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The Power of Not Knowing

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The Power of Not Knowing

Mini series

What is Organisational Coaching?

Part 1 – The Power of Questions

Part 2 – Taking a Step Back

Part 3 – The Power of Not Knowing

Part 4 – What we’ve learnt about Organisational Coaching

Picture of Glenn Widelko

Glenn Widelko

Coach, Supervisor & Programmes

Building on part 1 and 2 of our mini-series on ‘What is organisational coaching?’, where we previously explored this question in the context of the power of the question itself and our assumptions about definitions, part 3 of this series explores this question in the context of the power of not knowing, something we seldom pause to consider.

Inherent in the idea of setting definitions aside, something we explored in Part 2, is the power of not knowing. Mastery in any profession is about letting go of all that we think we know and to be there in-the-moment, allowing what needs to be known to arise of-the-moment.

Rather than driven by our tendency towards preconceived ideas that impede direct observation in the present, when we set aside our ideas and actually see, hear, taste, touch and smell what is right in front of us, we begin to notice in a way that is exceptional and what we need to know, how we need to serve our clients, is drawn out of us, of-the-moment – something that is profound and subtle and it requires disciplined self-mastery.

The wise tell us that we can never put our foot in the same river twice. And coaching is no different. What worked in one engagement is not necessarily what will work in the next engagement. Mastery in coaching, no different to any other profession, is to avoid our insecure projections and superimpositions of trying to cling on to our preferred river as a comfort blanket. Instead, mastery in coaching is to step into our stretch zones and embrace the power of not knowing, so we can show up in a way that embraces nature’s ebb and flow in the river of life, meeting our clients where they are ‘at’ without any superimpositions of any kind.

In this way, while we think we know what one-to-one and team coaching are, those ideas are at best only at the entry and intermediate levels, reflecting our need for some training wheels. Yet, when the coaching profession starts to think differently, the reality is, we do not really know what coaching is, because, with that particular client, it hasn’t happened yet and we can never put our foot in the same river twice. And organisational coaching is no different – we cannot say what organisational coaching is, simply because it is yet to happen with the next client.

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