Business coaching for sustainability: I have had some realisations regards my drivers for practising as a coach. I recognise now I was allowed to ask how anything worked other than humans when I was small. Now I get handsomely paid to engage in really open and contracted professional curiosity.
“I can say what I see, help design the solutions collaboratively and I can hold accountability.”
I also recognise that as the daughter of a head teacher, I was not allowed to challenge authority. My parents, my teachers, the doctors, these pillars of society were ‘right’. As I matured into an adult I carried this belief with me for a while. At uni the lectures were right. At work, the HR manager must surely know her stuff and the CEO must have it nailed. But increasingly the cracks began to show. I’d work in organisations where it was plain to see (well To me anyhow!), that inefficiencies were costing a lot in terms of financial waste and human losses.
When I dared to speak of what I saw, I was often met with blank faces or phrases such as ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ or ‘that’s not a priority right now’. I became increasingly frustrated. If a business is about the bottom-line, why would anyone not want to attend to systems, processes or people who might lead to losses?
Eventually, I quit speaking my mind and began instead to employ myself. It seemed like a version of insanity to not address these things. In my own business entity, I have the agility I needed to respond in the given moment and do what was needed.
The next step on from that is to return to the business world, bringing a coaching perspective. This way I can shine a little light in the dark corners. I can say what I see, help design the solutions collaboratively and I can hold accountability.
Sometimes it takes an outsider to witness, diagnose and consult and cure organisational inefficiencies. It’s harder to retort ‘but we have always done it this way’ to someone who you have invited to look into your world. As discomforting as it might be to be really ‘seen’, this might just be the thing that makes your business or organisation succeed sustainably.