In today’s world to be a successful business owner you must also be a good coach.

With complexity everywhere, owners need to have a team of agile employees. This occurs when dynamic coaching is happening.

In Doug Silsbee’s book ‘Presence Based Leadership’ he creates a 9-pane approach to this where he talks about;

  1. Sensing as receiving information and energy.
  2. Being as processing this information and energy and
  3. Acting as expressing the information and energy.

These are his vertical headings.

But the fun comes when he creates the three horizontal panes. The three panes are;

  1. Context (which reflects the complex situations around us)
  2. Identity (coach and coachee) who I see myself to be, which is affected by the context and
  3. Soma – which Silsbee refers to as our psychobiology (what our body and reactions are telling us).

What is fascinating here is that these are nested with each other and as you receive and process the information and energy these change dynamically.

So, when interacting with a team member, the coach will have in mind a context for the discussion. When sensing into the conversation, the identities of both parties will show up and these can take many forms like; anger, curiosity, fear, concern, and excitement. At the same time, the team member will exhibit their own psychobiology showing up. Changes in body position, the neck getting a burst of colour, eyes looking up or down, twitching and other cues can be given, much like a tell in a poker game. Questions clarifying perspecitves can trigger either person’s soma into action.

Every change that occurs will affect the initial context; it is like a dynamic dance with curiosity at its core. The coach is looking at how this unfolds to determine the next steps. Because it is a highly intentional process, the coachee feels heard and recognised for what they are feeling. The conversation is clean and honest.

Diagram by Bruce Roberts

Coming back to agility, this process engages both the coach and coachee in a dynamic fluid process that enables both to traverse the complex landscape and be on the same page, or at least close.

In today’s business environment, the presence of complexity means we have to try new things, we can’t analyse in an emergent space, so being flexible and trying new and untested things becomes important. But here’s the thing, a lot of managers don’t like failure or rejection, and this approach requires failing often and failing fast (the hallmark of success in a volatile and uncertain world).

Silsbee’s process leaves egos at the door and gives us the process to be courageous, to venture into unchartered territory, and to put our best foot forward. I recommend Doug’s book as a must-read for today’s business owner.

The Alternative Board - OwnersAuckland WestBecoming a good coach and a successful business owner
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