Executive Coaching, Career transition and Leadership
2nd August, 20130 Comments
Written by: Hazel Rowell-Peverley FCIPD
What vulnerability is and is not
“It is based on mutuality and requires boundaries and trust. It’s not oversharing, it’s not purging your inner most feelings or thoughts, it’s not indiscriminate disclosure and it’s not celebrity style-social media information dumps”. Brene’ Brown - 'Daring Greatly'.
A basis for recognising Humanness & Vulnerability
Simply seeing people as human rather than the boss the cleaner the barman etc. is a start. It is a strong sense of self confidence that accepts that we are all good enough. It presents a person with human warmth that exudes both a strength and fallibility that is engaging. We all recognise these people almost instantly!
We are often protecting ourselves with the shield of invulnerability and by doing so undermining the very response that would have supplied us with genuine protection. Invulnerability brings feelings of shame that lead to alternative behaviours that are not attractive because they are so out of line with who we really are. When shame becomes a management style, engagement dies. When failure is not an option we can forget about learning creativity and innovation.
Our own experience of leadership in organisations tells us that the instant the leader at the top of the organisational structure changes certain values and influencers permeate through the structure. These values, are either trust conducive or not, tested over time by employees customers and stakeholders.
What about the expectations of the organisation?
Our personal career direction is in the balance here. We are all required to earn a living and feel as though we contribute to society if we had an open choice, free from the monetary requirements and other values, many of us would have taken another career direction. It is the crossroads of career that often highlights the direction we could have taken finding ourselves in an organisation that does not really fit who we are as a person. The personal realisation of unease is triggered by leadership values and change externally or coming to a stage of needing to feel more connected more authentic to our purpose. People who come to this stage in life can choose career transition or executive coaching as the solution, this is the realisation factor, I’m not quite comfortable here, but I do not know what comfortable is, or what it should look like can be really scary.
When we move into an organisation that is vulnerability free zone, questions are raised, about the style of the leadership and values. We also question ourselves and our relationship to the organisation. How did we arrive here, the answer to this question is often one of practicalities and family responsibilities for the majority.
The what if scenario, presents the dare to be you challenge and goes back to being able to be good enough and trusting that this attitude and state of mind, will bring us to a position where we naturally fit and will find our best fit.
Our obligation to being who the organisation engaged at interview can be different to the person that we really are, or are aware of having become, through personal recognition and our relationship to organisational values and leadership.
Career transition Coaching:
The facilitation of authenticity is the real value to the client and the organisation and to any coaching relationship. As part of executive coaching or career transition, it is often initiated by a personal evaluation and eventual realisation of some ‘unease’ at mid stage in our careers.
In progressing down the route of coaching, the person centred opportunities raise themselves and bring opportunities to individuals and to organisations, even if the ultimate decision is that the organisation and the personal fit is not quite right. The organisation will benefit by being able to appoint or redeploy the skills and the talents of the individual in a different way.
The individual takes away the ability to become more authentic and congruent with the organisation and self, at the least understanding their journey more fully and recognising that by being allowed to be vulnerable they are ‘good enough.’
This has a by-product to the company, where the fit is recognised as not being quite right, the acceptance and realisation brings a sense of comfort and with it a coping strategy of acceptance that is good enough. The outcome is an altogether more engaged employee, because they have an increased awareness from their journey. The ultimate final journey may result in a career transition, or simply a more settled and engaged person. Either way a win, win, situation for vulnerability and authenticity.
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