In addition to a reliance on a breadth and depth of psychological theories on behavior change, our coaching protocols also honor what we can learn from other disciplines, such as design and innovation.
In reviewing Fast Company’s recent article on the concepts of design, Seven Essentials from the Harvard Innovation Lab, there are many principles which overlap with a masterful coach approach.
1. “Be A Sponge…Innovators are intellectually curious and thrive on absorbing new information that may help their ideas.” Curiosity is also one of the most important ingredients to great coaching – both in coach and client. It begins with the coach putting aside assumptions about who the client is and what the client can do, which supports the client in being more curious in the exploration of who they are and what they are capable of.
2. “Narrow Is A Good Place To Start…If you want to lay the groundwork for a big idea, focus on developing one segment of it until it has strong roots.” Yes, coaching encourages the visioning of large, compelling outcomes. And, we also acknowledge that a bridge to those outcomes must be built upon actionable goals that are grounded in a client’s competence and confidence.
3. “Ideas Are Great—But Execution Is What Matters…the real opportunity for innovation lies in how you make it happen.” Building a client’s competence and confidence comes from designing goals that have a clear and measurable outcome which deeply explore the support and structures needed to succeed. We ask, “What are people, places, things, habits and mindsets needed to achieve the outcome you want?” and then gather those resources for execution.
4.”Getting Better Is Messy…being creative and innovative means that you’re going to try many things that don’t work.”And, even the best laid plans can’t predict all of the pitfalls of experimenting with new behaviors. This is why we treat “goals” as “experiments”, each test an opportunity to observe, learn, adjust and try again.
As coaches, we are collaborative designers and architectural partners in our client’s lives, ensuring the scaffolding is place to build the pathway to the client’s dreams.