This week we’re talking about coaching for family leaders, both current and future. It’s a subject near and dear to my heart that keeps coming up for me lately.
I’d planned this piece a couple of weeks ago, and suddenly last Wednesday morning, something unexpected arrived in my inbox.
Well, it wasn’t completely unexpected, because I receive the latest edition of the FFI Practitioner every Wednesday morning, so that wasn’t the surprise.
But the content was very much in line with what I was planning on sharing here this week, which I found serendipitous.
The featured piece is entitled The Benefits of Coaching for Family Enterprise Leaders and Practitioners by Greg McCann.
Hey! That’s What I Was Gonna Say!
Since I was going to say much of what he wrote, I decided to share his wisdom, and add my perspectives on the matter; kind of a win-win.
McCann outlines the benefits of coaching that still remain misunderstood by many people.
He mentions “increasing the leader’s capacity for more than just the issue at that moment” and “a safe, neutral setting in which to process ideas, fears, perceptions, and patterns in their lives”, among other great points.
I’ve shared my history of trying to explain coaching to people in No, Dad, Coaching Isn’t “Helping Losers”.
Good Timing (For a Change!)
The coaching field continues to grow, in the number of trained and qualified coaches, and in its acceptance as a true field, which provides a valuable service to clients around the world.
My coach training journey began in 2013; at the time my focus was more on growing my facilitation practice, rather than 1-on-1 coaching opportunities.
But near the end of 2018 I decided that it was finally time for me to get my own professional coaching certification in 2019, and I completed that last November, through CTI.
As it turns out, my timing was impeccable.
Best Time Ever for Coaching
The sudden arrival of this pandemic has resulted in this being one of the best times and opportunities for coaching that we could ever have expected.
The new situations that everyone is now facing have created a lot more thoughtful self-reflection in people everywhere.
Coaching can be valuable for everyone, IF they understand what it is and what it isn’t, and if they are ready to embark on the journey.
While my training was geared to coaching anyone, I’ve chosen to remain focused on family business, or, more correctly, people who are part of business families.
Lonely at the Top, AND at the Bottom
Family business leaders, like CEO’s in any business, often feel lonely, because there are some subjects that they just can’t talk about with others.
Executive coaching has been a huge area where coaching clients have seen benefits, exactly because these leaders have found someone who isn’t simply a “Yes-Person”, and instead they now have a person who will level with them and challenge their thinking.
It’s easy to see the “lonely at the top” aspect, but it can also be lonely at “the bottom”, especially in a family business, when you happen to have the right (or wrong?) last name.
Been there, done that; know how powerless it feels.
One Person CAN Change a System
One of my greatest “A-Ha” moments of the past few years is the realisation that a change in one person, can and will have an effect on the whole family system, with patience and persistence.
That means that I, as a neutral outsider to a family, don’t have to work with the whole family to effect positive change, because I can actually have almost as great an impact by working with just one, motivated person.
WOW, that’s actually pretty HUGE.
Now that I’ve finally realized this, my challenge is to convey this concept to potential clients, who often feel helpless to make the changes that they know are required in their families.
It turns out that families are pretty interdependent!
Current Realities Align with Coaching Too
Regular readers of my blog know that I’ve been a big fan of online meetings via Zoom for a while already, which just happens to be a fantastic “delivery mechanism” for coaching services. See Who’s Zooming Who.
I’ve coached several people that I still have never met in person, and I imagine this will continue to be the case going forward.
Members of enterprising families are all in a somewhat unique situation, where finding a “thinking partner” who “gets” them can be a challenge.
Good news: there are coaches who “get” you…