Reproduced with the permission of choice Magazine, www.choice-online.com
Beyond my coaching work, I have been teaching leadership and career in an MBA program for the last four years. As I teach, I find that I wear two hats and work to help my students do the same. Even though my official role is as an instructor, the first hat for me is coaching. Given the material that we are working with, my professional obligation is to ensure that the concepts we work with in class meet the developmental goals of the students and are used appropriately outside of the classroom. When discussing type preferences, it is critical that students understand how to apply the concept of preference to their own development, don’t use it for selection purposes and that no one leaves the class wondering if they can really be a manager given an introverted preference.
With the second hat, I am thinking about how the students will apply the information to benefit the organizations they work in and the people they work with. During the class, I ask the students to wear both of these hats as well. How can they use developing a life vision to benefit their own future, and how will they use that material to coach their employees? If values are important to the development of each student, how do they apply that concept to creating ethical organizations and allowing their co-workers to be true to their own values? To be a ‘whole coach,’ we must also wear two hats. Wearing one hat, we are fully client focused: how does each coaching conversation serve the needs of our client? Wearing the other hat, we reflect on how that same coaching conversation affects us.
In the university, with 70+ hours of work over 14 weeks I understand that not all the material will resonate with everyone, so how do I ask my students to prioritize the topics we cover? Are these the same topics that I would prioritize in my coaching practice? I believe the answer is yes. The three topics that I would prioritize for both students and coaches are: learning agility, reflection and resilience.