Admitting You're Wrong

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September 26, 2011

Getting Naked by Patrick LencioniAfter hearing Patrick Lencioni at the recent Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, picking up his book Geting Naked  was a natural next step.  In some ways, it's a typical Lencioni business fable, with the protagonist going through a personal development struggle and coming out the other end with a newfound understanding of who he/she is, his/her circumstances and a very bright outlook on the next phase of life.

But this book differs from Lencioni's other books in some significant ways, the most important being it's continued emphasis on owning up when you make a mistake.  The core ideas of the book center on being vulnerable with your clients, and a quick move to own your mistakes (even poking fun at them) is helpful for coaches. 

Any experienced coach has been in a situation where--no matter how true to solid coaching practice you've been--the coaching relationship ends up taking the leader somewhere that isn't helpful.  Lencioni advocates taking one for the relationship in this situation, owning the mis-direction so the leader doesn't take their eyes of the end result.  What would hapen in your coaching if you did this every time a misdirection happens?

The implications are profound...imagine truly coming alongside a client to help them find the route to what they're trying to accomplish.  When something gets in the way, YOU become the means by which it gets out.  You'd need to be confident, and focused on where the client is going, even beyond your identity as their coach.  What do you think?  Could you do that consistently?

If coaching is an other-centered process...this would be a great way to demontrate!

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