In todays culture the concept of ownership seems to take a backseat. If someone makes a mistake, we look for someone to blame. If a decision needs to be made, we look for someone to tell us what to do. In our culture we see lots of titles for people in professions, that I see high value for specific situations and yet it is because we either are used to telling people what to do or we want to be told what to do that titles such as 'Consultant, Therapist or Counselor, Pastor, Leader, Mentor and list goes on. I have found that because of my background in counseling, having served as a leader in mental health and in ministry that it is so very easy to hear a problem and want to rush to provide a solution. As leaders, we pride ourselves in knowledge from our past to provide people the answer to their problems. Granted, there are times that we have information that needs to be shared for clarity to a situation.
Here is the problem, knowledge, even what has been effective for us in the past, is not as eye opening or powerful as generating insight in the other person. For when we own our discovery of what can help us move forward something powerful occurs. I know, as a leader, I find myself thinking or assuming I have the key to solving another persons problems or I can help tham achieve their goals. Don't misunderstand me in what I am saying. I too believe that information equals power. I see it as critical and I find myself listening to leadership podcasts, reading books, exploring the experts in the field in many different areas. Yet this is but one way of learning. There is a deeper learning that creates ownership and it goes beyond existing knowledge. In coaching one can create a deeper level of learning that will, create new ideas, applications and actions that neither you as the expert (consultant, therapist, pastor, or friend) or the coachee would be aware of without the coaching presence.
In his book the COACH Model, Keith E Webb, explores the difference between knowledge and questions; as powerful questions occur in Coaching. You see coaching creates an environment where the coachee is able to look at their situation from multiple perspective that are generated out of powerful questions. Keith says this is the difference;
"Knowledge is past;
Questions are future.
Knowledge is static;
Questions are dynamic.
Knowledge is rigid;
Questions are flexible.
Knowledge limits options;
Questions creates possibilities.
Knowledge is a location;
Questions are a journey.
Knowledge can be superior;
Questions require humility.
Inside a powerful question is a tool that helps the coachee open up new roads to find answers. Coaching stimulates deeper level reflection for new perspective. Where they were stuck looking at a problem from one perspective; the coach asks questions that stimulates a new thinking process and leads to new insights, directions and goals.
So I know you are thinking, how can questions lead to change and create ownership in ones life? Jane Vella and adult educator says, "Open questions are the single sure practice that invites critical thinking and effective learning." "You see as an adult you and those around you learn best through open dialogue and questions promote this level of dialogue where critical thinking can occur. This leads to seeing and examining a situation or problem from different perspectives or sides." [COACHING Model]
As one who has sat in the role of a Leader, Consultant, Counselor, Pastor, Mentor and Friend; I know the inclination of a man is to give advice. While their are moments this is useful, it shuts down critical thinking. It limits the person from seeing through a problem and finding a solution they were apart of and limits their level of "ownership". If I tell you what to do and it fails. You see it as my fault. If I help you gain clarity through powerful questions, peeling back the layers of the situation, helping you state from your thoughts and insights what you can do to move forward; you are creating solutions and in that it creates ownership. When its your situation and your solution and you know you will speak with your Coach about your progress change happens more dynamically.
As you sit here today reading this what camp do you fall in? Do you take ownership or are you stuck in your problems playing the blame game? Its time to take action. Its time to seize the day. Its time to get a Life Coach who has ICF training to help you get from where you are to where you want to go. In fact you may not know where you want to go, you cant see through the trees to find a way out of the forest. A life Coach will help you get out of where you are and move you forward faster, more efficiently and with greater insight and ownership in life.
Ready for change? Contact us today and we will get things moving forward in your life and take ownership for your future.