Draw a line in the sand..!

Sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand.

This week seemed to be the week where I was encouraging my coaching clients to make a stand. Traditional coaching by default errs on the side of letting clients find their own way with the coach nudging the client along and being careful not to put too much of their opinion into the conversation.

But three sessions with separate clients this week has shown me that coaches have a responsibility to re-enforce themes and if it comes to it drive home a point that they believe is central to the client progressing.

One client this week had been wrestling with a HR issue for years and being new to his leadership role was reluctant to face up to the “problem” people in his team that were polluting the culture he was carefully trying to re-build.

I simply asked, can you see yourself achieving your vision with these people in the team..? after some umming and, maybes and me re-asking the same question three times he finally said no, it is not going to happen.

Following this admission his level of energy and conviction rose dramatically and a can-do attitude emerged that had previously not been present.

For me the lesson is that we need to bend and work with issues up to a point but there comes a point where enough is enough and for the good of all involved a line must be drawn and compromise must end.

In the age of “stakeholder management” I think we run the risk of trying to appease too many people in an attempt at avoiding conflict and holding people truly accountable to what they signed up for.

… that’s all, a simple, basic message, but one I re-learned this week.

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