How do you describe what you do?
When I get asked what I do and I respond that I am a Leadership Coach, it can create a bit of a blank look. Sometimes, there is a guess as to what it entails, on other occasions I offer more detail.
I'm currently experimenting with the following response to see if it has more clarity and leads to further questions:
"I support individuals and groups to develop their individual and collective capacity for leadership in complex and uncertain situations. I believe that by experimenting with the way they connect, communicate and manage their differences, new patterns of behaviour emerge and change the wider system."
I suspect that this is a big long winded and could be offputting. A well-meaning colleague suggested that I added in the real difference that it makes. That's not possible when you work with complexity and uncertainty. You cannot predict what will happen. We can collectively agree an intention that the work will support and facilitate a shift or movement towards something, but we cannot fix on a tangible goal. The goal would potentially blinker us to new possibilities.
Perhaps I should include a description of where this type of Leadership work can help? On my website, I include some situations to bring this to life. For individuals I coach, there are often the following signs:
- your role has increased in responsibility and the levels of complexity and uncertainty have trebled along with your anxiety
- your 360 degree feedback reinforces your strengths, but you're left wondering how you can be everything that everyone else wants you to be and still be yourself
- you're a high performer and wondering about the meaning of work and what's next
I am a coach because I enjoy working with people to shift how they experience their work with the intention of shifting individual and group performance.
Next time you meet someone, perhaps ask them "What do you enjoy in life?, not "what do you do?" Perhaps you'll start a completely different conversation.
If you're on the end of being asked what you do, shift the conversation by answering with what you enjoy.
Drop me a line to let me know how it works for you.
To start a conversation about the potential benefits of Leadership Coaching in your life, email Felicity.