Last week, I was facilitating some learning modules for a high-potential leadership program. One module was on “coaching.” After sharing some key principles and a simple tool, I asked the group to practice on a real situation of mine. I’ve used this approach with many classes, but here is what was different last week.

  1. The situation was still in progress for me.
  2. Describing the situation, I realized what a bind I had gotten myself into.
  3. I really needed some new thinking and I was anxious about the situation.

What was different? In past examples, I had already made myself vulnerable to my trusted advisors and my answer was clear.

I walked away with two great outcomes:

  1. I was humbled by how vulnerable I felt with this group of terrific leaders digging right in to help me thinking about the problem. I felt a little embarrassed that some of the ideas were simple and right on target.
  2. This group of eight leaders stayed in the coaching principles, asking great questions–broad and razor sharp. I can’t even remember if they took it to the “here are my ideas” stage in the conversation.

I’m proud to say that I was a good coachee, engaging in their questions, being honest, taking ownership about what I wanted to do as a result of the 5-minute interaction. FIve minutes…great value for a seriously short timeframe.

If you haven’t asked your team or colleagues for coaching lately, I highly recommend you do. If you are interested, Coaching is a written piece I share with my clients.