I was in my dance lesson the other day and we were going over the tiniest aspects of a particular step. We analysed all aspects of this one move, in the greatest of detail – for 50 minutes! I realised that for years I’ve been doing the same move in the same way, despite a little nagging thought in the back of my mind that this didn’t really feel quite right.
By looking at this more in depth, I discovered that a very small change to the way I moved in the step made it a thousand times better … and easier! I discovered that my muscles had worked a way round the issue to be able to get a good enough result, which meant I was working a lot harder at it than I needed to!
So, why had I not asked the question before? Why had I been continuing to do this step the same way I’d always done it? As I thought about it more, I came to the conclusion that the way I’d done it had got me to a good level and so why would I need to change it.
I think this same thought process could be said about leadership development too. I speak to many leaders who are happy with the way things are, they don’t think their style and approach needs to be challenged as it has got them to a good place so far.
But, just like my dance step, could those leaders be missing a trick? Could they actually find a better way to lead, communicate and develop their team, if they “tweaked” their current style? Just by knowing more about self-awareness, emotional intelligence, motivational needs, cognitive biases etc, small changes could make a huge difference – to themselves and those in their team.
Sometimes, however, we just can’t see it for ourselves or in ourselves. We assume that the familiar, our perspectives and our experiences, are accurate as they are. (All of which are cognitive biases by the way). Once someone points out a different perspective, it can make perfect sense and we wonder why we hadn’t thought of it before. It’s just that we’ve been blinkered by our own experiences and habitual processes to date and this new information could improve confidence levels and gain quicker results.
Therefore, it’s useful to have someone else to ask the questions, to challenge the status quo, to find people who can think differently from ourselves and who are happy to challenge us in a positive way. They could even come from outside the working environment or industry we are in. And this is what coaching helps you with – whether that’s from someone in your organisation, family, friends etc, or an external coach.
So, why continue down one route, when there may well be a different and better alternative if you take the challenge.
To find out more about how executive coaching can help develop an understanding of motivational needs, cognitive biases and self-awareness, please contact us for an initial discussion.