for conflict resolution. The more you know about yourself, the more power you have to control your situation and yourself.
From the Kolbe website:
Left to our own choice, each of us has an instinctive way of problem solving. Research shows that people are most productive when they are free to choose their own method of accomplishing a task or providing a solution.
When you’re operating in the way that you find most comfortable and productive, you can do your best work without getting burned out. Many times if you’re performing poorly or feeling drained, it’s because you are doing the wrong type of work or you are performing it in a way that is not ideal for you.
Just as people tend to fall into general personality types and ways of doing work, they also tend to fall into general categories for how they lead. Using the LSI at the beginning of the Sterling Integrators assessment phase identifies your personal leadership style, then helps you to match that with your position and responsibilities, and then suggests a program to enhance its effectiveness.
Decide What to change
What about you will we work to change?
Everyone falls on a spectrum. The previous step helps us to understand where on that spectrum you are, but it is only through discussion and introspection that we can determine how much you can “move the dial” on those things about yourself you want to change. Constructive change is seldom easy. It takes a coach, an individual who truly wants to change and a commitment of time and resources. For this reason, it is important to prioritize what to work on.
What about your situation will we work to change?
Aspects of your personality, working style, and leadership style that we determine are too difficult to change or can’t be accomplished quickly enough must be dealt with in another way. It may be necessary to change your environment instead of yourself. This could mean hiring someone or delegating various responsibilities to other people, or even something more dramatic, like changing your job or career entirely.
What other ways have you discovered to drive change in yourself or in your organization?
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