I Used THIS Four-Letter Word...
Love. And Leadership.
I gave a talk to a network of coaches a couple of weeks ago about leadership and deep coaching. About what it means to lead in our role as a coach, and what a client should expect from the coach they choose to work with.
I think the topic is something that applies more widely--we are all leaders--and the concepts of how to co-create with someone else applies to each and every one of us in the work we do in the world.
This question came up in the Q&A,
What's the difference between a coach and a leader?
The Difference Between a Coach and a Leader…
So many leaders are being asked—or told—to acquire coaching skills, so what's the difference and why do we still need coaches if our managers can 'coach' us?
Hmm, that's a pretty interesting question.
I could see the reasoning behind it, yet I also see the role of of a coach and the role a leader (or manager) as very different.
One of the other speakers answered before me. She talked about a commitment to the outputs, an allegiance to the organisation, sensible stuff.
And then it was my turn. I hadn't really thought about what to say until that moment, and what came out surprised me.
It's about love,
A coaching relationship is one of the few places where you can expect unconditional love.
Your coach doesn't demand anything of you. Your coach is never there to judge or to tell you to do something you don't want to do. Even when -- in fact especially when -- you mess up. Your coach just wants to you be yourself and to do what inspires you. He or she will give you that love whatever happens.
And it comes with an unconditionality so rare in most adult relationships.
Now, you might also get this from your manager or leader, but that isn't guaranteed. That you should get it from your coach is a given.
The L.O.V.E Word
We don't often talk like that in our professional relationships, especially in business. I don't think you'll find the L... word on many sales pages or even in many coaching conversations.
And yet, it is completely true.
I don't mean "love..." in the way I might mean romantic love; I don't mean a passionate love, or the deep, powerful love that we have for our children.
The love we give, and receive, as a coach is about a calmness, a non-judgemental, unconditionally supportive kind of love that transcends everyday transactional business and personal relationships.
It comes from a deep knowing that, at the end of the day, we are going to be OK, no matter what the world throws at us. That, together, we will find the answers, find a way through our challenges, and find the strength to achieve what we want to achieve.
And I think being in that relationship is very special.