A Coaching Power Tool created by Sandeep Singh Arora
(Executive Coach, INDIA)
Phil Jackson the famous basketball coach said that the glory of a transient victory is not as important as the cultivation of team spirit and belief. One can believe that winning, getting to a solution, getting to the answer is an end in itself, but Phil Jackson is highlighting that the benefit could be transitory and that it is important to look at ways to make the progress more sustainable.
What is Transitory in terms of coaching?
Transitory as defined in the dictionary means short lived, tending to pass away, not persistent. Similarly in a coaching environment it can be very easy to give solutions, advice but the benefits of such a process will be short lived and transitory. Coaching is about helping the individual to think for themselves, find their own answers and discover within themselves their potential and path to success. The route to finding the answers for ones own self will involve awareness, discovery and creating new thinking. Simple awareness of the issue will create a behavioral change but the change is likely to be transitory in nature.
During the coaching process there are times when the client is made aware of issues that are blind to him (others are aware of the issue but the person concerned is not). This could be an observation by the coach or feedback received from peers, direct reports in an executive coaching environment. The awareness of the issue can make the client more conscious of trying to make a change but will it result in strong commitment to the change?
For example – a client would not listen to others ideas and even if he did pretend to listen, would always insist on his idea being taken forward by the team. This made the team feel miserable and they shared the same during the 360 feedback. The awareness of the issue resulted in the client making an effort to listen to his team members but found it difficult to give up his position. Soon he was back to his earlier behavior. The behavioral change was transitory at best.
Impact of Transitory behavioral change
Clients are likely to fall back into old patterns and this could further reinforce the disempowering beliefs. Behaviors are influenced by our beliefs, which are formed over time based on our experiences and environment. The beliefs are part of the subconscious and influence behavior.
There can also be a tendency for clients to look for safe issues like depression, procrastination to mask the true issues i.e. fear or anxiety from a career shift, commitment in a relationship. All the above can over time lead to lack of self-belief and motivation.
The coaching manifestations
Transitory change is likely to happen when awareness and planning for behavior change is not rooted in cognitive learning. Change in most times involves not just awareness in the conscious but also thinking and alignment in the subconscious mind.
Transitory behavior changes happen when coaches fall into the trap of giving advice, when they are under pressure to complete sessions and get the client to an action plan without any new thinking. The questions that a coach should ask are as follows:
- Am I being authentic? Am I present and focused on the benefit of the client? Am I willing to devote more time beyond the contract so that client can find their answers?
- Does the language, energy and tone of the client reflect an insight, an Aha moment that has led to a new perspective for the client?
- Has change been integrated with beliefs to provide an anchor and make it sustainable?
The power tool of Transitory vs. Anchored opens our mind to the polarity between change that is short lived and that which sustains over time. It explores the ways in which we can get our clients to overcome the barriers (limiting beliefs) to change and get them motivated and committed to change by ensuring that it is anchored to an empowering belief. Anchored change leads to positive emotion, momentum and lasting change leading to effectiveness and success for the client.