The pursuit of excellence and the power of vulnerability

Coaching, Leadership Development

I’ve been reflecting this week on excellence.

Excellence is a core value for us here at Cognomie. As an internal driver ensuring we are always striving for better. And as a more external sense of purpose, striving to help more individuals, teams and businesses achieve more than they thought possible. And it’s been a personal value for me throughout my career as a driving force for turning my passionate belief that transformational coaching can create insight and empower lives and unlock vast potential into a reality. To be transformative, excellence in coaching is essential.

However excellence is one of those words that is easy to talk about or to claim and harder to deliver, or to be.

An experience I had this week triggered some reflection on this.

One of the “tools” that we have in place to help our coaches deliver excellence is a regular supervision Workshop where our coaches can get together to share experiences, discuss best practice and have a supportive, “safe space” where they can share the emotional impact of their coaching experience, as well as to share practical advice.

The supervision is structured around the coaching principles of the space being Normative (a place to appreciate others’ similar experiences), Formative (a place to learn and grow together) and Restorative (a place to restore what is needed to function fully as a coach).

Part of my role is to act as a moderator in this forum.

In a recent session one of the coaches used this space to share some very challenging experiences they had had recently whilst working with an organisation.

I reflected on a couple of things that are essential to me/us as Cognomie as we support excellence across our Community.

The first was the importance of being able to create a space that allows people to be vulnerable, and in turn, the importance of allowing vulnerability into our behaviour ourselves and its role in personal development. Sharing experiences, reflecting on them, learning from them and taking that experience and developing ourselves from it. In the pursuit of our own excellence, we need to allow this vulnerability to be part of our lives.

The second was the importance of excellence in creating a safe space in order to be able to express that vulnerability securely. It’s something that can be assumed as easy to attain, but it’s not. Trust and belief in those around you, in order to allow vulnerability to have the space it needs to breathe is not something that comes easily. Holding that space to allow support, to empathise, but not influence or judge, requires expertise and excellence of well trained and experienced practitioners.

It gave me pride in the other coaches that attended the session with me. The space that we created as a coaching Community to allow the vulnerability the space to breathe. The process that we have created as an organisation to ensure our coaches have this time and space to enable this essential activity to happen.

In summary, attaining excellence is hard. That, in the pursuit of excellence, one of the hardest aspects is the need to allow ourselves to become vulnerable, in order to grow and learn from experience. And accepting that vulnerability has an important role to play in our work life and our personal life. Finally, it requires excellence to achieve the space that allows vulnerability to happen.

by | 15 Mar 2022

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