. 2
( 8)


encourage clients who are focused on improving interpersonal
relationships to expand their insight to include gaining insight
from the emotional context of these relationships. Clients who
hold responsibilities that include groups, teams, or working
28 Coaching That Counts

with networks of people in some way often ¬nd that as they
gain facility at tuning into and dealing with the emotional
dynamics of situations, they have more intuitive information
available to them than they had previously noticed. The
demands of these more complex situations provide the fodder
for deepening intuitive insight, as clients ¬nd that it is not pos-
sible to have complete information all of the time and work at
the pace that most environments demand. The jump to inspi-
rational insight is often just a matter of having the courage to
act on intuitive insights that expand the client and the client™s
organization in a new direction. As the complexity of experi-
ences increases, the roots of insight grow deeper and wider.
Each level of insight supports the next. Re¬‚ection is an integral
part of emotional insight, just as emotional insight is an essen-
tial component of intuitive insight, and inspiration is a more
evolved form of intuition. Each level of insight forms a foun-
dation for the next. As insight deepens, clients will not differ-
entiate between one level and another. Just as a tree uses all of
its roots, clients will tend to use all of their insight once they
have access to it.

The Leading with Insight Model

The Leading with Insight model is a developmental model of
coaching that delivers transformational change for individuals and
organizations. It looks at coaching from the perspective of the
client™s experience and focuses on the personal development that
underlies the coaching relationship. The Leading with Insight model
is designed to serve as a foundational roadmap for transformational
coaching. On the surface, each coaching engagement looks differ-
ent. One client may be working on transitioning from being a
manager to taking on a leadership role, while another is focused on
expanding his leadership style to incorporate a more collaborative
approach to working with others. The Leading with Insight model
shows how personal development is connected to increasingly
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 29

deeper levels of insight and how together they support increasingly
more complex levels of change for clients. The Leading with Insight
model illuminates the developmental work that happens below the
surface of transformational coaching engagements and, in doing so,
helps us to better understand some of the elements that make coach-
ing such a powerful personal development process.
Let™s turn our attention to the Leading with Insight model that is
presented in Figure 2.1. The Leading with Insight model has four
quadrants. Each quadrant explores a deeper level of client develop-
ment and supports the realization of increasingly complex coaching
goals. The four quadrants are:

Quadrant 1: Finding Focus
This ¬rst quadrant focuses on personal effectiveness and enabling
clients to ¬nd their focus and get physically centered.
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges
This quadrant supports clients in enhancing the effectiveness of
interpersonal relationships through the development of emo-
tional insight.
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment
In this quadrant clients focus on achieving goals involving teams,
groups and organizations supported by the development of their
intuitive insight.
Quadrant 4: Original Action
In this quadrant clients are inspired to achieve goals they may not
even have imagined when they ¬rst began their coaching work.

Most clients enter coaching through Quadrant 1. The develop-
ment in each quadrant serves as the foundation for the next. Not all
clients will progress through all of the quadrants. The factors that
impact how far a client progresses through the four quadrants are
discussed at the end of this chapter.
This chapter provides an overview of the Leading with Insight
model, illustrated through a case study. The remaining chapters in
Who do
Who do

Coaching That Counts
IIwant to be?
want to be? Creating
2 3

What do
Emotional Intuitive What do
What am
What am I want to
I want to
IImade of?
made of?
Reflective Inspirational

1 4
What do Original
What do
IIneed to do
need to do

The Leading with InsightTM model.
Figure 2.1
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 31

this section explore each of the quadrants of the model in greater
detail and provide approaches for working with the concepts that
are introduced.

Essential Questions

The coaching process is guided by the questions that clients ask and
answer about themselves. While coaching clients are focused on
realizing the goals they set for themselves, they are simultaneously
exploring their own inner makeup and choosing who and what
they want to become. Four essential questions anchor the coaching
process from the clients™ point of view. Clients enter into the coach-
ing process asking “What do I need to do now?” This practical ques-
tion helps clients identify the gap between where they are right now
and where they want or need to be to realize their aspirations. As
coaching progresses, clients are challenged to discover and put into
action elements of themselves that are not part of their regular lineup
of responses. Through their expanding interactions with others, they
begin to explore the question “What am I made of?” Clients who
stick with coaching will eventually be faced with the question “Who
do I want to be?” as they choose to bring how they work into
alignment with their own values. The clients who continue their
personal development consider the question “What do I want to
create?” Answering this question enables the leaders to explore how
to leverage their considerable capabilities for value creation.
While the asking and answering of these essential questions may
not occur explicitly in all coaching engagements, the exploration of
these themes is a strong current that ¬‚ows beneath the surface of
transformational coaching work.

Quadrant 1: Finding Focus

We will explore each of the Leading with Insight quadrants by fol-
lowing the progress of Donna, the director in charge of a 40-person
IT services department. Considered a high-potential manager,
32 Coaching That Counts

Donna was offered the opportunity to work with an executive coach
as part of a leadership development initiative within her organiza-
tion. Her primary goal was to improve the client satisfaction scores
for her IT services department, and in the process to begin to make
the transition from solid manager to leader.
Donna was a consistent overachiever who drove herself hard to
attain her goals and expected her people to do the same. Donna™s
coach suggested conducting a series of multirater feedback inter-
views to gain insight into Donna™s management style, strengths, and
developmental opportunities. Some of the themes that showed up
in the feedback interviews were surprising to Donna. She learned
that although her people respected her intelligence, integrity, and
drive to achieve, many resented the unrealistic expectations Donna
set for them and her persistent habit of taking over their work if she
felt that it was going to deviate from what she wanted. Many of her
colleagues and coworkers stated that Donna could become impa-
tient when the pressure was high. It was clear to Donna and her
coach that Donna would need to focus on developing a more
collaborative style of leadership to lead her team to the next level.
Donna™s coach suggested that a good place to begin their coach-
ing work was to examine some of the patterns in Donna™s personal
habits that led her to be short or impatient with others. Donna™s
coach asked her to notice what she did during the day that con-
tributed to her sense of impatience. Upon re¬‚ection, Donna noted
that she tended to overbook her schedule so that she was constantly
running behind. She also noticed that she was a chronic multitasker.
As a result, she often felt like her attention was fractured, and small
annoyances could cause her to snap.
Armed with this awareness, Donna made some small but signi¬-
cant changes in her personal management, including managing her
schedule more tightly so that she could focus on what she was doing
and get work done between meetings. She also became more attuned
to when she was becoming impatient and started to implement
approaches suggested by her coach to calm herself down before she
got to the snapping point. Within six weeks of working with her
coach, Donna was feeling much more in control of her life.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 33

Key Themes of Quadrant 1

Quadrant 1 is the space for enhancing personal effectiveness.
Personal effectiveness is the ability to make and execute good
choices regarding the management and focus of one™s time and
energy. Quadrant 1 lays the foundation for the Leading with
Insight model. Donna had set much more aggressive coaching
goals for herself than just improving her personal effectiveness,
but she needed to create a stronger focus for her time and
energy as a foundation for achieving her goals. As long as
Donna is racing around at breakneck speed, she will derive little
value from coaching and will not be able to progress her coach-
ing work effectively to the other quadrants.
Re¬‚ective insight is enhanced in Quadrant 1. As clients enter into
coaching, one of the most effective tools for opening the client
to both the need for and the possibility of change is awareness.
Until Donna™s coach asked her to notice the things that con-
tributed to her stress, Donna was unaware of how her habits
of multitasking and overscheduling were affecting her and her
team. By re¬‚ecting on her choices, Donna became motivated
to take new approaches to organizing her time and getting her
work done. Quadrant 1 illuminates the habits that are not
working and works on ¬nding more effective solutions.
Physical centeredness opens the door to Quadrant 2. In order to
move to Quadrant 2, clients must be able to calm their minds
and bodies from time to time in order to be able to re¬‚ect and
make choices. Without this fundamental piece of personal
development, clients will not ¬nd their focus and will not be
able to progress their development any further. Let™s return to
Donna and see how being more focused and physically cen-
tered has affected her and her team.

Quadrant 2: Building Bridges

After six weeks of coaching, Donna™s direct reports began to
comment to Donna that she seemed different. Most could not quite
34 Coaching That Counts

put their ¬ngers on the change, but they used phrases such as “more
relaxed” and “less intense.” Donna was pleased about this reaction
and eager to continue her progress. As an overachiever, she wanted
to be a “great coaching client.”
As Donna™s stress level started to recede, she became more aware
of her tendency to take over parts of her staff ™s projects whenever
she felt that a deadline was at risk. Donna recognized that this
pattern was causing her to feel overwhelmed at times and it was pre-
venting her people from learning how to deal with the challenges of
meeting deadlines. Donna noted that it was easier for her to take
over for others than it was to enter into the sometimes emotionally
charged conversations that are part and parcel of holding people
accountable for their deliverables.
With the help of her coach, Donna began to explore how to read
her own emotional reactions and recognize the emotions of others,
as she experimented with new ways of negotiating with her staff for
deadlines and holding them accountable for the results that were
agreed on. Not everything went smoothly, but eventually, Donna™s
staff started stepping up to the plate and delivering their work more
consistently on time. Donna found that the shift from taking over
her managers™ work to coaching them to successfully take on new
challenges had rewards that she had not anticipated for herself and
her team. There was less ¬nger pointing and fewer ¬ery ¬‚are ups.
It took about two months and lots of reinforcement for Donna
to feel more at ease with stepping into dif¬cult conversations. Over
that time, she explored these and other concepts in a variety of set-
tings and was really starting to appreciate that she had evolved an
effective and authentic communications style that was truly her

Key Themes of Quadrant 2

Quadrant 2 is the space for enhancing interpersonal effectiveness.
Clients focus on broadening and deepening their abilities to
interact authentically and effectively with others in one-on-one
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 35

relationships. For some clients, this means addressing dif¬cult
interactions with peers, for others it can involve developing
stronger ties with key constituents in their network of in¬‚u-
ence, and still others may need to address their ability to effec-
tively manage others. Donna had to learn to hold her managers
accountable for their deliverables instead of taking over their
assignments. Although coaching situations are diverse, the
central themes are often similar: helping clients become clear
on the essence of what they want to communicate, guiding
clients to articulate clearly what they want to create through
their communications, and working on crafting a unique and
effective communications style for the client.
Emotional insight is enhanced in Quadrant 2. The main source
of insight for Quadrant 2 is the insight that comes from learn-
ing to discern and decipher one™s own emotions and the emo-
tional context of situations. At her coach™s request, Donna
started to tune into her own emotional reactions when dealing
with her managers. When she was centered, Donna began to
notice the telltale signs that she was becoming anxious about
her managers™ abilities to meet a deadline. Rather than take her
usual step of doing the work for them, Donna began to discuss
her concerns with her managers in order to ¬nd workable solu-
tions. This led to the team deciding to implement an update
system that allowed everyone to know where they were in terms
of meeting deadlines. Donna now regularly tunes into her emo-
tions to gain valuable information for guiding her interactions
with her team.
Emotional centeredness opens the door to Quadrant 3. Emotional
centeredness is the ability to tune into one™s own emotions and
the emotional context of situations in order to derive valuable
information that is used to move the situation forward and
deepen relationships. People who are emotionally centered are
able to participate in emotionally charged situations without
being taken over by their own emotions or the emotions
of others. The physical centeredness of Quadrant 1 is the
36 Coaching That Counts

foundation on which emotional centeredness is built. Donna
found that by calming down and tuning in, she was able to ¬nd
successful ways to engage in conversations she had previously
avoided. As a result of this change, Donna™s leadership style was
becoming more collaborative. This was new for Donna, and she
was enjoying the change. With this success under her belt,
Donna felt ready to tackle some of the bigger challenges she
had set for herself.

Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment

Although the IT services department was organized into client
service teams, most of the representatives for the various services
tended to work independently, rarely interacting with the other
representatives on their client team except for updates and reports.
Donna believed that if the client facing teams were to work
more effectively together to understand and meet the needs of the
clients, it would be a win for everyone involved. This would entail a
huge shift in outlook as well as in working arrangements for the
entire department. Donna was not sure where to start. In the past,
Donna more or less presented her ideas to her managers and
expected them to toe the line and get it done. Her gut instinct told
her that this approach would not work in this case, however, and
would erode the gains she had made to become a more collabora-
tive leader.
Donna decided to bring her idea into a coaching conversation.
Donna™s coach asked her to intuitively think how she wanted to
approach this change. After some re¬‚ection, Donna noted that her
own management team functioned more as a collection of individ-
uals than as a team. Donna engaged her team members in dialogue
about what it really meant to be a team and, based on the recom-
mendations that surfaced, the team chartered a new course for itself.
The changes that ensued created stronger ties within Donna™s man-
agement team and was naturally carried by the managers into their
own teams.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 37

The change process was not always smooth sailing, but Donna™s
coach encouraged her to look at the underlying dynamics of team
interactions when the team ran into dif¬culties. With practice,
Donna gained con¬dence in her intuitive ability to detect and
surface unspoken concerns for the team to address directly. It was a
little unnerving for Donna at times, but she could see that her team
was really blossoming with this new approach.

Key Themes of Quadrant 3

Quadrant 3 is the space for enhancing group and team effective-
ness. The work in Quadrant 3 revolves around discerning how
to interact effectively and assume a leadership role in complex
situations, such as groups, teams, or even networks. Clients may
focus on launching new initiatives, in¬‚uencing an organization
in some way, or taking a new approach with an existing depart-
ment, as Donna did. There is often a component of gaining
greater clarity regarding the alignment of one™s values and the
focus of one™s work. Leadership styles are expanded, and clients
become clearer on what needs to shift or change to create better
alignment between who they are and how they work.
Intuitive insight is enhanced in Quadrant 3. Quadrant 3 affords
clients the opportunity to tap more deeply into their own intu-
itive knowing. As the environment in which a client operates
becomes more complex, intuition becomes an important
navigational instrument. Guided by her coach, Donna gained
con¬dence in her intuitive insights and used these insights to
smooth out the path forward for her emerging team. Donna
did not rely on intuition alone, but rather, integrated her
intuitive insights with her linear observations to make the best
choices she could in any given situation.
Intuitive centeredness opens the door to Quadrant 4. A person
who is intuitively centered trusts her intuitive insights and
easily integrates those insights with concrete, logical informa-
tion. Leaders who tend to overthink or overanalyze and have
38 Coaching That Counts

dif¬culty moving forward have not learned how to use this rich
resource to guide their decision making. The fullness of the
insight that Donna had already established through her work
in Quadrants 1 and 2 served as a solid foundation for her devel-
oping intuitive centeredness. When Donna was able to be calm
and tuned into her own experience, she noticed things that she
previously would have overlooked. The richness of this infor-
mation helped Donna pick up on dynamics that were imped-
ing the progress of her team. As Donna experienced more
success guiding the team in this new way, she found that she
was seeing opportunities for the department to develop that
she had not previously noticed.

Quadrant 4: Original Action

Donna continued to be delighted and amazed at how her team was
¬nding new ways to learn more about their clients and ¬nd innov-
ative solutions to meet the clients™ demands. Most of her managers
had shown a great deal of initiative infusing their own teams with a
new spirit of teamwork. As Donna re¬‚ected on the changes that the
department had made, it occurred to her that her organization pri-
marily waited for clients to make a request or ¬le a complaint before
taking action. Although they had become much more effective and
creative in responding to clients™ needs, little or no proactive effort
was being made to work directly with their clients to prevent issues
from occurring in the ¬rst place. Reaching out and working directly
with the client teams represented a major change in thinking and
approach not only for the department, but also for the company as
a whole.
Donna had never been one to deliberately stick her neck out too
far. She preferred to stay safely inside the box of clearly set expecta-
tions and deliver on those as quickly as possible. Donna knew that
leadership meant taking risks, and this was one risk that she felt
strongly was worth taking. Working with her coach, Donna began
to crystallize her thinking around creating proactive service teams.
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 39

As she engaged her managers in conversations to explore this idea
further, she received a wide range of reactions. She found herself
using every level of insight as she listened carefully to her managers™
hopes and concerns. Her coach encouraged her to take a much
broader organizational view and begin to discern the kind of
support that Donna would need to bring her idea to life. In¬‚uenc-
ing this complex network would put her leadership skills to the test.
Although she was not sure how it would turn out, Donna felt ready
for the challenge.

Key Themes of Quadrant 4

Quadrant 4 is the space of inspired leadership. The foundation
of personal and professional development in the previous three
quadrants lays the foundation for the inspirational leadership
that occurs in Quadrant 4. In this quadrant leaders experience
inspirational insight”a knowing that something new or dif-
ferent is possible. Quadrant 4 is the place of step change, where
new possibilities are recognized and attained. Clients typically
evolve into this space, drawn forward by an intense curiosity to
really experience their own potential and compelled to bring
into form the possibilities that are taking shape in their mind™s
eye. Donna faced many challenges as she worked to create these
new teams, and those challenges honed her into the leader she
had hoped to be when she started her coaching journey.
Inspirational insight is enhanced in Quadrant 4. Inspiration illu-
minates this quadrant. While working in this quadrant, clients
may identify new markets to serve, imagine new products to
produce, or articulate innovative approaches for cultivating
leadership in the organization. The outcomes are as varied as
the people who originate them. Although inspiration can occur
on any scale, this quadrant holds the most potential for affect-
ing entire organizations and systems.
Coaching is the path to personal power. The promise of the
Leading with Insight model is personal power. Clients who
40 Coaching That Counts

attain personal power rest easily in their own skin, con¬dent
that they possess an incredible depth of capabilities and have
the insight to focus their energy to make things happen. There
is generally a quiet ease and playful strength about these people
that naturally inspires others to expand their own horizons.
We need more of these people in our organizations and in
the world.

Key Concepts for the Leading with Insight Model

As we walk through the four quadrants of the Leading with Insight
model in more detail in the next four chapters, it is important to
keep the following key concepts in mind:

Relatively few clients engage in the full spectrum of development
described by the model. For several reasons, clients choose to
complete their coaching work at different stages in the model.
Some coaching engagements are cut off after a set period of
time, precluding clients from working their way through the
model. Clients may not be interested in developing their insight
or taking action beyond a certain level or may meet their coach-
ing goals without the development attained in later quadrants.
Other clients may attain a certain level of development and
then take a break from coaching to consolidate their gains
before returning to coaching at a later date, when they face a
new challenge.
Not all coaches have the capability to coach clients through
all four quadrants. In order for a coach to guide a client to
realize deeper levels of insight, the coach must have done the
personal development work to access his own intuition and
inspiration. As a result, some clients experiences are limited by
the capabilities of the coaches they are working with.
The development that is described by this model is woven into the
fabric of coaching relationships. The coaching that supports the
Leading with Insight model is accomplished on multiple
De¬ning the Space for Coaching 41

levels simultaneously. A coach who is skilled in transforma-
tional coaching will consistently encourage clients to access
deeper levels of insight, often without the clients realizing that
this is happening. It is not necessary for clients to be aware
of this full range of development in order to bene¬t from it.
Coaches earn the right to guide their clients through this devel-
opmental process by demonstrating repeatedly that they are
individuals of integrity and insight who can be trusted to do
this work.
Every client experiences the Leading with Insight model differ-
ently. Coaching is, after all, a personalized development process
that engages every client in a unique way. Some clients enter
into coaching having done a fair amount of personal develop-
ment already and may breeze through the ¬rst quadrant (and
sometimes the second). Most clients will be receiving coaching
in more than one quadrant at a time, perhaps still working to
gain control of their schedules (Quadrant 1) while ironing out
roles and responsibilities with coworkers (Quadrant 2). Clients
who work in Quadrants 3 and 4 may cycle back through Quad-
rants 1 and 2 to deepen their learning, especially when they take
on new challenges such as a promotion or a new stretch oppor-
tunity. They will work to shore up their ability to stay centered
and focused when the heat gets turned up to a higher degree
than they have experienced before.
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Quadrant 1: Finding Focus

Quadrant 1 is the place where coaching engagements typically
begin. In this space clients focus predominantly on making tactical
improvements to enhance their personal effectiveness, and create
the foundation for incorporating re¬‚ective insight into their lives.
For some clients, Quadrant 1 will be the main body of their coach-
ing work. For others, it will provide a solid base that opens the
door to the deeper learning of the other quadrants. The following
case study illustrates the dynamics of coaching work in the ¬rst

Case Study: Jane Gets Her Life Back

Jane was an HR manager in a large medical supply company. She
had held this role for several years, and generally enjoyed working
with her clients to resolve their various HR issues. Lately, though, it
seemed that her world was spinning out of control. A recent merger
had greatly increased the complexity and urgency of the work that
was being demanded of her. Jane™s boss was becoming concerned
that Jane seemed overwhelmed and generally unhappy. Her boss
suggested that Jane consider working with a coach to help her suc-
cessfully deal with the challenges of the merger environment.
Jane interviewed two coaches and chose to work with Amanda.
Initially, Amanda observed that Jane was:

44 Coaching That Counts

Chronically overbooking herself, often double-scheduling
Frequently working late to “get things done” because there was
not enough time between all of her meetings to accomplish
Having dif¬culty saying “no” to any request, and generally
perceived her role as one of “making everyone happy,” which
they rarely were
Often so stressed that she was having trouble concentrating
Occasionally short with people who happened to speak with
her when she was feeling overwhelmed

When Amanda asked Jane what she wanted to accomplish
through coaching, Jane wanted to ¬nd a way to serve the needs of
her clients without feeling constantly overwhelmed. After an exten-
sive onboarding process, Amanda and Jane outlined coaching goals
that included helping Jane better manage her stress levels, focus her
work on the top HR priorities of the client, and ¬nd more innova-
tive ways to meet her clients™ needs.
Initially, Jane found it dif¬cult to ¬nd time to even speak with
Amanda, but she knew that her boss was expecting to hear about
her progress, so she managed to squeeze in some time for her coach-
ing conversations. The ¬rst area that Amanda focused on was
helping Jane to clear some time in her schedule for her coaching
work. Together, they found ways for Jane to carve out some time on
her calendar, and Amanda was able to help Jane see that focusing on
personal management would provide bene¬ts for her and her
The ¬rst coaching conversations focused on helping Jane to get
clear on what was most important for her personally and profes-
sionally. Through these conversations, Jane became aware of just
how much her job had changed with the merger. Jane had responded
to the new demands by piling them on top of the old ones, rather
than stepping back and re¬‚ecting on what was most important to
accomplish. Amanda coached Jane to clarify with her boss what his
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 45

expectations were in this new environment. They agreed that getting
her clients through the merger process was the top priority, and they
discussed in greater detail what that constituted. Although there was
still a tremendous amount of work to do, Jane felt relieved that her
boss understood her predicament and would back her up on reduc-
ing the level of service that she was providing to some of her clients.
Personally, Jane wanted to be able to catch her breath from time
to time and to create some separation between work and her
family life.
In her coaching conversations, Jane reported that she often felt
overwhelmed by the demands of her clients and found herself trying
to do several things at once and getting little accomplished. One of
the ¬rst areas that Jane needed to address was remaining more bal-
anced and composed throughout the day. During a coaching session,
Amanda asked Jane to use re¬‚ective insight to identify the physical
sensations she felt that indicated her stress level was rising. Jane
noted, among other things, that she tended to feel more uptight and
she had a harder time focusing. Amanda assigned Jane the task of
noticing during the week the various things that contributed to
Jane™s stress level. At her next coaching session, Jane reported back
that her schedule was so tightly booked that she was constantly
rushing to meetings and rarely took time to eat. Instead, Jane fueled
her day with candy and sodas that left her feeling strung out.
Through conversation, Amanda and Jane were able to identify a
pattern of escalating stress. Amanda coached Jane on establishing
practices that allowed Jane more breathing space in her day, such as
leaving time between meetings and scheduling a lunch break. She
also taught Jane some simple techniques for centering her energy
when she noticed that she was becoming increasingly stressed. These
changes made a huge difference for Jane, and she began to feel as if
she was gaining some control over her life again. Jane found that she
was able to get more done in a shorter period and that she was
making better decisions because she wasn™t as frazzled as she had
been before coaching. With this success under her belt, Jane began
to look at how she prioritized her time.
46 Coaching That Counts

Again, practicing re¬‚ective insight, Jane noticed that she tended
to accept any request that her clients made of her, even if the work
was not within her purview. Jane decided that, based on her prior-
ities, she would need to reduce or eliminate her commitments to
some activities. Jane was deeply concerned about how others would
respond to this change. She worked with Amanda to ¬nd diplomatic
and direct language to set clear boundaries with her clients. She was
pleasantly surprised that, for the most part, her clients understood
her need to focus her efforts during this hectic time. Her plate was
still very full, but Jane felt as if she could breathe again. Better yet,
she could ¬nally see that she was making progress in helping her
clients move more smoothly through the merger process, and that
achievement gave her a sense of satisfaction that had been missing
for some time now.

Answering the “What Do I Need to Do?” Question

Everyone who enters into coaching has to grapple with some varia-
tion of the question “What do I need to do?” To become a coaching
client, a person has to have the desire to further his or her personal
and/or professional development in some way and must have the
willingness to make the necessary changes to realize development
goals. Asking this question, or some variation of it, initiates the
coaching engagement and opens the door into the coaching space.
Sometimes clients answer the “What do I need to do?” question
with a list of outcomes designed to alleviate symptoms that are
plaguing the person. Joe may feel that he is not getting enough done
with his time, so he wants to become more organized, or Patty real-
izes that her relationship with her team members is a little rocky,
and she wants to improve her ability to work effectively in a team
environment. In these cases, it is the coaches™ role to help clients
uncover and address the root causes for these problems. Some clients
are uncertain what they need to focus on. They may have a sense
that something needs to be changed to improve their effectiveness,
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 47

address feelings of being overwhelmed, or rekindle their enthusiasm
for their work, but they are uncertain as to what that something may
be. In these cases, the ¬rst work of the coaching relationship is often
to explore this question “What do I need to do?” in greater depth to
gain an understanding of the path coaching will take.

Making Space for Change

Quadrant 1 focuses on personal effectiveness, the ability to make
good choices regarding the management and focus of time and
energy. The coaching outcomes in this quadrant are most typically
tactical improvements in personal management. Clients prioritize
their time more effectively, they clean up and clear out old projects
and old habits that are getting in their way, and they begin to bring
their personal and professional lives back into some kind of dynamic
Examples of Quadrant 1 coaching goals include the following:

Become more organized
Prioritize appropriately
Manage stress
Set clear personal goals
Attain goals on time
Create a stronger professional presence
Become centered

Clients who will work predominantly in Quadrant 1 tend to enter
coaching feeling unorganized, overwhelmed, stressed, and/or unfo-
cused. Regardless of the symptoms they are describing, there is a
fundamental need to address some old habits of thinking and
getting work done that have probably been successful in the past,
but are now impeding the person™s abilities to function at the level
required to be satis¬ed and successful in the current position. Both
48 Coaching That Counts

satisfaction and success are important. One of the more common
habits that coaches see is the tendency for clients to throw them-
selves completely into their work until they accomplish their goals.
This approach often enables people to be successful, but as their
success is rewarded with more and more responsibility, they ¬nd
themselves working harder and harder, and they eventually burn
out; they are increasingly successful but with lower levels of personal
satisfaction. The ¬rst quadrant is the space where clients bring their
personal work habits back into alignment with what matters most
to them.

Quadrant 1 Touchstones

Each quadrant has four touchstones, which are areas of development
that all clients will need to have a minimum level of facility with in
order to move on to the next quadrant. These building blocks open
the door to deeper levels of insight. The touchstones in a particular
quadrant re¬‚ect the core learning that underlies the great variety of
tangible outcomes that are achieved in that quadrant. Together, the
touchstones in each quadrant serve as a foundation for the devel-
opment in the next quadrant. Quadrant 1 touchstones are intro-
duced as follows, including references to how these touchstones play
out in the case study:

1. Commit to change
2. Cultivate the ability to stay calm
3. Get clear on what matters most
4. Create a positive energy balance

1. Commit to change. Making signi¬cant personal and profes-
sional changes is hard work. A client can™t just think about
doing things differently, she has to put in the effort to actually
make the changes. It isn™t always easy. Clients may have to feel
a suf¬cient level of pain to be willing to take the time and
energy needed to really look at how they are operating and
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 49

choose a new approach. Even after Jane signed up to work with
Amanda, she was still so caught up in the relentless rhythm of
her work that she found it dif¬cult to ¬nd the time to talk with
her coach. Amanda had to make the point to Jane several times
that by taking time out to re¬‚ect on her situation, Jane was
empowering herself to work more effectively and ef¬ciently.
Jane quickly realized that the changes she was making were sig-
ni¬cantly improving the quality of her work and helping her
reduce some of the stress in her life. This outcome deepened
Jane™s commitment to continue coaching.
The commitment has to be personal because coaching is
personal. To realize the greatest bene¬t from coaching, clients
have to be willing to see the world from new perspectives, let
go of old habits, and interact with others in new ways. Jane
needed to personally feel value from coaching to commit
herself fully to the process.
2. Cultivate the ability to stay calm. Many people now live and
work at breakneck speed, with little time to stop for even a
moment. It is not uncommon for people to fuel their nonstop
lifestyles with adrenaline. They get this potent stimulant in
many forms, including caffeinated beverages, overscheduling,
underestimating time requirements for projects, driving too
fast”you name it. People are creative about how they keep
their systems pumped up so they can keep going and going. A
person who is in this kind of perpetual motion is not available
to make meaningful change and will probably not derive much
value from a coaching relationship. Clients have to be able to
calm down, at least periodically, in order to engage in the
personal re¬‚ection required for transformational coaching.
One of the ¬rst areas on which Amanda worked with Jane
was helping her to notice what habits contributed to her high
levels of stress. At Amanda™s urging, Jane re¬‚ected on the
choices she made every day that contributed to her feeling
overwhelmed. Among other things, Jane noted that she sched-
uled herself into so many meetings that she did not leave any
50 Coaching That Counts

time in her day to get her work done, she tended to say “yes”
to almost every request made of her, and she was consuming
a signi¬cant amount of caffeine during the day. Once she
became aware of this pattern and what it was costing her, she
realized that she needed to make some changes.
Amanda guided Jane to experiment with some different
tools and approaches that allowed Jane to calm down and ¬nd
her center, that quiet place within where she is tuned into what
is going on around her. Jane found that the combination of
taking a walk before work in the morning and some simple
breathing techniques she used when she felt her stress levels
escalating helped her be much calmer and respond to events
with more ¬‚exibility and patience. This was a huge change for
Jane, which allowed her to make better decisions, communi-
cate more clearly, and focus on important tasks.
3. Get clear on what matters most. Clients who work predomi-
nantly in Quadrant 1 may have lost touch with or may need
to reevaluate what is important for them, both personally and
professionally. They may have become so overwhelmed with
their responsibilities that they just do not have the time to
re¬‚ect on their changing priorities or they may know what
matters most for them, but they are not sure how to realign
their activities to re¬‚ect their choices.
At this point, the coach is not discussing deeply held values
or life purpose. Those bigger holistic conversations will come
later when clients have suf¬cient access to their own insight to
discern their own inner guideposts. Initially, the client needs
to de¬ne what success will look like, both personally and pro-
fessionally, within a time horizon that is typically the length of
the expected coaching engagement. These time frames seem
tangible for most clients, and thus goals that are set within
those time frames will seem plausible. Occasionally, clients
enter coaching with a long-range goal established. In that case,
the coach will help the client de¬ne the steps that need to be
taken to achieve that goal in the time frame that is available.
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 51

The coach and client will need to spend some time estab-
lishing what the client needs to deliver to be successful profes-
sionally. This is particularly important for clients who have
recently been promoted and need to make some signi¬cant
shifts in their priorities. Even though coaching takes place in a
professional setting, there needs to be a conversation about
what is important to the client personally. The work in this ¬rst
quadrant involves making choices about how to use the pre-
cious resources of time and personal energy. A clear articula-
tion of what is important is essential as a guide for making
these important decisions.
4. Create a positive energy balance. It is amazing how easily we
give away our time and energy. We say “yes” to commitments
because we think that we should do these things or we have to
without really thinking through whether the effort will be
worth the expected return. If we equated our personal energy
to money, many of us are in serious energy debt, which takes
the form of stress, exhaustion, and illness. In the same way that
we learn how to budget money to meet our needs, we also need
to learn to expend our energy on initiatives that add value. One
of the lessons of Quadrant 1 is accepting responsibility for
using time and energy well. Just like a ¬nancial balance sheet,
there are two sides to this equation. There is the energy cre-
ation side, where clients focus on managing their lives so they
have energy to expend, and there is the expenditure side, where
clients make choices about what to invest their energy in to
create the greatest return for themselves and the companies for
which they work.
Jane was feeling overwhelmed as a result of being out of
balance energetically. Jane was pouring more time and energy
into her work than she had to give. As a result of working such
long hours, not taking care of herself, and not feeling like she
was accomplishing her goals, Jane was becoming increasingly
worn down. It was as if at the end of the day, she had less and
less energy left in her personal energy bank account. Most of
52 Coaching That Counts

the things Jane enjoyed in her life or that contributed to her
well-being had been eliminated so that she could work longer
hours. Jane was not replenishing her energy supply, so she was
using adrenaline, in the form of caffeine, overscheduling, and
rushing around to make up the difference. Jane was living in
energy debt. One of the ¬rst areas Amanda focused on with
Jane was helping her to see this dynamic of being chronically
out of balance and how it was detrimental to Jane™s well-being
and her ability to meet her goals.
It is important to note that just like a bank account, one™s
personal energy balance will ¬‚uctuate. There are times when a
client may “borrow energy” to get a big project done or create
a healthy surplus by taking a vacation. The key is not to live in
perpetual energy debt. Just like ¬nancial debt, energy debt
reduces the choices that a client can make, erodes self-
con¬dence, and can lead to serious problems in the client™s
professional and private life. It takes energy to make change.
Clients need to create a positive energy balance to derive sig-
ni¬cant bene¬ts from coaching.

The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 1:
Physical Centeredness

The touchstones in Quadrant 1 work together to form the founda-
tion for experiencing physical centeredness. Physical centeredness is
the ability to stay calm and focused even when the world around
you is not. As Amanda helped Jane recognize and shift habits and
patterns that no longer worked for her, Jane naturally found herself
becoming calmer and more focused. This quieter presence paid div-
idends in many ways, including increasing Jane™s ability to get more
done in less time, enabling Jane to make clearer choices, and making
Jane more approachable for her clients. It is not necessary to be in
this centered place all of the time, but it is essential for a client to
have cultivated the ability to create this space from time to time in
order to progress into Quadrant 2 coaching work.
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 53

People who are running around constantly reacting to the latest
crisis (and creating more crises as they clash with others) can wreak
havoc in a workplace. There is a huge price to be paid in organiza-
tions when workers do not take responsibility for how they manage
themselves. It is like a basketball game in which none of the players
has enough control over his body to keep from knocking the other
players. You can™t pass and execute a play, or plan a strategy if you
can™t control the ball. The development in Quadrant 1 is analogous
to getting your own game under control so that you can gain access
to more of your talent. This is an essential platform for playing a
bigger game.

Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 1

This book is not intended to teach speci¬c coaching skills, but rather,
to guide coaches to apply their skills in particular ways that enhance
the value delivered to the client and the organization. Every quad-
rant of the Leading with Insight model holds different challenges for
the coach. In Quadrant 1, the main challenges are establishing a solid
foundation for coaching, guiding the client to engage fully in the
coaching process, and shepherding the client through potential
rough spots. The following are strategies for coaches to consider
integrating into their Quadrant 1 coaching engagements:

Get the whole story. Every coach has her own way of gathering
background information on a client, some more extensively
than others. The choices that are made tend to re¬‚ect the back-
ground and training of the coach. A few things are essential to
know about a client in order to coach the person from the
strongest vantage point. The coach needs insight into the fol-
lowing areas:
The culture and current business challenges the client™s
company faces. Some sources to look at for this information
include the company Web site, news articles, annual reports,
and asking the client. Before meeting with Jane, Amanda
54 Coaching That Counts

did a literature search on her company and read some of
the latest articles that had been printed about the merger
and the challenges that this move was creating for the new
organization. She also spoke to Jane™s manager to get a
feeling for the priorities of the HR department in facilitat-
ing the smooth transition to one new company.
The role and responsibilities of the client and how that role
contributes strategically to the overall organization. One of
the key insights that Amanda made while inquiring about
Jane™s role and responsibilities was the fact that the merger
changed the whole focus of Jane™s role in some signi¬cant
ways, but Jane had not fully recognized how extensively she
needed to change the focus of her work in order to ful¬ll
the new expectations.
The network of relationships that the client works within and
what state those relationships are in. Amanda had Jane draw
a diagram of her most important business relationships and
highlight for Amanda which ones were strategically and
politically most important. Jane also shared with Amanda
her perception of which of those relationships were on solid
ground and which ones needed some more care and atten-
tion. Given the merger environment, Jane™s network of
in¬‚uence had expanded considerably, and Amanda could
readily see that Jane could bene¬t from developing deeper
business relationships with several key in¬‚uencers.
The client™s work and, possibly, personal history. The story of
the client™s life will tell the coach many things about the
client, including what is going on in his professional (and
possibly personal) life, what he excels at, what frustrates
him, what he wants for himself, what bores him, and what
he ¬nds challenging”to name a few things. This in-depth
understanding of the client enables the coach to see patterns
of behavior, gain insight into the client™s strengths and
development opportunities, and help the client see how
coaching can further his development.
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 55

Current challenges the client faces. The client™s story naturally
leads into a discussion of what is currently going well for
the client and where he wants to make changes. Clients
often describe symptoms of problems, and it is the coach™s
role to look beyond the presenting symptoms and identify
the patterns of behaviors that support them.
Set clear, progressive developmental goals. The written goals for
the coaching engagement lay the path that the client will follow
as she progresses toward the attainment of her aspirations.
The goals need to be clear and suf¬ciently descriptive that the
client will recognize when she has attained the goals and will
be able to support the assertion that the goals have been
attained with anecdotal evidence, if more tangible results are
not appropriate.
Goal setting needs to be done in the context of the stated
goals for the coaching initiative. If the overarching organiza-
tional goal is to create a pipeline of future leaders, then the
coaching goals for individual coaching participants need to
re¬‚ect the individuals™ development needs in terms of the orga-
nization™s required leadership capabilities. Assessments can be
helpful to determine areas in which development is needed. It
is important to choose assessment instruments that offer real
insight into the development needed by the individual, as well
as to reach the organization™s stated goals. Coaches should not
rely on formal assessments alone to set goals; they should also
include their own observations and insights from listening to
the client™s story and probing the client to gain an understand-
ing of what the client really wants to achieve.
The Leading with Insight quadrant model can be used as a
guide for breaking down the more global goals of a coaching
engagement into clear, actionable, developmental steps that
lead to the attainment of the larger goals. The coach will be able
to determine in which quadrant the outcomes the client is
driving for will reside. For example, a client whose main focus
is improving her personal interactions with her colleagues will
56 Coaching That Counts

be focused in Quadrant 2, whereas a client who faces the chal-
lenge of building a new corporate university will continue his
coaching work into Quadrant 3. The touchstones in each quad-
rant provide a guide for the coach and the client in terms of
discerning the underlying development that will be necessary
to attain the desired goals. The following is an example of one
of Jane™s coaching goals that re¬‚ects the development she will
focus on in Quadrant 1:
Coaching will enable Jane to focus her efforts on achieving
her highest priorities by guiding her to:
Develop strategies for dealing with stress, including gaining
awareness of her own stress levels, and incorporating tech-
niques to maintain her sense of balance when she becomes
Identify her highest priorities, including expected outcomes
Manage her time in alignment with her priorities, including
reducing or eliminating low-priority commitments, time
blocking, and increased delegation
Notice that the touchstones in Quadrant 1 are re¬‚ected in
the detail of how the goal will be achieved. If Jane found that
she was not making satisfactory progress toward achieving her
top priorities, she could review the detail of the goal descrip-
tion to see which of the touchstones needs more attention.
Recognize patterns of behavior. In Quadrant 1, clients work on
cleaning up old habits and shifting patterns of behavior that no
longer serve them. It is the coaches™ responsibility to connect
the dots and help clients to see how they unconsciously repeat
the same pattern or take the same approach, even when it is
clearly not working. In the case study, Amanda pointed out to
Jane that she tended to say “yes” to almost everything that was
asked of her, and as a result, Jane felt constantly overwhelmed
and rarely had the time to do anything well. Through discus-
sion, Amanda learned that as an assistant HR representative,
Jane had made a name for herself in her department as the
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 57

go-to person”the person that others could count on to get
even the tough assignments done. Jane had developed the
pattern in those early years of taking any assignment and
throwing herself into her work. This pattern served her well
then, but now that Jane had more responsibilities, this way of
working was no longer effective. Working with Amanda, Jane
could see that she needed to be more discerning about how she
focused her time and energy.
Other patterns that coaches may notice include gathering
tons of information before making a decision, the need to keep
control of every detail of an initiative, or the habit of taking on
tasks that belong to others. Some people naturally evolve their
working styles as they progress in their careers, whereas others
hold on to the old patterns. The latter are most likely to have
some signi¬cant work to do in Quadrant 1. The coach™s role is
to illuminate the patterns she sees and help the client name the
pattern, understand how the pattern is impacting his work, and
choose how to evolve to a more effective way of getting things
Orchestrate early wins. The coach typically sets the pace of
the coaching relationship at its inception. It is important for
the client to make progress immediately and to be aware of the
value of that progress. The coach can guide the client to work
in areas that will make the most signi¬cant difference for the
client. Typically, it is most fruitful to look at the pattern of
behavior that is creating the greatest havoc or impeding the
most progress and ¬nd a way to create a shift. In Jane™s case,
Amanda initially focused on helping her to create the time and
space to participate in coaching. She also shared with Jane some
strategies for calming down when Jane felt like things were
spinning out of control. These small but signi¬cant changes
made such a difference for Jane that she became increasingly
motivated to participate fully in the coaching relationship.
Change is dif¬cult, so clients need to have some incentive for
58 Coaching That Counts

going through the process. Creating a space where the client
can prove to herself that she can make signi¬cant change is
essential for cementing commitment to take on bigger
Shine the light ahead on the path. The work in Quadrant 1 can
be a tough slog for some clients. There can be a real roller-
coaster of emotions, especially if clients were told to enter
into a coaching relationship to improve their performance. As
clients start to evaluate the choices they have made in the past
in a new light, they may become discouraged or regretful. It is
essential that the coach help the client see that change is pos-
sible and will bring positive outcomes, if the client sticks with
it. By illuminating the path forward, the coach can help the
client step into the challenge of changing ingrained patterns of
behavior, and this is where the real value lies for the client and
the organization.
A couple of months into their coaching engagement, Jane
came to the coaching call and somewhat sheepishly admitted
to Amanda that she had been abrupt with one of her clients.
To her credit, she had recognized her misstep almost immedi-
ately and had apologized to the client, who seemed to under-
stand. Still, Jane felt disappointed in herself. Amanda reassured
Jane that changing patterns of behavior is an iterative process,
and it was expected that some days would be better than others.
Amanda explained to Jane that with experience she would
become more adept at noticing when she was becoming overly
stressed and, with practice, she would be able to keep her cool.
She also reassured Jane that this would all get easier over time.
Amanda shared with Jane some of the bene¬ts she could expect
to derive in the future as she increased her ability to remain
centered and focused. Jane found the conversation to be reas-
suring, and Amanda helped Jane to keep a more positive
attitude about her own development.
Quadrant 1: Finding Focus 59

Quadrant 1: Finding Focus
Insight: Re¬‚ective

Focus: Personal effectiveness

Commit to change
Cultivate the ability to stay calm
Get clear on what matters most
Create a positive energy balance

Essential Outcome: Physical Centeredness
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Quadrant 2: Building Bridges

In Quadrant 2, clients focus their attention on building strong,
resilient relationships. The foundation for this interpersonal devel-
opment is emotional insight, the ability to derive valuable infor-
mation from one™s own emotions and the emotional context of
situations. The following case study portrays the coaching dynam-
ics found in Quadrant 2 coaching work.

Case Study: Jack Creates Powerful Partnerships

Jack was thrilled when he received his promotion six months ago to
become a VP of client relationships for three medium-sized cus-
tomers of a large bene¬ts services company. In his previous position
as the manager of operations for one of the company™s larger cus-
tomers, Jack was the expert who knew the systems inside and out
and who could seemingly solve any problem. He was the go-to
person, and he loved it, but he was ready for a new challenge. Having
supported various VPs of client relationships during his 10 years of
operations work, he was certain that he knew what it took to do the
job well.
Six months into his new role, Jack felt as if he was drowning, and
he regretted that he had ever agreed to take on this new position. It
was Jack™s job to understand his clients™ concerns and then work with
the various constituents within the company to create solutions.
With no direct reports, Jack had to rely on his ability to in¬‚uence

62 Coaching That Counts

and persuade others to get his job done. In his previous role, Jack™s
opinion carried so much weight that most people just followed his
lead”not so in the new role. He was deeply frustrated at the time
and energy it took to get things done.
Jack™s boss could see that he was struggling and suggested that Jack
work with a professional coach to ¬nd new strategies for dealing
with the complexities of his new position. Jack reluctantly agreed.
After interviewing three coaches, he chose to work with Anne. Anne
initiated the coaching relationship by collecting in-depth informa-
tion from Jack and his boss about Jack™s work situation, current chal-
lenges, and desired outcomes from coaching. It was decided that
Anne would conduct in-person multirater feedback sessions with
some of the key people with whom Jack worked. These are some of
the insights that were gained from the feedback review:
Jack was generally liked and respected, although some of his
internal working relationships were strained. Many interview
participants noted that Jack tended not to listen, especially
when he was under pressure.
Jack was perceived to have a hard time managing dif¬cult or
demanding clients and tended to “beat up” his internal service
groups to deliver whatever the client wanted, rather than nego-
tiating the client™s demands.
Jack sometimes had dif¬culty incorporating the ideas of others
into solutions that he proposed. As a result, Jack would try to
strong-arm the internal operations people into going along
with his plan.
Initially, Anne worked with Jack on the Quadrant 1 touchstones
that needed to be addressed, including helping Jack to better control
his schedule, integrating some techniques for remaining calm and
present when under pressure, and articulating what was most
important for Jack to focus on to be successful. One of the key shifts
that Jack made was letting go of the notion that he needed to be the
expert who served the client. With Anne™s help, Jack could see that
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 63

he needed to change his way of working to become a partner with
his clients and the internal service providers. With this fresh per-
spective, Jack chose to focus his coaching on improving his ability
to foster commitment within his internal service providers and
expand his relationships with key customers in order to be seen as
a partner, rather than an order taker.
Jack and Anne had some in-depth coaching conversations about
what it means to be a real partner. One of the shifts that Jack could
see he needed to make was moving from being overly directive to
engaging others in dialogue to ¬nd shared solutions. Initially, this
task felt daunting for Jack, who believed that being directive was the
only way to move others into action. Jack acknowledged that this
approach did not always work and often left others angry with him.
Anne pointed out that partnerships are built over time, and the ¬rst
step was learning how to really listen and engage others in deeper
levels of conversation.
In their next coaching call, Anne could tell that Jack was pretty
upset about an exchange he had just had with one of the technical
support staff. Jack had promised a customer that the customer™s ben-
e¬ts Web site would be updated by the end of the week. Jack had
just come from a preliminary review of the changes, and they were
totally different from what Jack was expecting. It had taken every
ounce of control that Jack had not to blow up. He wanted Anne to
coach him on how to handle this situation appropriately. Anne asked
Jack to recount the conversations that led up to that latest incident.
Then she asked Jack at what point he felt there was going to be a
problem. Anne prompted Jack to notice how he felt during the pre-
vious conversations. He admitted that he had an uneasy feeling
when he ¬rst gave Stan, the IT person, the assignment that Stan did
not really understand what was being asked of him. Later when he
asked for an update, Stan had seemed vague about his progress, and
Jack recalled feeling a little anxious at that time about Stan™s ability
to deliver the changes on time, but he had not wanted to upset Stan,
so he did not say anything.
64 Coaching That Counts

Anne asked Jack what he wanted the outcome of the situation to
be. After some discussion, Jack stated that he wanted to engage Stan
in a conversation that clari¬ed what was expected and moved the
process forward as quickly as possible, and in a way that preserved
the relationship with Stan. Anne and Jack role-played some differ-
ent approaches to the conversation, and Jack left the coaching call
with some clear next steps to take. Jack and Stan were able to work
out an acceptable solution and also made agreements on how they
would work together more effectively in the future. Jack continued
to practice tuning into how he was feeling during conversations, and
he found that he was becoming better at detecting and addressing
issues earlier, before they had a chance to get out of hand.
In a later coaching conversation Jack asked Anne to coach him on
dealing with a client situation that he needed to address. One of
Jack™s customers was becoming increasingly demanding, insisting
that Jack offer some extended services that were outside of the scope
of the contract. In the past, Jack would have given in to please the
customer, but Jack knew that was not the right answer. Anne asked
Jack several questions to explore the relationship further, including
what might be motivating his customer to make such a request. Jack
noted that this customer tended to push the limits when he felt
he could. Jack added that this customer tended to have temper
tantrums when he did not get his way. Anne re¬‚ected back to Jack
that he unconsciously encouraged this behavior by giving in when
the client got angry. This insight enabled Jack to see the situation
from a new perspective, and he was determined to set clear limits
with his customer in a way that did not jeopardize the relationship.
Jack was visiting the customer at the end of the week.
Jack worked with Anne to get clear on the outcome he wanted to
create and role-playing the conversation. The toughest aspect for
Jack was preparing for the possibility that the customer would
become overly emotional. Anne encouraged Jack to practice in
advance at remaining calm and focusing on the outcome he wanted
to create, rather than the emotions that might be ¬‚ying. The cus-
tomer did get a little hot under the collar, but he abandoned that
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 65

approach when it became clear that Jack was not going to give in as
usual. They were able to talk through the request and ¬nd a solu-
tion that the client could live with.
Jack continued his work with Anne, and with practice and per-
sistence, he was able to create the kind of partnerships with his
clients and colleagues that he had hoped for. Jack™s boss reported
that some of Jack™s customers and internal partners had offered
unsolicited praise for the changes Jack had made. Most important,
Jack began to really enjoy his work.

Creating Relationships That Work

As we can see through the case study, Quadrant 2 coaching is
focused on creating solid, authentic relationships that deliver results.
The foundation for these strengthened relationships is the ability to
engage in dialogue at more than one level. Logically, we believe that
a good idea will carry the day, although from our experiences, we
realize that the emotional component of our conversations often
directs the results. How many times have you seen a good idea
dashed because of personality con¬‚icts between the person propos-
ing the idea and others who need to support it? In Quadrant 2,
clients use their own experiences to learn how to detect and respond
to their own emotions and the emotional context of relationships.
There is often a component of rede¬ning one™s role, just as Jack
needed to rethink his approach to his work and shift from being a
directive order taker to a participative partner. Quadrant 2 invites
clients to rede¬ne how they work with others, and in doing so,
clients get in touch with their own emotional experience.
Examples of Quadrant 2 goals may include the following:

Increase ability to deal with emotionally charged situations
Build partnerships with others to attain speci¬c results
Attain higher sales in one-on-one selling situations
Communicate ideas to create impact and foster buy-in
Manage more effectively to deliver results through others
66 Coaching That Counts

Transition successfully from an individual contributor to a
management position
Rede¬ne one™s role or one™s work

Answering the “What Am I Made of?” Question

As Jack became clearer on his need to partner with others effectively,
he opened the door to Quadrant 2 work. He began to step through
the door as he started to explore new ways of working and being in
relationships with others. As he discovered that he was capable of
expanding his repertoire of behaviors, he started to explore the ques-
tion “What am I made of?” Like many people, Jack tended to rely on
a few tried-and-true ways of getting things done. His more direc-
tive, take-charge way of doing things ¬t well in the fast-paced oper-
ations environment of his previous job. As the acknowledged expert,
he commanded the respect of others and was rarely challenged to
take a different approach. His management style was effective and
he was largely unconscious of it; it was just how he did things.
When we are faced with a new environment or changing require-
ments, we often need to reinvent how we work by learning to play
some new cards in our decks of capabilities. We may not really dis-
cover what we are capable of until we are faced with a situation in
which our preferred way of getting things done is not going to work.
This is where coaches can add great value, because they are trained
to see the potential that resides in their clients, even when clients are
unable to see this for themselves.

Quadrant 2 Touchstones

Touchstones are areas of development that clients need to have a
minimum level of pro¬ciency at in order to move on to the next
quadrant. They are not necessarily addressed directly but rather may
be woven into the fabric of coaching conversations to create the
shifts and changes needed to support lasting change. For Quadrant
2, the touchstones are as follows:
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 67

1. Expand your emotional vocabulary
2. Translate emotions into intentions
3. Read the emotional context of situations
4. Speak the language of emotions

1. Expand your emotional vocabulary. Clients need to recognize
their own emotions in order to respond to them. It is not
uncommon for people to ignore or downplay emotional
responses, just as Jack did in his conversations with the IT
person, often with the misguided hope that if they do not pay
any attention to emotions, they will just go away. Emotions
that are disregarded usually resurface later more intensely.
Jack™s anger at Stan for the possibility of missing the deadline
is an example of emotions that had built up over time. If Jack
had recognized his uneasiness earlier and spoken with Stan
then, the later episode might never have happened.
If we think of our emotions as being like a language our
bodies speak to share information with us about what is going
on in a situation, then the ability to identify various emotions
that we experience is analogous to expanding our vocabulary.
The greater the depth and breadth of our vocabulary, the more
information we can receive. It takes practice and attention to
expand your emotional vocabulary, but it is more than worth
the effort.
2. Translate emotions into intentions. One of the reasons why
people ignore their emotions is because they are sometimes
not sure what to do with them. It is uncomfortable when we
¬nd ourselves in situations, like Jack, where we are angry
with someone and uncertain about what to say or do. It is
easier to ignore the situation and/or complain to others
about it, than to actually address it appropriately. Emotional
situations that are unresolved tend to fester and grow lives of
their own. Like monsters under the rug, they can wreak havoc
with our professional relationships and cause many sleepless
68 Coaching That Counts

Coaches can help clients follow the trail of their emotions
back to the source of the issue. Questions such as “What is
really bothering you?” and “How are you feeling about this sit-
uation?” can help clients identify their own feelings. Getting at
the root cause is usually the hardest part of the equation and
the place where a coach can be of great service to the client.
Once a client acknowledges the source of his or her feelings,
deciding how to deal with the issue effectively is much easier
to see. In Jack™s case, he needed to address the lack of clear
communication between himself and his IT partner. Once he
was clear on what he wanted the outcome of his conversation
with Stan to be, he felt empowered to take the necessary action.
This is how we translate our emotions into intentions. With
time and practice, clients become faster and more adept at
practicing this essential skill.
3. Read the emotional context of a situation. It is a natural exten-
sion once we become aware of our own emotions to start
tuning into the emotions that are present in our relationships.
We can get some valuable clues about how to handle situations
when we become aware of what is going on just below the
surface. Jack was able to address the demands of his customer
by looking more closely at the emotional dynamic that was
playing out between the two of them. Previously, Jack had
tended to give in to the client when the client became upset.
Once Jack saw that he was unwittingly encouraging the client
to push the limits of the contract with this behavior, he was
able to see how he could change the dynamic by changing how
he responded. Through coaching, Anne was able to assist Jack
in ¬nding clear and respectful ways to communicate the
boundaries of the contract, without losing the customer™s
respect. In fact, over time, Jack™s ability to effectively read the
emotional tea leaves in this relationship helped him to more
clearly understand what the client valued and to provide
stronger service within the bounds of the contract.
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 69


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