Saturday 17 November 2018

Coaching on Purpose

Karen Mason
Today's CPD event at the Cumbria Coaching Network was led by Karen Mason.  Intriguingly, it was called Coaching on Purpose, and I went therefore, to shed my habit of accidental coaching...

What Karen really wanted to explore with us, of course, was how we coach clients who are wanting to clarify or define their sense of purpose; and for this she introduced us to a model apprently drawn from the Japanese understanding of Ikigai (which may best be translated as raison d'être... or what Viktor Frankl might term meaning, in its most profound sense)

The model is very simple, and similar to one I have used for career transition coaching for years.  However, it has one additional circle.  My model considers Aspirations, Strengths and Opportunities. The Ikigai model shared by Karen has What you Love, What you're Good At, and What you Can be Paid For, which are closely analogous. But it has an additional circle: What the World Needs.

So a few questions arise, of course.  One is whether the labels I have used are more or less useful than the different, but analagous Ikigai labels. A second is whether the additional consideration of What the World Needs is valuable.

In our discussions at CCNet this morning, some felt that last consideration was too daunting: what the world needs is no Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un, someone suggested; but that is beyond our capacity to influence.  Others suggested that we might re-formulate it to be What Our World Needs, but others felt that was losing something of the meaning of the model.

For myself, I think one can choose to focus on the question in ways that are helpful rather than unhelpful - and indeed one could have an interesting conversation with a coaching client about whether they are choosing to answer the question in ways that are within (or potentially within) another circle - the one Covey refers to as the circle of influence. Focusing our attention obsessively on things that distress us that are outside our circle of influence is a great way to disempower ourselves.

For me, the overlaps of three circles, omitting a fourth, and their descriptors, were suggestive: these could almost serve as a diagnostic tool in some contexts: what is lacking from your Ikigai that is making you less fulfilled than you could be?

In the practical session, co-coaching using the model as a starting point, my co-coach and I both found the model stimulated interesting and thought-provoking conversations, though we took some licence with how closely we stuck to the content of the circles.  So I will play with this a bit more, think further on it, and possibly, in due course, unleash it on a client...

No comments:

Post a Comment