How do we create

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How do we create “us-ness” as leaders?

I have come to believe that as leaders, we regularly underestimate what is required for the building of trust, and for the development of a rich, lively, and contactful professional relationship.

This is often the case whether the coachee has sought coaching help, or has been told by superiors to accept coaching.

While many of us enjoy the process of learning, very few of us move quickly and easily into a relationship that we feel forced to enter, or one in which we feel diminished relative to someone else’s. 

Even for the most psychologically hearty, self-esteem can be fragile. Consequently, it can be easily compromised in the presence of another who is hierarchically positioned to teach us things we believe we should know.

This situation is clearly exacerbated in organizational settings in which ongoing evaluation and review are standard practice. Ironically, it is early on in a coaching relationship, when trust is most fragile, that coaches, in an effort to demonstrate their proficiency, often make missteps by trying to establish their own expertise.

In fact, what is often most needed early on in the relationship is to focus on diminishing the hierarchical qualities of the student/teacher relationship, while supporting a connection centered on equality and similarities. Initially and throughout the coaching process, therefore, coaches must work to create an atmosphere of “us-ness.”

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