Leaders are quite excited to begin working with a coach. As a coach, I begin the process by orienting the leader to the coaching process, and in the dialogue, I learn what they want: more skills, more clarity, more effectiveness, more success. Invariably, they are shocked when I ask them what they want to eliminate! Acquisition had been their focus. It’s a wonderful moment in the coaching conversation; silence as the leader thinks. The shift begins: the realization that the “end product” is the self, not a shopping cart to be filled with fabulous prizes.
What had worked for a leader earlier in her/his career may not have the same success today. Rather than amplifying an old skill or adding a new technique on top of the old one, it is essential to take stock. What are you doing that you no longer need to do? What role have you outgrown? In what ways are you holding yourself back? What behaviors no longer serve you?
Six months from now, what do you want to celebrate having eliminated from your life?