The words of Charles Dickens seem to hold as true today as they did 160 years ago when A tale of two cities was published.
We certainly live in challenging times. In the UK, we fumble around the exit for Brexit, as vested self-interest battles with vested self-interest. At the highest global levels, leadership appears to have descended into self-interested positions of, variously, defensiveness, distrust, disruption, aggression and autocracy. This doesn’t appear to be a golden era of leadership.
Yet in this era of factions and fractiousness, I really do believe that coaches have a crucial role to play – that they can help change the world for the better.
Take politicians as an example. I would welcome the day when I see and hear greater authenticity among our politicians. Politicians who are able to free themselves up to speak the truth – how they genuinely think and feel – rather than squirm on the hook of difficult questions in interviews, always, seemingly, toeing a party line.
I know many politicians receive coaching, but I am left wondering how much of the coaching is style and façade over authenticity.
But we must remain optimistic about our leaders and politicians. And, perhaps, coaches will have a key role to play as this century unfolds. As coaches, let’s come from a position of authenticity and add greater value to the politicians and leaders we coach, serve and, through role modelling, perhaps even lead. When we are truly authentic and follow our inner moral compass, then perhaps we can change the world for the better. Look beyond the fee to consider how and why to:
- Support leaders through very difficult times and pressures
- Challenge leaders on inappropriate behaviours at these – and other – times
- Stand firm from your person-centred coaching values
- Role model authenticity
- Remember your core purpose as a coach
- Be prepared to walk away
- Check in with your ethical compass
- Discuss your challenges in supervision
- Find and work from your position of unequivocal integrity
It’s easy to support and collude with leaders. True coaching is based upon authenticity, integrity and retaining your presence.