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The Situation Makes the Person


“When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” — Honeré de Balzac

In our work with managers and influencers all over the world, we get to observe the patterns of behavior that can hold people back from stepping into their true potential. One of the most common patterns relates to a lack of confidence in potential strengths, or even already developed capabilities. The challenge is that without confidence, those strengths will go untapped, ignored and squandered. On the surface this can look and feel to both the individual and potentially those around them as a lack of competence, and the assumption is that more training is what’s required, when in reality nothing could be further from the truth.


While training of course has its place, when the issue is one of confidence rather than competence, training will usually be ineffective if offered in isolation. That goes some way to explaining why the ROI on training is so low (in the region of 20%) and one of the primary reasons why we at GC3 will always seek to combine our training and development experiences with either individual or group coaching – because the impact that coaching can have when there is a confidence issue can be transformational (and can lead to a 400% improvement in ROI as a result!).


We have all heard stories of the potential being drawn out of people in moments of adversity. Without the luxury of choice they are forced to step up and do what needs to be done, to heck with the consequences; “the situation makes the person,” as the old adage goes. But many of us will be fortunate enough not to face that kind of adversity, so all we’re left with is the choice to step up. And therein lies the problem, because we’ll often choose not to!


The reason coaching can therefore have such an impact is because it creates a safe, non-judgemental, space for people to experiment with and explore their own potential. This will always involve work outside of a coaching session, and simply the knowledge that someone has your back, is rooting for you, and will be there in the next session eager to either celebrate your success or help you to learn from a failure is a HUGE factor in people’s willingness to choose to step beyond that comfort zone and to begin exploring the extent of their true abilities. The best coach will always encourage you to stretch beyond your own perceived limits to see what happens, and what typically does happen is that people will find that they are far more capable beyond those limits than they had ever dared imagine. That’s why so much potential gets unlocked though a coaching engagement.


If you find yourself in a perpetual cycle of training without ever really growing, if you’re feeling stuck or unfulfilled in your career, if you feel like you’ve hit a glass ceiling, then this is your invitation to explore the possible impact that coaching could have for you. We believe in it, because we know it works. And we believe in you, Leader, because…well, that’s what coaches do!

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