Monday, August 22, 2005

Growing Into Who I May Become

As long as I hold onto who I am right now, I won’t be able to grow into who I might become.

Mondays (when I’m not with a client) I take a good chunk of my day to do some administrivia. I do my paperwork, the bill paying, and wade through filed emails to see what I still need to keep, what I might work with for future projects and what follow-up B.F.’s I need to deal with.

This morning I came across an email exchange I had with a colleague way back when. We had been talking about learning through the process of coaching, not just learning the business of coaching, or through class material, conferences or seminars. Rather, coaches should learn from their clients daily….increasing awareness of who we are as individuals and professionals as well as ways of being for people as a whole.

I remember writing Sylvie as a response to a comment about my work. I shared with her “What was amazing was how much I learn when I’m Shadowing. Things I never knew existed. But even more so….the feedback I got this afternoon showed how many levels I work with them on when I’m on the scene. That’s what amazed me the most. This client told me how I also helped him change in a holistic way. Blew ME away. I wonder how many coaches are so wrapped up with coaching that they can forget they’re students at the same time? It doesn’t make us any less effective. Quite the opposite. It helps our clients realise the depth of their knowledge when we share how much we’ve learned in the process. It’s a true collaboration.”

Her response was “That’s why you’re so go damn good at what you do Sherlock! I learn tons from you and also keep you in my mind when I’m consulting and not sure what to do.”

There have been many a thread in the Coaching Insider as to old ways of Coaching, models perspectives etc. In the “old days” of coaching, we used to hold back any advice-giving or communication with regards to any sign we might not have all the answers. Now, things are changing dramatically. It might be easier because I’m a situational/observational coach and being there to deal with situations as they unfold is much easier from a coach’s perspective to deal with and process than if we only relied on the awareness factor of our clients. It’s even more powerful when I’m able to tell my client “It’s not important to know what you do as much as how you do it”. However it’s also incredibly powerful to turn to a client and ask “What is it you want from me right now? What am I missing?” and admit we’re both on a learning curve. Sometimes we need ‘permission’ to admit we don’t have all the answers but that in itself leads to a fact finding collaborative learning curve.

Maybe it stems from a conversation I had with my son a very long time ago when he asked me a question and my answer was an immediate “I have NO idea!”. He was in shock! He thought being a mother, I should have all the answers. Why? There’s no manual that deals with raising children 101… kids are all different. Just as my clients are all unique individuals and why would I even presume to use one model for all of them? True leaders not only realise the uniqueness of each of the staff, but harnesses it and grow because of it.

How does the saying go? “It’s a very stupid man who believes he has all the answers”. Something like that?

I would much rather ask the questions, teaching and learning from the answers.

One way I let go of who I am right now to become the person I may be in the future….. one question at a time.

Donna Karlin

Something my friend Ross Quinn asked me to share...

Joe Ranft in memorium

Joe was a very talented man who touched the lives of millions upon millions and made the world smile. He will be missed and remembered

Here’s to you Joe…..

Joe Ranft died in a car accident on California's Highway 1 on August 16, 2005. Joe was a major player in the Feature Animation industry ... providing stories, storyboards, voices, artwork and more ... for some of the most beloved Feature Animations of all time (see below for a link to his complete list of credits).

For all his amazing achievements, I will always remember him as the voices of Heimlich (A Bug's Life) and Wheezy the Penguin (Toy Story 2).

Joe was only 45. He is survived by his wife (Su), two children (Jordan -- 13 and Sophia -- 9), his mother (Ruth) and father (James), his two brothers (James and Jerome) and a sister (Ruth Ann Scott).

While the national media have virtually ignored his passing ... by August 19, searches for Joe Ranft were ranked THIRD by Technorati (a website that tracks search activity of over 15,000,000 BLOGS) just behind Cindy Sheehan and Jude Law.

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Joe RanftBorn: March 13, 1960 in Pasadena, California

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