Transformational coaching can equip you for an uncertain future
"What got us here won't get us through the next stretch of the journey."
So said leading author, Marshall Goldsmith, a conclusion that has never been more true than in the digital age, with its breakneck rate of change in technology. Compared with as little as 25 years ago, the way we look for and use information, access everyday services, and communicate and engage with people around is profoundly different. Our relationship with the world around us and with each other is increasingly dictated by digital devices and software and by mobile broadband and social networks. Learning how best to use these is essential because relying on what we grew up with and what we experienced in the past is unlikely to serve us well in the future.
But it goes deeper. We know the human brain is very adaptable and through repeated patterns of experience will take on new ways of thinking. The new digital tools we’re acquiring are actually shaping the way we think at a deep neurological level; creating new connections and assemblies. Today, in the workplace and within our homes, not only have different generations’ experiences of digital not been the same but, as a result, their way of thinking, feeling and behaving is not the same. While gen-z have been ‘born into digital’ the baby boomers have encountered mobiles and tablets, Facebook and online banking later in their 40s and 50s.
This all makes living and working in harmony – in families and in teams – increasingly challenging. It can create uncertainty and unpredictability about the outcomes of interaction in personal, social and professional relationships. The result can be discord and conflict that generates stress and unhappiness.
Openness and confidence
The good news is that we can actively use the neuroplasticity of the brain to reshape the way we think. We can learn and then practice new strategies that mould our cognitive processes and make us more prepared to face future uncertainty. That new thinking can help us have a more positive emotional response to people and circumstances and so lead to more effective behaviour.
To be able to learn new ways of thinking requires us to be open to questioning and prepared to re-examine our core values. Regularly asking questions of ourselves, in itself, creates a level of uncertainty that stimulates the brain; practising this is a way of being more open to change.
Transformational coaching and mentoring
Transformational coaching can help clients develop the confidence to ask those questions and to have an open approach to new situations and experiences. It provides a safe space to develop an open mindset that will help individuals navigate future uncertainty. Coaching goes beyond mentoring specific techniques – such as using digital for daily tasks – and supports clients in how, when and where to apply them. Transformational coaching not only helps clients develop their own purpose but also enables them to rehearse specific cognitive approaches, emotional responses and practical actions they will need, on a daily basis, to take them towards longer-term goals.
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About Stephen Paul
Stephen Paul is a life coach working with business and creative professionals. He has held marketing, sales and strategy roles with leading organisations: Phillps Electronics; IMB-Lotus; Harper Collins; BBC. He has over 15 years experience working for brand, design and digital agencies. He is a business and marketing graduate and qualified coach.