The thing bringing me the most passion this past year is how much I’m learning about myself. Each week I learn how much I have yet to learn about myself.
I’m sure most people have worked for a manager who is demanding and generally challenging to work with. The type of manager who might provide his methodology or instructions for how the world should work and you’re just expected to make it happen. Just wave your wand and suddenly things are different. The type of manager who puts his ideas at the front of the line, despite not being the person who knows the work best.
Recently I’ve been dealing with such a manager and wasn’t overly pleased with how I was handling it. Here’s the problem …
First I was opened to seeing how I had classified and pigeon holed the manager. This pigeon hole I put the manager in meant I had no ability to see him beyond that little box. When this happened I believe I was putting a lot of energy into keeping him there. When he would start becoming demanding about his point of view I would stop talking as there seemed little point (after all he was in a pigeon hole).
Next I came to realize I was trying to fix him. I have strong beliefs about what type of characteristics and traits a leader should exhibit if they want an incredible team. The book I continue to work on is full of what I see as contributing to successfully leading change. This view meant I was fixating on why I didn’t believe this manager has any chance of leading change successfully.
Finally I came to realize an old friend of mine was working with me again. One of my saboteurs from a long time ago who didn’t want me to speak up fearing the vulnerability it would create. There were many thoughts showing up such as “If I speak up they may terminate my contract.” Truth be known I have no real reason to get stressed about that happening. In fact, if that were to happen I view it as a success as my job is to help with change and not go along with status quo.
Putting things down
Over the past week I’ve been working hard to realign the situation. More specifically I’ve been working hard to get aligned in what was happening for me.
Through the Co-Active Coaching program I have come to see people as naturally creative, resourceful and whole. I was certainly not holding this client in this way. When I pigeon holed him and believed there was no potential beyond this pigeon hole I saw him in it makes it difficult to allow for possibilities.
I also didn’t hold myself as naturally creative resourceful and whole with the question of “what would I do if they terminate my contract?” The sun will rise tomorrow, I will continue on with my coaching and before long I will have another Agile Coaching client. It’s one of the reasons I love what I do … I own my career rather than it owning me.
I had done some work through meditation and discussion which allowed me to go in this week fully comfortable with how vulnerable I would be. This meant I was fully prepared to hold space for my client regardless of what happened, and be comfortable not knowing what outcome I was facing.
With this shift it meant when I met with the client this week I was able to travel much lighter than I had been the past couple weeks. No saboteurs to accompany me, no baggage to drag me under, it’s really a liberating feeling. It meant I could be my most authentic and powerful self in service of helping this client (including the team).
Lots. This was probably the best couple days I’ve had with this client and plans seem to be in place to advance this further. I know there’s lots of crucial and difficult discussions ahead. However I also know if I hold the client and myself as Naturally Create Resourceful and Whole the possibilities are endless.
I look forward to dancing with whatever shows up in the moments ahead of us. It’s really a very liberating feeling.
Thanks for sharing! This is definitely the scariest part of coaching for me, I admire how you are able to handle stuff like this!
So the dancer is authentically helping you to overcome your fears Mike? What a beautiful reflection about yourself. Thank you for showing your authentic self and for being there, present. Enjoy the feeling dude !!! Cheers
Dance like no-one is watching my friend! Thanks!
This is awsome news Mike. You are a great role model to follow. I am curious how the story will unfold. Keep us posted!!