Whilst they are doing that I’m listening, half an ear on the story and rest on the story behind the story, or put another way the context. That way I avoid getting caught up in the solution-based consulting medium.
The essence of coaching rests on the fundamental premise that the answer to every client’s problem is already inside them. The coach’s job is to provide the frameworks for the business owner to discover what they need for themselves.
At one recent session I sat quietly, listening to two directors talk about staff being unclear what their roles were, too much time being wasted as simple decisions went “around the houses” and lists of things not getting done. I was reminded of the process by which many business owners historically structure their businesses. As a business expands, what jobs do the owners give away?
Usually it’s the one’s they don’t like. When the next person gets assistance, what jobs do they also give away? Exactly what this creates is a business which grows from the “top down” and is full of staff dependency. In these types of businesses the owner is usually complaining that the staff are always asking what they should do and how to do it.
I talked the directors through the framework of creating a functional structure for the business. Would it be better if everyone’s roles and responsibilities were clearly defined? What if they were able to give staff full ownership of their functional roles? Would that free them up to get on with what they really needed to do for the business?
There it was again, that moment of silence. Without anyone speaking the next step was clear.