Have you heard the story about the forthcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow? As part of the opening ceremony there was a plan to demolish 6 tower blocks, live on TV, in front of a world-wide audience. The decision was planned both as commemoration of a part of Glasgow’s social history as well as a statement of the city’s regeneration. However, in response to heavy protest by local residents the idea has been canned.
This story demonstrates how easy it is to demolish a building! There’s a risk to public safety of course and protocols that have to be met; but it requires limited skill because the output is a heap of rubble and it doesn’t matter how the bricks land.
Now consider for a moment that a tower block represents your work persona. There is usually an element of deconstruction that takes place when faced with a problem or something we want to change. And it isn’t hard to find someone to help us do that. Let’s be honest, we all know how to sit in judgement and point out flaws in people – a good dinner party and a few drinks can facilitate that! So can finding ourselves in a position of power. That power can sometimes go to people’s heads and they leave a trail of devastation in their wake.
As Leaders and Coaches we have a duty of care to our customers. Unpicking a problem and the associated behaviours that have facilitated it, is a necessary step in reaching a new choice point; and so is the reconstructive skill required to build a person back up again. Without that ability you’ve just helped them unravel and left them in a heap on the floor.
It is so important to recognise our limitations. Whether it’s a gap in professional education; a lack of interpersonal sensitivity or the absence of qualified feedback and supervision, the skill to leave a person feeling more robust and better resourced than they were when you found them is paramount.
As an intuitive Coach, I often take clients off piste, without ever losing sight of where we started and where they want to end up. I’m always mindful of how I’m going to do that in a way that moves the client forward and brings the meeting back on track. That’s the key difference and it’s a skill that when present, has a positive impact on how people feel about themselves and their work contribution.