LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM MY FAVORITE TODDLER
How my Granddaughter has had an impact on me as a coach
I have been coaching leaders for over 15 years and my new source of growth as a coach has come from my two-year-old granddaughter Nora. She has helped me see how I can learn and grow as a coach to help my clients. There are so many connections to being a valuable coach and growing child. I will focus on three areas in this post and watch for more in the future.
Be curious and be a sponge – Nora sees everything with fresh and unbiased eyes. She is a sponge and always willing to soak up information in new and interesting ways. One day watching her play with a barn she was looking at it from all perspectives as she learned. She would move her visual to all levels trying to understand. She would have animals enter and exit through windows and not just intended doors. There isn’t a front or back to the barn, there is just a barn with all of the joy it can bring her.
As a coach I bring my strength of asking questions from a place of curiosity and with an open mind. This helps my clients explore their answers and reflect for deeper individual meaning. I also help by exploring things from multiple perspectives using metaphors, connections to values or by using all our senses. These tools and approaches provide a means for exploring possibilities resulting in new and helpful future focused insights.
Building on what you know – Nora has a beautiful ability to build on what she knows and applies it to other applications. She connects patterns from one mode to others. She notices pictures of bubbles on her shirt and connects to the bubbles when washing hands or when she sees them floating through the air. I have watched her learn letters by building on multiple ways of seeing them. They are on toy blocks or letters on her car seat or other objects.
During our coaching calls we explore analogies and connections. When I begin my process with a new client we begin with values clarification, life purpose creation and future focus planning. This is an important foundation to help build on future conversations and focused exploration during one-on-one calls and connections.
Focused attention and willingness to move on – The young mind can find joy in climbing in empty cabinets, a small pot or playing with various stuffed animals. Recently we emptied a cabinet and Nora was so focused on how she can get herself to fit. After 20-30 minutes of that challenge, she will move on to pulling out a big pot and climb in it and have her “Bumpa” pick her up or slide her around on the carpet. Some things bring joy for a period and other things like her favorite stuffed bear or new little pigs will have ongoing attention because they bring her comfort.
While coaching we identify a focused goal for our conversation and what success will look like which guides our conversation at the time. There may be tangents, connections to values, and focused intentions to help provide forward movement to what is important to the client. As a coach I stay focused on the client through deep listening and call forth my intuition to drive my questions. All these approaches help the client decide what is most important and where they need to let go and move on.
On our calls we explore what they may be holding on to and is not adding value to them. Our next steps are to discover what actions they want to take to help them on their own path forward.
I would love to explore and learn with you like I have explored and learned from my granddaughter. If you are ready for a coach because you are feeling stuck, would like to discover new possibilities or if you are new to leading others then I am the coach for you. I would start with an initial call to discover how I can provide value added coaching conversations now and in the future. You can learn more and fill out a contact form on my website Home (bandyldrdev.com)