I attended the AC conference in London last week and I was excited to see how so many of us engaged with the main theme of ‘In the System’. The fact that we immersed ourselves in this crucial area of systems thinking is a strong indicator to me that the coaching profession is truly maturing.
All the discussions I had with other delegates demonstrated a genuine awareness and appreciation that we as coaches need to be curious and mindful of the wider system in which the one to one coaching conversation takes place.
In the experiential workshop I facilitated, 20 participants worked with a case study to explore multi-stakeholder contracting. We identified 10 stakeholder roles and people worked in pairs to enact their part. The roles were:
the line manager
head of L&D
MD of the coaching consultancy
the coaching supervisor
a client of the coachee
a family member of the coachee
What was thrilling was to see how everyone enacted their particular stakeholder’s perspective with a real appreciation of how they were each connected either explicitly or implicitly with the coaching client, and thus with the coach. This diagram from the workshop shows the three key domains and the diverse elements that are involved in multi-stakeholder contracting. Coaches need to attend to these domains and elements on a constant basis throughout a coaching assignment.