Research Paper By Hariprasad Menon
(Executive Coaching, INDIA)
You can’t cross a sea by merely staring into the water.
Rabindranath Tagore, 1913 Nobel laureate for literature
There comes a moment when you have to stop revving up the car and shove it into gear.
The word INITIATIVE is much used and misused but still not understood enough. One can write a whole book on this topic and still not cover enough! I am going to attempt exploring the full power of this word and its impact in Coaching. Many people think that Initiative is about being present, participating or starting something. While that is definitely Initiative, the question is, is that all?
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives the meaning of Initiative as:
- an introductory step
- energy or aptitude displayed in initiation of action : enterprise
I invite you to think. What is going on in the mind 5 minutes before that first step. You are deciding to take that first step, committing to the journey. That’s Initiative too. What happens before committing? Exploring options, collecting information. That’s Initiative too.
Can you see the meaning evolving into a bigger dimension? I would like to submit the following definition for INITIATIVE.
I take the lead in initiating actions that encourage participation and commitment from others. I actively seek resources needed to achieve quality results. I welcome suggestions that increase team effectiveness. I confront conflict for resolution so initiatives under way do not suffer. I take solo actions when necessary following up immediately with people impacted.
Meaningful, impacting Initiative is much more than just landing up or talking first. It’s about taking accountability, not merely taking charge. Most people miss the power of sound Initiative, because they think they’ve done their bit by being present.
Through a case study I will elaborate the definition role and importance of INITIATIVE in coaching. I make 3 submissions.
- Absence of Sound Initiative contributes to the problem.
- During the coaching process, when client commits to Sound Initiative, breakthrough happens, how the “aha” moment is actually a realization of the absence of sound initiative from their end.
- After the coaching session, commitment to sound initiative helped take the solution to completion and success.