A Coaching Model By Adam Bower, Leadership Growth & Community Transformation Coach, IRELAND
Today Needs Community More Than Ever. We Do Too.
The truth is, we are more powerful together. Life is better together. We can learn, achieve and be so much more when we operate as one whole, our whole selves, collective groups of people as empowered communities, and entire organizations and systems working together with a clear, sense of purpose. We are wired as humans to belong in Community, and the significant challenges in today’s marketplaces, societies, and world call for leaders and organizations to collaborate innovatively. We have access to the ingredients inside of us and the systems we belong to, but often we are unable to connect to them. We are typically blocked from bringing these ingredients together by limiting factors like silos, egos, control, fear, doubt, lack of self-awareness, and history dictating the way forward.
Community is all about the sum of the parts being exponentially more remarkable than those in isolation and learning new ways forward together. This greatness comes alive and grows by cultivating space between people. Space is created through conversation, a journey of exploration, discovery, and commitment. Together, we can discover new innovative possibilities and what it means to be both inspired and at our best. Choosing community provides the path for us to do our best work; transformative work, having the potential to create a tremendous positive impact on those we connect to, the world around us, and our own lives too.
Welcome to a Pool of Limitless Possibilities
Imagine you are invited to join an empowered group of people; brought together by a common purpose you care deeply about. You accept the invitation and meet with the group. You are eager to get to work. You take a seat that has been arranged in a circle, and you notice this feels a little different from the regular management meeting you’re involved in. It is unclear who is in charge, and you are introduced to someone referred to as a coach.
As the conversation begins, you observe people contributing authentically and others present and listening wholeheartedly. The space between everyone opens as the conversation builds momentum. You realize everything which makes these individuals uniquely exceptional is appreciated and is being pooled together to fill the space. You are invited to join the others in this pool too. You can see it looks safe to swim and begin by dipping your toe in the water with your first contribution. The temperature feels warm, and you soon become comfortable diving in. Learning to swim together requires time, trust, practice, support, and letting go. The reward of this investment and immersing yourself is a return like no other.
Swimming in a collective pool like this gives way to the creation of something one-of-a-kind; a precious, diverse, and inclusive space of mutual trust and respect overflowing with collective experiences, perspectives, intelligence, awareness, talents, inspiration, and passions. Community offers us an accelerated learning experience like no other; we can find clarity and strength through group reflection, bring forward new ideas, and bring them to life together too. Put simply, connecting the right people, in a suitable space, through the right conversation allows the right outcomes to emerge. After experiencing this way of collective being, swimming in the isolation of your own experiences, perspectives, intelligence, awareness, talent, inspiration, and passion feels like a limiting place to be.
Concretely, we can leave experiences like this on a new pathway to the one we came in on, armed with transformational energy and learnings to model and share with others we connect with each day. We can create new spaces and inspire others to learn to swim and discover a new way forward in a similar direction. This multiplies the change and spreads community within the systems we belong to.
Animating the Community Space Is an Art and Science. Four Buckets Full of Connection, Safety, Drive, and Energy Can Transform Conversation for Leaders, Impact, and Life.
The contents of each deep bucket create the lifeforce of the Community. The contents multiply together to create something exponential. They pool together to fill space with life. When these buckets feel full within us, we can experience transformative growth as individuals in all aspects of life. We can experience collective transformation when we share full buckets with others. We can learn to achieve what was previously impossible and share this power.
On the contrary, if one bucket becomes leaky and empties, the collaborative space runs dry; and the community doesn’t work. We all need a minimum level in each bucket to feel able to contribute; you can’t swim in an empty pool!
When more people are involved, there is a bigger space to fill. We need more leaders contributing to the space to bring a sense of community to life.
Coaching can engage at an individual level, group, team, or community level and at an organizational level to fill up these buckets and create the space for the Community to grow with all of its benefits. Coaching in this space aims to provide a support structure so people can grow, learn and lead collectively with others. It is regenerative because leaders learn to coach others to do the same. The leaders of today and tomorrow at all ‘levels’ of an organization can benefit profoundly and multiply the learning to transform the people and system around them too. In doing so, we can all make a more positive impact and discover a more meaningful life.
The model below outlines some key focus areas in which coaching can be applied.
Areas of Focus
Becoming deeply connected to:
Feeling confident to show up to:
Creating well-designed work collectively so we can move into action, learn and achieve together through:
Caring for and building our energy so it can be multiplied with others, including these dimensions: