During the last century, we became increasingly over reliant on left brain logic, to help solve problems, get us out of financial fixes and provide health solutions. But over the last 10 years or so, we have started to see that logic alone doesn’t solve everything.
Successful leaders, whatever organisation they are part of, understand the art of unlocking creativity and skilfully weaving ideas into a tangible form. They recruit the best that the left brain has to offer, with the adaptability and innovation of the right brain, to produce amazing outcomes and cutting edge services and products.
When talking about leadership, Margaret Wheatley makes this clear:
“If we don’t start to learn as leaders who people are, what they are capable of, what their potential is, how creative most people can be… then we are not going to succeed. A profound shift in our culture has to take place… that evokes our creativity and brings out the best of each person’s talent”
The Coaching profession really understands this, and it’s not just the realm of leadership and executive coaching. Supporting a creative vision while it is developing, protecting it during its fragile, seed like state and helping it grow, is a key role for all coaches, whether they work with small businesses, large corporations or with individuals wanting to write their first book.
Many of us have ideas.Unless we take steps to translate that into reality, it’s just an idea.
Coaching is often used to help generate ideas or vision, however coming up with an idea is often the easy part, translating that idea into reality, is much harder. At the start, a good coach will help people to clarify their idea or vision. This will include “testing” the idea both theoretically and practically. Coaches help people to see how their idea or vision will fit with their lives or the wider business.
This is all part of a creative process which is not linear and hops between the left and right sides of the brain. A skilled coach will help the “corpus callosum” get really toned up (this is the part of the brain which connects the left and right hemispheres and its essential when trying to turn right brain creative ideas into reality). Skillful questioning, alongside on-going visioning is key to turning the “intangible” into a tangible form, whatever that may be.
During this process, many fears and barriers will surface. This might include tackling any negativity which surfaces, for example: “we don’t have the resources or time to do this” or “management will never buy into this” or “I just don’t have any space in my life to write” or “I’m not good enough”. Whether they belong to an individual or a team, a coach will help identify the barriers and work to reduce them or find ways round.
When faced with the enormity of bringing an idea to life, overwhelm often sets in and can cause all sorts of challenges including procrastination, self-doubt and self-sabotage. Coaches understand how to overcome these common problems and support people by breaking down tasks into achievable steps and maintaining accountability so that people keep going. Generating a time bounded, structured plan which allows the flexibility that emerging ideas require, is one of coaching’s major strengths.
Making sure that the plan is understood by all and time isn’t wasted by mis-understandings is crucial. Issues arising from poor interpretation and communication can also hinder moral. A coach will, therefore, help ensure that communication is maintained between all key parties involved. This might include the development of a common language, which is often needed when developing something completely new.
Coaching received from an experienced, adaptable, accredited coach will ensure that the process of translating a vision into a strategy is understood by all and that momentum is maintained. Sometimes, things take time to emerge, but unless momentum of some sort is maintained, those great ideas will never become more than scribbles of red marker pen, on flip chart paper, hidden at the back of the filing cabinet.