Shared vision is an example of entrainment, our vibration and vision coming into synch with that of our client. With both the client and we sharing the client’s vision, more energy is flowing towards the accomplishment of that goal.
When we are aligned with our client’s purposes and goals, we can create a “shared vision.” We stand in their future and hold that space for them. We rally for them and support them in the accomplishment of their goals. We share their vision of their future. This creates a synergism and an alignment that is more powerful than any one person working on a project alone. Having a shared vision offers focus and energy, is necessary for success, and makes the client’s purpose more concrete for them.
Richard Boyatzis, in his online course, Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence, on Coursera.com, shares with us the power of having a shared vision. He mentions that Masud Khawaja, MD, in his PhD thesis studied the degree of treatment adherence for type 2 diabetics. Typically, worldwide, treatment adherence for type 2 diabetics is around a dismal 50%. Masaud found a number of things that affect treatment adherence. Among those are “a perception of shared vision, of shared compassion, of shared positive mood, in the relationship to the doctor. “
Boyatzis goes on, “What that means statistically is if you were going to work on one thing to improve treatment adherence, you’d work on the experience the patient has in their relationship to the physician. “
I believe that we, as coaches, are working to encourage our clients to take action, so client follow-through (treatment adherence) will benefit the client. It makes sense to establish and build upon shared vision, shared compassion and a shared positive mood in our relationship with our clients.
Other examples of shared vision from Boyatzis include:
- Byron Clayton, who reported in his doctorate dissertation that shared vision was one of the strongest predictors of successful mergers and acquisitions, not financial manipulations as is commonly believed.
- John Neff showed that one of the predictors of multi-year financial success in family businesses was the degree of shared vision around the family business.
- Linda Pittinger showed in her dissertation recently that IT managers and IT professionals increased effectiveness and engagement in their work when they had a shared vision and shared positive mood. (Boyatzis)
Goal alignment or shared vision increases engagement, morale, ownership, operational execution, retention, commitment to perform at higher levels, and the ability to be flexible and react quickly. (Goal)
Another benefit of having a shared vision with the client is the creation of the Master Mind.
In the self-help classic, “Think and Grow Rich,” Napoleon Hill discusses the Master Mind that is created through alignment. He writes that “The ‘Master Mind’ may be defined as ‘Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose'” (168-169). This is the definition of a shared vision, the creation of alignment between the coach and the client. The result of coming together in the spirit of shared vision is that, “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind” (Hill, 169).
We see it is not only possible, but because of the creation of a third mind or as it is known today, the “Master Mind,” it is advantageous to align ourselves with our clients for the achievement of their goals. This master mind benefits us as coaches as well as our client. By aligning ourselves with our client we are able to pull from more and deeper resources, receiving inspiration and intuition during and after the session. Many times, I have witnessed coaches say, “I don’t know where that came from, but it just ‘fit’ so I just went with it.” This is result of the “Master Mind” that Hill speaks of, the added measure of “knowing” and awareness that comes from being aligned with one’s client.
We have seen the benefits we can gain from developing alignment or resonance with our clients and becoming entrained.
- Creating a resonant relationship between client and coach
- Bigger results with less energy expended
- A feeling of “oneness” with the client
- More focus and energy
- Develop compassion and empathy
- Boosts communication
- Increases treatment adherence (client follow-through)
- Encourages successful mergers and partnerships
- Increases effectiveness and engagement
- Increases morale, ownership and commitment to perform at higher levels
- Creates access to deeper resources through the master mind
How do we increase Alignment?
Creating alignment is a wonderful and necessary step for coaches. But how do we achieve this alignment? Well, it isn’t difficult and it isn’t magic. First, we need to be aware that it is possible. Second, we must have a desire to incorporate alignment into our practice. Finally, we simply need to follow the ICF competencies. Following is a list of several of the ICF competencies that we can use to increase our alignment with our clients. The majority of coaching common practices are structured to help us become more aligned with our clients.