Friday 14 October 2016

More Learning From my Dark Side

I have blogged a few times about the Hogan tools, and my learning from them. In particular, here I talked about the insight into myself generated by the famous Dark Side tool, and the fact that my dark side high-risk factors are an odd mix: high Reserve along with high Colourful and high Imaginative.

Well, Hogan is the gift that keeps giving. Yesterday, in a supervisory session with the excellent Jan Allon-Smith, another light came on. We were discussing my coaching (as you might expect in a coaching supervision session) and some particular questions I had about it, and Jan asked how the Hogan tools might inform my thinking.

It proved to be a very rich question, and I realised that my coaching, when I am not at my best, could be reasonably characterised as Reserved (in the ways meant by the Hogan use of the term). That led to a great discussion about what more Colourful or more Imaginative coaching might look like - and the recognition that sometimes my coaching does look like that, and I think it is the better for it. That is to say, it can be more fun, and more risky; and I allow more of myself to show through. 

That is not always appropriate, of course; and further, my Reserve is necessary to stop the Colourful or the Imaginative approaches from moving the focus from the coachee onto me, or from intimidating the coachee and failing to create that learning environment which is a sine qua non of coaching.  

So I am not going to jettison some of my Reserved behaviours: they go very well with a highly attentive approach to listening, as Nancy Kline's model (of which I am a big fan) advocates. But I think I had allowed them to dominate some of the more Colourful and Imaginative behaviours in my coaching (and to a lesser extent in my facilitation) and that had reduced the range of my repertoire.

I found this a very energising, exciting and slightly scary conversation - what de Haan would call a critical incident in our coaching supervision meeting.  Now the challenge is to integrate the insights gained in conversation with Jan to my practice: so if you have a coaching meeting booked with me, you may want to see if you see me as more Imaginative (though not, I hope eccentric, which is the risk) or more Colourful (though not I hope too dramatic, which is the associated risk with Colourful).

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