A Coaching Power Tool created by Shakti Ghosal
(Executive Coach, OMAN)
Success is such an empowering word. We think of it and we think of…. Happiness….Self esteem….Superiority….. facets which enthuse and inspire us forward. Success is an aspect by which the world judges us by.
But there is also the other paradigm of success relating to increased self awareness and development. This aspect is exemplified by Mahatma Gandhi when he said,
I must first be the change that I want to see in the world.
Success thus gets linked, not to the external world, but to an inner compass, an inside out initiative.
The coaching process is designed to support the client to achieve success as desired by him. As coaches, we need to empower the client in this regard. Which brings up Vision and Delusion, two aspects of the human mind which play a critical role in success.
We may see Vision as an empowering, higher vibration state versus Delusion as disempowering and something to be shed. So as vision becomes that which drives the client supported by reasoning, delusion is that which immerses him in randomness and away from his goals. We tend to associate Success with vision and not with delusion.
In the context of Coaching and the use of Vision-Delusion polarity as a power tool, the above perception may prove to be simplistic. What we perceive as Vision may not always empower. History shows that Hitler had a clear vision, supported by his logic and reason, and the singleness of purpose to establish the Third Reich. Yet today we know that his vision was ‘deluded’ with complete disconnect with resources and abilities to achieve.
The Importance of Vision
What really is a vision and how is it associated with our client’s success? Simply put, vision is a picture that the client holds regarding himself, his life or his work. A clear vision helps the client to focus and create action steps to make the envisioned future come true. In the absence of such a vision, our client may lack clarity about what he wants to be or do in life, leading to a loss of inspiration to move forward.
As coaches, helping to create a vision can become one of our powerful tools to open up the client’s mind to increased possibilities for a bigger future. As we support our client to develop a strong vision, it allows him to connect to his true passion and potential as also retain his faith in the path chosen in the face of challenges.
A vision becomes an essential element in a leader’s toolbox. It is the goal on which the leader focuses on using his resources and energy; it translates to a force within, driving him into action. It allows the business leader better ability to face business challenges, interim failures and negative feedbacks. A vision owned by the leader and suitably disseminated throughout the organisation, can become the glue that holds together and motivates all employees to move towards a common goal.
Vision – Coaching process and Client questions
To support the client determine his vision, we need to help create the awareness of who he is right now. This would need to include habits, attitudes, and points of view. In the organisational context, this would translate to a SWOT (Strength, Weakness,Opportunityand Threat) analysis.
Some important self discovery questions are:
- Could you name three things which give your life purpose and meaning?
- What kind of role or responsibility do you enjoy and feel good at?
- What has your life experiences told you about your destiny?
- How would a close friend describe what you are like?
- What are your key strengths? How about weaknesses?
Who (What) does the client want to be?
The client’s vision should include who / what he/ the organisation would like to be. The destination of the client’s vision should encompass aspects relating to his emotional, intellectual and economic aspirations
- Specifically how would you like to picture your life/ organisation going forward?
- What areas do you see yourself passionate about in the future?
- What kind of goals would you set to reach your vision?
- What experiences do you want to have in your lifetime?
- Imagine yourself at the end of your life looking back. Is there a dream in you that you would deeply regret if you never took the risk to go for?
How to support the client to build a Vision?
As coaches, we may have situations when the client finds it difficult to build a vision, even when he wants to. We need to encourage him to review past history to be able to notice past changes and thereby determine what changes he would like to do now. We can also support the client to create strong self beliefs towards the big vision.
- If you had unlimited resources and could not fail, what would you set out to do?
- If you dreamed in terms of your potential instead of your current capabilities, how would it change your dream?
- What would you lose if you just stay safe here and do not chase your dreams?
- What have you done in the past that’s been truly satisfying? How could you do more of that?
- What do you like / dislike about your current situation? What could you do that would maximize the likes and minimise the dislikes?