. 3
( 8)


4. Speak the language of emotions. The ability to speak directly to
the emotional subtext of a situation is an essential skill for
clients who are building strong, lasting relationships. The
unacknowledged feelings that are swirling within a conversa-
tion often derail the intended outcome. Jack was not looking
forward to his meeting with the demanding customer. He
opened his conversation by saying, “Fred, I know that you are
upset about this situation. It is my hope that we can work
together today to ¬nd a path forward.” Fred and Jack were able
to discuss what Fred was upset about, which gave Jack the
opportunity to understand Fred™s side of the story. Being able
to convey his grievances helped Fred to calm down, and the
two men were able to ¬nd a workable solution. If Jack had not
stated openly that he was aware of Fred™s feeling, it is likely that
Fred would have demonstrated just how upset he was through
his language and his actions, making it more challenging to
move forward.
The ability to remain calm that is created from the work in
Quadrant 1, coupled with the insight that is derived through
the development in Quadrant 2, form a solid foundation for
stepping into emotionally charged conversations.

The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 2:
Emotional Centeredness

Emotional centeredness is the ability to tune into our emotions and
the emotional context of situations and derive valuable information
that we use to move things forward constructively. It is the ability
to experience emotions without being taken over by them. For
example, even though Jack was angry with Stan, he was able to have
a meaningful conversation with him that reduced the tension in
their situation and resulted in appropriate actions being taken. If
Jack had lost his emotional center, he might have gone back and
berated Stan to try and get him to deliver on his agreement. Jack
70 Coaching That Counts

might have felt better after venting his anger, but this kind of inter-
action erodes the foundations of trust and respect that are essential
in highly functional relationships. Emotional centeredness is espe-
cially important when there is the need to step into emotionally
charged situations and ¬nd a solution. This is the real hallmark of
personal development in Quadrant 2.
People who tend to vent their emotions or intimidate others with
their emotional outbursts can cause huge amounts of disruption
and ill will in organizational settings. Equally disruptive, although
not always as obvious, are the misunderstandings and roadblocks
that arise when people refuse to acknowledge and deal with their
emotions and the emotions of others. The ability to ¬nd one™s center
and interact with others from that place of strength creates an envi-
ronment where problems get resolved and people feel safe and
respected. Just as we need to ¬nd our physical center to move into
the second quadrant, we need to ¬nd our emotional center to
progress our development into Quadrant 3. Mastery is not required,
but suf¬cient experience to not ¬‚y off the handle or duck and run
when emotions heat up is necessary.
Continuing with the basketball analogy from the previous
chapter, Quadrant 2 development is like a basketball player who has
solid person basketball skills and is now deepening his appreciation
of the strengths of the other players on his team. This new level of
insight allows him to create plays that take his own skills to a new
level and capitalizes on the talents of others.

Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 2

In Quadrant 2, coaches guide clients to become aware of their own
emotional landscape and the emotional context of their environ-
ment. These insights are woven into the fabric of the coaching work
and are introduced in ways in which the client is comfortable. By
helping the client to ¬nd effective ways of using his or her own
emotional insight to create positive outcomes, the coach role-
models how to create clarity in emotionally charged situations. The
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 71

following are some possible coaching tools and approaches for
Quadrant 2:

Change perspectives to change behavior. In order for a client to
choose to embrace a new way of working, he must ¬rst change
his perspective. Jack was not likely to give up his directive,
expert way of approaching his role without buying into the idea
that becoming a partner with his customers and internal
service providers would bring him the kind of success he was
looking for. This shift in perspective has to happen at the emo-
tional level; that is, the client cannot just think about some-
thing differently, he needs to experience what it feel like to
know that it is real. In Jack™s case, his ¬rst successful interac-
tions that allowed him to experience the power of being in a
partnership with others were crucial.
Coaches guide clients to step successfully into the kinds of
experiences that shift perspective. The process is one of engag-
ing the client in dialogue that opens the client to perceive a sit-
uation from a different perspective. In Jack™s case, Anne helped
Jack see that there was a dynamic in his client relationships of
Jack taking orders from the clients and then sometimes strug-
gling to carry them out. Jack and Anne explored how those rela-
tionships would be different if Jack saw himself more as a
partner. He was excited about evolving his client relationships
in this new direction. The next step is to anchor the client™s new
perception with a positive experience. In Jack™s case, Anne
coached him to enter into conversations with his customers
that opened the door to partnership. It took time to make the
shift, but with the new perception of being a partner, Jack felt
a strong connection to the direction in which he was heading.
Build the connection between the body and the emotions. Emo-
tions need to be experienced. There is little value in thinking
about emotions; you have to work with them directly. How
many times have you tried to convince yourself not to feel a
certain way, only to ¬nd that for all of your perfectly rational
72 Coaching That Counts

reasons to the contrary, the emotion still remained? Emotions
are experienced in the body, so in order to expand the emo-
tional vocabulary of a client, the coach must guide the client to
identify how the client experiences various emotions in his or
her body. For example, a client may remember a time when she
felt slighted and notice the physical sensations that accompany
this emotion; perhaps she experienced heaviness around her
heart or tension in the chest. Once clients get the hang of
making this connection, they will do it naturally without
having to be so deliberate about the process. Noticing the con-
nection between the body and the emotions is essential for
developing the ¬rst touchstone, expanding your emotional
When Anne was coaching Jack regarding his conversations
with Stan, the IT person, she asked him to notice how he felt
about the conversations and how he experienced those feelings
in his body. This request seemed a bit odd to Jack, but when
he remembered the conversations that he had with Stan, he
noticed that he felt an uneasy feeling in his solar plexus, like
something was off. He realized that if he had tuned into those
sensations earlier, he might have spoken with Stan about his
concerns before they escalated. Anne encouraged him to check
in with his body from time to time to bring his feelings into his
Work with intentions. Recognizing and dealing with the emo-
tional level of situations requires opening up to the messy
reality of life. Once an emotionally charged conversation is
engaged, there is often no telling where it will go. Some clients
¬nd this prospect frightening. Jack™s greatest fear about setting
some clear boundaries with his customer was the possibility
that the customer would have a strong negative reaction. Anne
worked with him beforehand to clearly identify his intention
for the conversation, which was to set clear limits with his cus-
tomer in a way that did not jeopardize the relationship. Inten-
tions are different than goals; intentions point in a direction,
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 73

whereas goals tend to focus on a very speci¬c outcome. Setting
a clear intention about what the client wants to create allows
the client maneuvering room to reach the desired destina-
tion without having to take a particular stand. This ¬‚exibility
fosters the kind of dialogue that is needed for building solid
Uncover assumptions. We all make assumptions. We assume
that people will respond to situations in a certain way; we
assume that they know particular information; we assume that
they see things the same way that we do because to us, it is
obvious. Unfortunately, what is obvious to one person is not
obvious to another. Jack assumed that Stan understood the
changes that needed to be made to the Web site. Perhaps Jack
was so familiar with the material that it was just obvious to him
what needed to happen, but it certainly was not obvious to
Stan. Unstated and unchecked assumptions cause all kinds of
problems in communications. The coach needs to listen for and
uncover assumptions that underlie coaching issues, and help
the client see how the assumptions that he or she is making may
be contributing to a misunderstanding. Eventually, clients
begin to recognize their own assumptions as they are making
them and check out the ones that need to be con¬rmed.
One of the more frequent assumptions made is that others
know what is expected of them or that we know what is
expected of us. Unmet expectations can cause misunderstand-
ings, which can be avoided by investing some time at the begin-
ning of a new project or new relationship to clearly state how
two people will work together and what they can expect from
each other.
Translate emotions into language. Some people are uncomfort-
able in the realm of emotion. Emotions can seem too messy
and personal. They don™t want to go there. It is the coach™s role
to listen for and articulate the emotional component of a situ-
ation in language that the client ¬nds approachable. Sometimes
you have to go in through the back door. Rather than talking
74 Coaching That Counts

about how someone feels about something, the coach can
inquire about how something “landed” with the client or ask
about the client™s “reactions.” Sometimes the coach will need to
¬ll in the emotional blanks for the client with observations such
as “it sounds like you are feeling irritated that this happened,”
or “I can hear that you are excited about this possibility.” The
coach might miss the mark with a statement, but as the client
clari¬es where she is at, she will identify her own emotional
state, and there is tremendous value in this realization. It is
important that the coach not back away from the emotional
aspects of coaching, just because the client is not completely
comfortable. As clients become more comfortable with dis-
cussing how they are feeling, they integrate the language of
emotions into their conversations, creating the context for
more meaningful dialogue with others.
Getting clear versus getting caught. It is the coach™s role to help
a client gain insight from his emotional experience so that he
gains insight into what needs to happen next to resolve a situ-
ation. The worst thing a coach can do is get caught up with the
client in the emotion”like jumping into the pool of anger or
pity with the client, there is no one left on the edge to pull either
person out.
Our emotions tell us a story about what is going on below
the surface in a situation. If you follow the thread of emotions
back through the story, you will come to the heart of the matter
and the key for moving it forward. When Anne began asking
Jack to recount the conversations he had with Stan and how he
felt about them, she was coaching Jack to ¬nd the point at
which the train left the track, which turned out to be the
assumptions that were made about how the Web site changes
would be done. If Anne had gotten caught up in Jack™s frustra-
tion, she might have joined in the chorus of complaining about
Stan™s incompetence. Instead, she kept her sights focused on
helping Jack view the situation from different perspectives and
drawing insight from the new awareness that unfolded. From
Quadrant 2: Building Bridges 75

this clearer vantage point, the question “What do you want to
have happen?” is much easier to answer, and workable resolu-
tions can be found.
This is the touchstone translate emotions into intentions in
action. It lies at the heart of building relationships that can
weather the emotional storms that blow through our profes-
sional lives from time to time. When we get caught in the storm
of our own emotions, we sometimes throw away relationships
that we need and value because we cannot ¬nd our way
through to a calmer place. Coaches help clients learn how to
navigate in these rough waters so that their clients can build
and maintain strong, lasting relationships.

Quadrant 2: Building Bridges
Focus: Interpersonal Relationships

Insight: Emotional

Expand your emotional vocabulary
Translate emotions into intentions
Read the emotional context of situations
Speak the language of emotions

Essential outcome: Emotional Centeredness
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Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment

In Quadrant 3, clients turn their attention to creating alignment
between their values and their work. As leaders experience align-
ment on a personal level between their values and their leadership
style, they naturally seek to create a similar sense of alignment
between the shared values and goals of the group, team or network
with which they are engaged. Intuitive insight is honed and inte-
grated with logical understanding to become a powerful guide in
increasingly complex environments. This is the space where the
essence of who the client is shines through and becomes an integral
part of whatever the client chooses to create. The following case
study illuminates the coaching work in Quadrant 3.

Case Study: Mark Takes a Stand

Mark, the director of IT project management in a large pharma-
ceutical company, was really enjoying the support and development
he received as a participant in the company™s new leadership devel-
opment program. He began the program six months ago, along with
80 other managers from within the company, and was inspired by
what he was learning and who he was meeting. This was the ¬rst
leadership development program the company had implemented in
many years. The COO and HR VP believed that having leaders adapt
change management principles and practices into their leadership
responsibilities would reduce bureaucratic sclerosis and propel

78 Coaching That Counts

growth. As part of the program, Mark was able to work with an exec-
utive coach to help him apply what he was learning in his own work
environment. Other leadership development activities included
leadership workshops and action learning teams. At ¬rst, Mark had
been somewhat skeptical about the value of working with a coach,
but he soon found himself looking forward to the insightful con-
versations he had with Tim, his coach. Tim, meanwhile, familiarized
himself with the company, the leadership development program,
and the particulars of the change management model.
Mark was facing a particularly tough challenge. When Mark took
over his team of IT project managers a year ago, no appropriate stan-
dards were in place for designing and delivering projects, and a lot
of in¬ghting was occurring throughout the department. The IT
project managers had a reputation within their internal client base
for missing important deadlines and being a challenge to work with.
This was precisely the kind of bureaucratic sclerosis that the COO
and HR VP wanted to eliminate. If it wasn™t for the company™s mora-
torium on procuring outside IT services, the group would probably
have been outsourced long ago.
As part of the leadership program, Mark participated in several
assessments, including a leadership assessment and a personality
pro¬le. Tim and Mark reviewed the ¬ndings and spoke at length
about Mark™s goals for his participation in the leadership program
and his aspirations for being coached. Mark was a technically strong
manager who placed high value on developing himself and his team.
As a star performer, he was used to leading by example and expected
others to follow his lead. His experience with the IT team was the
¬rst time that the strength of his character had not been suf¬cient
to propel a team forward. Mark chose to focus his coaching work
on expanding his leadership style to include enhancing his ability to
inspire others and to manage challenging situations. Mark felt that
these new leadership capabilities would enable him to attain his
other coaching goal of leading his team to signi¬cantly improve their
customer service ratings, which were currently well below the
acceptable limit of 85 percent satisfaction.
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 79

Mark was making good progress in organizing his team and
setting up systems to establish accountability when he entered into
the coaching relationship with Tim. The challenge was in getting
compliance from the team. Initially, Tim focused the coaching in
Quadrant 1, engaging Mark in conversations to get clear about what
was truly important to focus on to get his team turned around. Tim
also helped Mark integrate a few new ways of staying calm and
focused under pressure.
Mark could clearly see that instilling discipline around the project
management systems was essential, although he was uncertain how
to get his team to buy into the ideas, which took him clearly into
Quadrant 2 work. With Tim™s coaching, Mark began to engage his
team members in one-on-one conversations to gain insight about
what was working and what was not as they struggled to implement
the new standards. Initially, Mark was uncomfortable about con-
ducting these conversations, because he was not sure how his team
would respond. Tim encouraged Mark to get to the heart of what
was really bothering him about this situation. Through re¬‚ection,
Mark was able to identify that he was afraid that his team would use
the opportunity to blame each other for any problems”a trait they
were famous for. Tim was able to coach Mark on how to manage the
blame game in these conversations and get at what was really going
on. The conversations went well and provided an opportunity for
Mark to use some of the coaching skills that he was naturally picking
up from his work with Tim.
Moving into Quadrant 3 work, Tim encouraged Mark to spend
some quiet time after the interviews were done and re¬‚ect on the
underlying dynamics that were operating with his team. He sug-
gested that Mark write down the thoughts that came to him, without
evaluating them. Mark brought his thoughts to the next coaching
session. He noticed that his team really did want to do a good job,
and while some of his team members were actively working to
implement the new standards, others had given excuses as to why
the standards would not work. When Tim asked Mark what he
thought was going on, the ¬rst thing that came to Mark™s mind was
80 Coaching That Counts

that some of his team members were afraid of trying and failing.
They were already getting beaten up by their clients, and the new
system would give the clients more ammunition with which to
attack them. Mark also sensed that they were testing to see if he was
really serious about the new standards. He was not the ¬rst person
to try this approach. It was now clear to Mark that just creating the
standards was not enough. He would need to help his team learn the
new skills required to be successful, both at delivering their projects
on time and using the new system. Mark sensed that the team was
ready to rise to this challenge. As the coaching continued, Tim and
Mark discussed possible strategies for getting the additional train-
ing that the team needed. Mark decided to approach the leadership
development program coordinator for guidance on obtaining the
necessary training for the team.
Mark™s opportunity to demonstrate his resolve came sooner than
he expected. In Mark™s regular one-on-one meetings with his boss,
it was strongly suggested that Mark should ¬re the bottom two per-
formers of the team. Mark™s boss felt that this would provide all of
the motivation needed to get the team™s client satisfaction numbers
up. Mark™s boss was getting tired of taking the heat for this team™s
poor performance. Time was running out. Although Mark™s boss
acknowledged that overall, the numbers were starting to improve,
he wanted them to move faster. Mark asked if he could meet with
his boss again at the end of the week to discuss this matter further.
Every participant in the leadership development program was
asked to keep a personal journal. They were introduced to the idea
of using the journal to re¬‚ect on their own experiences and ¬nd
their own insights and answers. Mark used his journal to sort
through his feelings about his boss™s request. Mark truly did not
want to ¬re his two team members, but he was uncertain if this was
because he was afraid to ¬re them (it would certainly be a dif¬cult
task) or because he felt that it was not the best thing for the team.
Mark brought this question to his next coaching session with Tim.
Tim allowed Mark to share his thoughts and feelings and then asked
him what he intuitively thought the impact of the ¬rings would be
on the team. Mark paused and then said with conviction that he felt
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 81

it would be a huge setback, because the team was really just starting
to pull together for the ¬rst time in a long time. He believed that
with the proper support they could make their numbers. One of the
two team members at risk was well liked by the others, and losing
him was likely to put the team into a tailspin. Tim asked Mark
what he wanted to do. As a result, Mark engaged in two dif¬cult
The ¬rst conversation was with his boss. With Tim™s coaching,
Mark was able to lay out a plan of action for the next six months for
delivering better client satisfaction numbers for the team. Mark
shared with his boss the insights he had gained through his conver-
sations with each team member and his conviction that with some
supportive training, they had what it took to deliver results. He told
his boss that he wanted to keep the team together through that time,
but he promised to reevaluate everyone on the team at the end of
the six-month time period. Mark™s boss was impressed with Mark™s
plan and agreed to support him in implementing it.
The second conversation was with his team. Mark arranged for a
half-day meeting in which Mark shared with the team what he had
learned through his one-on-one conversations. He opened the
meeting by setting clear expectations that this meeting was about
moving into action, and there would be no ¬nger-pointing. He let
the team know that he believed they could perform at a much higher
level, and he coached them to set some stretch goals. He made it
clear that making the changes was not optional, although he allowed
the team a fair amount of input into how to achieve their goals.
The team left the meeting energized about moving forward. Mark
left the meeting with a satis¬ed feeling that his words and actions
re¬‚ected who he was as a manager and leader. He knew that it would
be an uphill battle, but it was a battle he believed in and one he
thought he could win.

Aligning Who You Are with How You Work

The case study illustrates the essence of Quadrant 3 work”creating
alignment between what a client values and how those values are
82 Coaching That Counts

expressed through his leadership style and the focus of his work. By
the time a client reaches the third quadrant, he has the ability to
re¬‚ect on his own experience and draw conclusions about what is
important to him on a personal and professional level. These
insights are often brought to light by the challenges the client faces
and the questions those challenges evoke, just as Mark found himself
having to ¬nd a way to inspire his team to a new level of perfor-
mance, whether he felt ready for that task or not. He discovered in
the process what was important to him, and he found a way to honor
that in his work with his team.
As the problems that need to be unraveled become more complex,
our ability to think our way to a solution is rarely suf¬cient to
deliver the needed results in a timely manner. We need to be able
to integrate a lot of information and have enough con¬dence in
ourselves and our choices to move into action and adjust our
actions as the situations change. This is where intuitive insight
plays a part. Mark was able to integrate his logical analysis of his
team™s situation with his intuitive insight about what was getting
in their way to ¬nd a way to move forward that felt right to
him. This element of ¬nding personal and professional clarity
by experiencing complexity is the hallmark of development in
Quadrant 3.
Examples of Quadrant 3 goals include the following:

Expand one™s leadership style to include approaches that are
less developed
Accomplish a goal through teamwork
Gain clarity about the direction or purpose of one™s work
Develop and present an idea to create buy-in from others
Transition from management to leadership
Develop a network of in¬‚uence
Play a leadership role to forward the action in a complex
Integrate creativity and purpose back into one™s work and
one™s life
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 83

Answering the “Who Do I Want to Be?” Question

The leadership development program in which Mark was partici-
pating was designed, in part, to direct him toward answering the
“Who do I want to be?” question. Through the assessments and per-
sonal journals, participants were expected to gain insight into their
own makeup and form an intention of how they wanted to develop
their potential. The proverbial rubber hit the road for Mark when
he had to choose how to respond to his boss™s request to ¬re two
team members. This was one moment in which Mark had to decide
who he wanted to be. These moments happen over and over again,
as we use the grist of our own experiences to reveal our unique
As clients deepen their ability to draw on deeper levels of insight,
they achieve greater clarity about what is important for them. This
clarity often reveals misalignments between what they come to see
as authentic for themselves and how they choose to conduct the
business of their lives. “Who do you want to be?” is one of the ques-
tions that begins the process of creating alignment between who a
person is and how he chooses to conduct himself in the world, and
what he creates.

Quadrant 3 Touchstones

As with the previous two quadrants, the touchstones of Quadrant 3
are areas of personal development that are integrated into coaching
to support the attainment of Quadrant 3 goals. The touchstones for
Quadrant 3 are as follows:

1. Know thyself
2. Learn to work with patterns of dynamics
3. Expand your beliefs
4. Trust yourself

1. Know thyself. The central theme for Quadrant 3 is creating
alignment, which begs the question, alignment to what? We
84 Coaching That Counts

realize our greatest potential and tap into our most powerful
gifts when we operate in alignment with what we value most.
There can be a signi¬cant difference between what we believe
we should value and the values that have that clear, true ring
of authenticity. The work of this quadrant is to discern the dif-
ference. Although many exercises can be engaged in to list
various values and whittle them down to a neat list, most often
the test of our own experiences points us in the direction of
our true north.
The work of this touchstone is to readily recognize within
yourself the ring of your own truth. Although this statement
may sound rather profound, it is actually immensely practical.
It is simply the process of synthesizing the available informa-
tion, both rational and intuitive, and making choices that feel
right for you. Mark went through this process when he was
faced with the decision of ¬ring his two team members. The
development work that he did in the previous two quadrants
gave him con¬dence in his own insights, the ability to clearly
express his plan to his boss, and the momentum to take action.
With this solid foundation, Mark was able to bring his actions
into alignment with his values. It was entirely possible that his
boss would not support his idea or that after six months, his
team would not make the necessary progress. What was impor-
tant was that Mark took the initiative to act with integrity.
2. Learn to work with patterns of dynamics. Quadrant 3 is also
about getting things done in groups, teams, and networks. In
these more complex environments, underlying patterns that
get in the way of accomplishing goals must be detected. In the
case of Mark™s team, Mark could see that team members
had the habit of blaming others for problems. As long as it
remained acceptable for team members to assess blame and
pass it along, the team was unable to take responsibility for its
own actions and address the core issues that needed to be
addressed. Mark could also see that the pattern of blaming
served a purpose for the team. As long as no one was ever
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 85

completely responsible for an outcome, then no one could be
held completely accountable. There was a certain amount of
safety in this approach, even if it did not deliver satisfying
results. Mark needed to work with this pattern on two levels:
(1) to identify the pattern and make the team aware of the con-
sequences of this shared behavior, and (2) to provide training
or other support so that the team could create a more func-
tional pattern that delivered the desired results. By guiding the
team to take responsibility for the habit of blaming, Mark was
able to bring the team closer to being in alignment around
their shared goal of increasing client satisfaction.
The ability to see patterns expands with each quadrant. In
the ¬rst quadrant, clients re¬‚ect on their own patterns of
habits that get in their way. In Quadrant 2, the focus is on
reading patterns that occur in the emotional context of situa-
tions, and in Quadrant 3 the scope widens to take in the
dynamics of patterns that underlie group behavior. The ability
to see these patterns is supported by the deepening levels of
insight that occur with each quadrant. The ability to see larger
patterns is intuitive and supported by the intuitive insight that
is honed in this quadrant.
3. Expand your beliefs. There is often a need when working in
Quadrant 3 for clients to examine their beliefs about how
things ought to be. As clients bring their work into alignment
with their values, they often ¬nd themselves face-to-face with
their own beliefs. In Mark™s case, until his boss recommended
¬ring the two team members, Mark may have held the view
that a good manager always does what his boss suggests
without question. If Mark had decided to hold on to that
belief, he would have ¬red his two team members without
putting forward an alternative approach.
At the team level, when Mark ¬rst introduced the new stan-
dards, he expected the team members to just adopt the new
procedures, perhaps because he held the belief that his direct
reports should just do what they are told. If he chose to hold
86 Coaching That Counts

on to that belief, he would probably have resorted to telling his
team members more emphatically, in e-mails and reminders
at their weekly meetings, that they were supposed to be com-
plying with his demands. When he could see that his approach
was not getting much traction, he worked with his coach to
understand the underlying dynamics of the team and came to
see that the team was unlikely to apply the new procedures
consistently without some additional support. By ¬‚exing his
view of the situation, Mark was able to ¬nd a workable solu-
tion. Whenever clients are stymied, it is important to see if the
obstacle is a belief that is out of alignment with current reality.
4. Trust yourself. Many ingredients combine to create trust in
oneself. The insight and experience that clients gain through
their work in the ¬rst three quadrants enable them to trust
their own judgment. Although Mark was not sure how he was
going to inspire his team to realize the stretch goals they had
agreed to, Mark trusted that he could do it. He did not have
all of the answers, but he did have con¬dence in his own abil-
ities. It is not uncommon for the choices that clients are pre-
sented with in Quadrant 3 to require an element of trust. As
the environment in which clients work becomes more complex
and the pace at which events unfold quickens, a person who
trusts her own intuitive and logical assessments will react with
greater speed and agility than someone who doubts himself or
needs all of the answers before taking action. A genuine feeling
of personal power comes from trusting oneself. This is one of
the many gifts clients receive for their efforts.

The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 3:
Intuitive Centeredness

When a client is intuitively centered, he is comfortable integrating
intuitive information with his rational evaluations of situations and
trusts his own assessments of what he sees and senses. It is a deeper
form of centering that rests on the foundations of physical and
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 87

emotional centering from Quadrants 1 and 2. The key to ¬nding
your intuitive center is trust. As clients learn to trust their own intu-
ition, they naturally integrate intuitive information more actively
into their perceptions. This ability is developed over time, through
experience. Clients begin by following their hunches, such as trust-
ing someone or suggesting an idea. As clients notice that their
insights have validity, they gain con¬dence about their abilities to
tap into this rich resource of insight. Clients gain the insight and
self-con¬dence needed to work intuitively from a place of strength
through the personal development work done in the earlier quad-
rants. Being able to consistently tap into and trust one™s intuition is
essential for moving into Quadrant 4.
Quadrant 3 is the space in which coaching clients achieve their
goals through work that is done in teams, groups, or networks. In
these situations, clear, authentic, and ¬‚exible leadership can make
the greatest difference. This kind of leadership evolves as clients align
their values with their work.
Returning to our basketball analogy, the development in this
quadrant is like the translation of team strategy into real-time play
on the court. Teams can invest all kinds of time and energy in
working out a game plan, but they will only win the game if they
can translate that plan into action, responding with ¬‚uidity and
agility to whatever transpires on the court. Basketball players intu-
itively see the patterns that are developing in play and instinctively
sense the presence of their team members. Quadrant 3 development
deepens the ability of businesspeople to tap into more of their own
inner resources and connect their talents with others to take their
own teams to the next level.

Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 3

When working in Quadrant 3, coaches are role-modeling integrat-
ing structure and intuitive insight in the ways they work with their
clients. Coaches listen for values and patterns and guide clients to
see these for themselves. Although coaches may offer advice or ideas,
88 Coaching That Counts

it is important for clients to gain con¬dence in their own abilities to
¬nd a path forward that is right for them. In Quadrant 3, coaches
act as mirrors for clients, using insights gained through client expe-
riences to enable clients to see their own potential and values more
clearly. The following are strategies for coaches to consider inte-
grating into their Quadrant 3 coaching engagements:

Listen for values. Coaches can hear what a client values by lis-
tening for the things that the client ¬nds exciting and that make
a client angry or upset. One of Mark™s roles was to coach his
team to a new level of success. When Mark conducted his one-
on-one interviews with his team members, he could hear that
his team members had values that were aligned with delivering
solid results to their clients. Mark asked each of his team
members to describe a time when he was most satis¬ed with
his work. As Mark listened to the various stories that were
recounted, he could hear that the team desired to be success-
ful, although what success looked like to different team
members varied. Much of the team™s frustration seemed to stem
from their inability to ¬nd a way to work that enabled them to
¬nd alignment with this desire to do well.
Values are revealed through our experiences. Values are not
about what you want to be; they are the constellation of lights
that reveal who you are. They shine clearly in stories we tell
about times when we felt whole and successful, and they burn
bright when they are thwarted in some way. A coach can hear
signs of hidden values that are not ¬nding full expression when
he listens for what frustrates the client or what the client longs
for. Mark could also hear in the interviews he conducted the
refrain of irritation that his team members felt. Some were
frustrated that they could not work on more creative projects,
some chafed at being pulled off assignments before they were
complete, and others wanted new technical challenges. Each
complaint revealed something about what the team member
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 89

Listen for misalignments. We all have our own notions of a suc-
cessful version of ourselves. For every role we play, we have
some sense of what ful¬lling that role well entails. Our percep-
tion of success is often inherited”a synthesis of what we feel
is expected of us by the organizations we work for, our fami-
lies, our bosses, our peer groups, and ourselves. As a result,
many people are shooting for goals they feel they should be
working for, even if those goals do not resonate as being mean-
ingful for them.
As clients gain greater insight into their own values, they may
have a vague awareness that something is off in terms of what
they are working to achieve. Before Mark entered into the lead-
ership program, one of his own internal barometers of success
was to “deliver the goods.” He took pride in accomplishing even
the most dif¬cult assignments. Challenging his boss™s request
to ¬re his two employees forced him to rethink that perception
of success. It is the coach™s role to help the client illuminate how
the client™s perception of success may be out of alignment with
the client™s value system. As a result, a client may shift his coach-
ing goals or his way of working to be in alignment with these
new insights.
Tell stories. Quadrant 3 is the space in which clients work with
and through larger audiences to get things done. Whether the
client is assuming a leadership role, building a network of in¬‚u-
ence, or pitching a project idea, the ability to capture both the
hearts and minds of others is an essential skill. When Mark met
with his team to share his observations from the interviews and
gain their agreement to set stretch goals, he needed to tell
a compelling story. Rather than just parade out the obvious
numbers and ask for compliance to the new standards, he con-
veyed a story that identi¬ed some of the challenges the team
faced and his belief that the team was capable of making the
necessary changes. Too often, clients rely on logic to move
people into action. The numbers may get their attention, but
the emotion of a story will resonate, as long as the emotion is
90 Coaching That Counts

true. This is one of the real bene¬ts of alignment: your words
and actions carry credibility. Encouraging clients to develop the
ability to tell credible, authentic stories that capture the imag-
ination of others is an important Quadrant 3 skill.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this goal is for the
coach to incorporate storytelling into the coaching process. The
coach can encourage the client to tell the story of what she
wants to achieve as a coaching technique to help the client get
clear on what her intentions are. The coach can also incorpo-
rate his own stories to illustrate points that he wants to make
for the client. This is particularly effective for helping a client
to see a situation from a different perspective or assuring him
that he is not the ¬rst person to face a particular challenge.
Stories are powerful ways of shaping our beliefs about what is
Make friends with fear. The work in Quadrant 3 is much more
public and requires change at deeper levels than the previous
quadrants. This is where clients put their ideas into action in
larger venues and begin to let go of aspects of their lives that
are not working. Although these changes typically take place
gradually over time, there is still an element of coming face-to-
face with one™s fears and misgivings. The coach can help the
client to deal with these uneasy feelings without being taken
over by them or running away from them. Just having the
opportunity to discuss feeling nervous or being afraid can be
enormously helpful to a client. Using the touchstones from
Quadrant 2, the client can get in touch with what he is most
concerned about. As Mark prepared for his half-day meeting
with his team to set a new course, he harbored some trepida-
tion about his ability to convey his conviction and faith in the
team in a way that would inspire them. Tim worked with Mark
to get clear on the story that he wanted to tell his team about
what he believed was possible, and Tim encouraged Mark to
remember what inspired him about the team. These small steps
calmed Mark™s nerves and raised his comfort level that he could
Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment 91

inspire others with his words and actions, which was one of his
coaching goals.
Integrate intuition and linear thinking. Intuition is developed
with experience. Like other skills, it is built up through prac-
tice and re¬‚ection. Coaches working with clients on Quadrant
3 developments will be encouraging clients to trust their own
intuitive insights. This change often happens subtly, as a back-
drop to accomplishing other goals. Mark™s decision to conduct
individual interviews with his team members was an intuitive
insight that arose during a coaching call with Tim. Mark was
expressing his frustration with the team for not using the new
project management tools more consistently, and he asked Tim
what to do. Rather than list some ideas, Tim turned the ques-
tion back to Mark and asked him what he felt needed to be
done. At ¬rst Mark said that he did not know, so Tim suggested
that Mark take a guess. Mark re¬‚ected for a moment and then
noted that something was getting in their way, but he did not
know what it was. Tim asked Mark how he might ¬nd out what
the problem was. The idea to interview each of his team
members just popped into Mark™s head. He and Tim went on
to discuss the best way to conduct the interviews to get the
desired results.
Through these kinds of conversations, clients learn to trust
their own intuitive insights. By encouraging clients to “take a
guess” or “make something up,” the coach can help them get
past their fears of not knowing or not being right and into the
space of intuiting. Like muscles that are built through repeated
activities, intuitive insight strengthens with experience. It is
part of the coach™s role to guide clients to continue to deepen
their intuitive abilities.
92 Coaching That Counts

Quadrant 3: Creating Alignment
Focus: Teams, groups or networks

Insight: Intuitive

Know thyself
Learn to work with patterns of dynamics
Expand your beliefs
Trust yourself

Essential outcome: Intuitive Centeredness
Quadrant 4: Original Action

Quadrant 4 is the space in which clients ¬nd their own innovative
ways of doing things and claim their own style of leadership. Not all
clients choose to work in Quadrant 4. Clients are propelled into this
quadrant by their own ideas and inspirations. There is something
that clients can see or sense they want to create, and they require the
development embedded in Quadrant 4 to step out and make it

Case Study: Clare Leads the Way

The last two years had been a frustrating ride for Clare, the VP of
business development in a medium-sized technology company. She
was selected for the VP position, mainly because of her ability to see
and cultivate opportunity that others overlooked. At the director
level, she had landed some strategically important acquisitions.
Since taking the VP role two years ago, almost all of her innovative
ideas had been shot down by her colleagues on the leadership team.
But now, perhaps, the tide was turning.
The leadership team had been working with an executive coach
named Tressa for six months, both as a team and individually.
Although there had been some bumpy spots, the coaching had gone
well so far, and the team was much more focused and communi-
cating more effectively than ever before. The multirater feedback
sessions were a real eye opener for some of the team members.

94 Coaching That Counts

Coupled with personality pro¬les, these assessments clearly shone
the light on areas that each team member needed to develop. For
the most part, team members were making solid strides toward
enhancing their abilities as leaders and team members. As a result,
they were increasingly able to talk about the kind of challenging
issues that previously would have locked the team up in a seemingly
irresolvable knot. The team was edging toward taking some greater
risks in a bid to turn the tide on their sliding margins.
Clare had focused her coaching work with Tressa on getting her
ideas across in ways that others could understand and support.
Her multirater feedback revealed that her team members respected
her sharp intellect and original thinking, but it was not uncommon
for team members to have dif¬culty understanding what Clare was
talking about when she got excited about a new idea. If she perceived
that others were not tracking with her, she would just keep talking,
piling explanation on top of explanation until even the people who
thought they had the concept were not quite sure anymore. As a
result, few of Clare™s more original proposals were accepted by
the team. Clare was deeply frustrated by this outcome, particularly
because she felt strongly that the company needed to push into some
new areas that she was proposing to spur growth in more lucrative
Clare moved fairly quickly through Quadrant 1. As a former
athlete, Clare was familiar with the concept of ¬nding her center,
although she had never really thought of applying this kind of focus
in a work setting. Tressa helped Clare see how she sometimes
derailed her own efforts by getting caught up in her stories about
what others were thinking or doing. It was not uncommon for Clare
to assume in advance that certain team members were against her
proposal even before she presented it. As a result, she often presented
her ideas from a defensive posture. Through re¬‚ection, Clare learned
to discern the difference between stories that she was creating and
events that were actually happening. By catching herself in story-
telling mode and stopping the story, she was better able to stay
centered and focused on what was happening in the moment.
Quadrant 4: Original Action 95

As the coaching work moved into Quadrant 2, Clare became
aware that her tendency to become overly enthusiastic about her
ideas was getting in the way of getting her proposals accepted. She
could see that when she became really excited she tended to tune out
the subtle”and sometimes not so subtle”clues that others were
sending her about their reactions to her idea. As a result, she did not
fully understand why others did not see the value in what she was
presenting. Tressa coached Clare on ways to keep her emotional
center and really listen to what others had to say. Clare found that
if she listened attentively to her colleagues, she became more aware
of what their real concerns were. Clare decided to apply this new
approach to build support for a proposal she was putting forward.
She found that by engaging her team members in one-on-one con-
versations that addressed their core concerns, Clare could ¬nd work-
able compromises. She started small with some new ways of looking
at opportunities that extended the current thinking of the team.
It took a lot longer to move her proposals forward, but she was
¬nally getting traction. By the time she presented her idea to the
entire team, she had already secured enough support to move the
initiative forward. With every success, Clare found her con¬dence
In team meetings, Clare found herself listening to the dialogue of
the team on new levels. As she listened to what was being said”and
what wasn™t”she started to detect where some of the barriers to
change were for the team. She started to see that if several depart-
ments worked together, they could offer an integrated solution that
Clare knew the market was looking for. She knew where to ¬nd
the technology that was needed, but there was no point in moving
in that direction if the leadership team was not prepared to work
together in new ways.
In her previous way of working, Clare would have gone into a
leadership meeting and beaten the team over the head with her idea,
until the resistance was so great that it was clear the idea was going
nowhere. This time, Clare decided to apply some of her insights
from her more recent successes. With Tressa™s coaching, Clare began
96 Coaching That Counts

to engage some of the key players on the team in dialogues about
the integrated solution she envisioned. In the ¬rst couple of con-
versations, Clare found that while there was agreement, and even
some excitement, about the idea, the team members with whom she
spoke had some deep reservations about the team™s ability to imple-
ment such a challenging initiative. Clare considered playing it safe
and abandoning the idea altogether, but the thought of giving up
left her ¬lled with disappointment. She truly believed the team was
capable of taking on this new initiative.
In her next coaching session, Tressa asked Clare what she really
wanted to create. This question, and the dialogue that followed,
helped Clare crystallize her thinking and get to the essence of what
she saw was possible. With this clarity, she could see several options
for moving forward, some that were likely to be more palatable to
her team. With this new perspective, Clare resumed her dialogues
with team members. Again, Clare found that when she listened care-
fully to her colleagues, she could detect their concerns, even when
they were having dif¬culty expressing them. For example, the VP of
IT services seemed to keep coming back to concerns about “his
people.” With some careful questioning, Clare was able to uncover
the core issue, which was the readiness of his team to take on some
of the new client responsibilities the integrated solution would
require. With the issue clearly stated, the VP and Clare were able to
brainstorm some possible solutions. Although they did not resolve
the issue completely, the dialogue increased the VP™s comfort level
with the proposal, and he became an advocate for exploring the idea
Clare knew that her boss, the president of the company, had a dif-
¬cult time dealing with overt con¬‚ict on the team. Although his
ability to step into emotionally charged conversations was increas-
ing with the coaching he was receiving, Clare sensed that she would
need to have a solid base of support before formally presenting the
idea for the team to consider. Clare recruited some of her support-
ive team members to help her build momentum with the rest of
the team.
Quadrant 4: Original Action 97

In the ¬nal coaching session before the big meeting, Tressa
coached Clare to separate her perception of who she was from the
idea she was putting forward. Tressa had noticed that Clare took
“losing” personally, and as a result, she would ¬ght to gain accep-
tance for what she wanted as if she were ¬ghting for her life. This
approach left little room for the necessary compromises required to
build a consensus. Clare™s con¬dence and insight had grown to the
point that she understood what Tressa was saying. She could see how
the pattern of being overly attached to outcomes got in her way. She
had experienced centered detachment, and she knew that it was a
powerful place from which to work.
The meeting went well, and the team committed to work together
on crafting an integrated offering. Clare was asked to lead the effort,
which both thrilled and frightened her. She knew that through the
process of implementing the integrated solution, she would be pre-
sented with many new opportunities to deepen her learning and
stretch her comfort zone. She looked forward to the challenge.

Creating Step Change

Quadrant 4 is the space in which leaders are inspired to create step
change. Drawing upon the solid foundation of development from
the previous three quadrants, leaders possess the insight, con¬dence,
and capabilities to make signi¬cant change happens. In Quadrant 4,
leaders trust their own inner knowing that something new is possi-
ble and they learn to draw upon their broad array of capabilities,
like symphony conductors, in order to bring their ideas to life.
Quadrant 4 is truly transformational. Leaders learn to step into their
own power. They take risks. They make mistakes. They sometimes
end up traveling in directions that they never expected. They learn
to trust themselves. Ultimately, they forge their own unique style of
leadership by stepping out into new territory.
Most clients don™t set Quadrant 4 goals as they initiate coaching.
Quadrant 4 goals are often formed as a natural outgrowth of a
client™s development and experiences in the earlier quadrants. Clare
98 Coaching That Counts

did not set off to lead her team to create a new integrated solution;
she just arrived at that opportunity through her work to become a
better leader. As a natural extension of that work, she saw an oppor-
tunity that she could not walk away from without feeling as if she
had let herself and her team down. When she stepped up to take on
that challenge, she advanced clearly into Quadrant 4. Like Clare,
most clients ¬nd themselves invited into Quadrant 4 through their
own desire to create what they perceive to be possible in the world.
Whether they are going after a new market or shifting an approach
to something that is tried and true, Quadrant 4 is the space for orig-
inal action. As a result, the goals that clients pursue in Quadrant 4
are often as unique as the person who crafts them. Some examples
of Quadrant 4 goals include the following:

Start a new venture
Make an innovative change to something that already exists,
such as taking a new approach to marketing or client
Inspire a team to take on a challenging goal
Integrate an artform or other creative endeavor into one™s work
Open up a new market opportunity

Whatever the goal, there is an element of transforming something
in a unique way and being transformed into a stronger, more con-
¬dent leader in the process.

Answering the “What Do I Want to Create?”

Clare came face-to-face with this question: “What do I want to
create?” when she had to decide whether to take the risk and proceed
with her idea of convincing the team to support the integrated solu-
tion. When Tressa asked Clare what she really wanted to create, Clare
was able to connect with how important it was for her to have her
ideas realized. The alignment between what she saw as possible and
Quadrant 4: Original Action 99

what the team needed was so clear that she could not walk away
from it. She was convinced that she could make a signi¬cant differ-
ence, and she needed to at least try to make it happen to be at peace
with herself. The coaching that she had received up until that time
gave her the con¬dence that she could ¬nd a way to propose and
implement the integrated solution. Before the coaching, she had
seen similar opportunities, but she lacked the insight and skill to
build a strong enough coalition to gain acceptance for her idea.
The root of the “What do I want to create?” question needs to be
inspiration in order to tap into the kind of creative energy required
to propel an idea forward. When clients answer the “What do I want
to create?” question strictly from an intellectual perspective, they
end up with goals they think they should attain, rather than goals
that get their creative juices running. Inspiration cannot be faked or
forced, but it can be cultivated. The touchstones of each quadrant
build on each other, and in doing so, create an internal infrastruc-
ture for accessing creative inspiration.

Quadrant 4 Touchstones

The touchstones for Quadrant 4 revolve around the themes of
believing that something more is possible and being in action to
create something new. Quadrant 4 is not for everyone, but those who
gravitate to working in this space become role models of powerful,
creative leadership. The touchstones for Quadrant 4 are as follows:

1. Believe in possibilities
2. Have faith
3. Build connections
4. Demonstrate clear commitment

1. Believe in possibilities. It is not possible to work in the fourth
quadrant without a willingness to believe that something more
or something different is possible. People who habitually argue
for the status quo will not enter into this territory.
100 Coaching That Counts

When Clare re¬‚ected on the dynamics of the leadership
team, she could see how some team members had become
isolated in their own areas and tended to see invitations to col-
laborate more as threats than opportunities. At the same time,
her contact with outside companies allowed Clare to engage in
conversation with people who had different perspectives. The
insights she gained through these conversations helped her see
new possibilities in the marketplace. Clare could see that if the
leadership team could ¬nd a way to collaborate on an inte-
grated offering, opportunities could be pursued. Without the
willingness to see possibilities, Clare would never have noticed
these openings for growth.
2. Have faith. This touchstone re¬‚ects a deeply founded faith that
naturally evolves from the work of the previous quadrants. By
the time a client reaches Quadrant 4, she has a solid founda-
tion of self-awareness; she knows what is important to her, and
she is aware when her work and her life are in alignment with
her values. The development that she has undergone as she
moved through the earlier quadrants has brought online a full
spectrum of capabilities and perspectives that greatly enhance
the ¬‚exibility and ¬‚uidity with which she can respond to a
wide variety of situations. Quadrant 4 is the space in which
clients focus on integrating what they have learned and putting
the learning into action in ways that are uniquely their own.
This requires a great deal of faith. For Clare this meant having
faith in herself that her insights have merit, faith that she can
translate those insights into action, and faith that even though
she does not know how events will unfold, she will be able to
handle whatever happens.
3. Build connections. New ideas often require support systems
of some kind to bring them to life. In Clare™s case, she needed
the support of others on her leadership team in order for the
integrated offering to happen. Without the buy-in of others,
Clare™s idea would be destined to die on the vine, but getting
Quadrant 4: Original Action 101

buy-in was just the ¬rst step. Clare™s new allies would in turn
need to rally support in their own organizations, defend the
idea to others who might not understand it, and ¬nd new ways
of collaborating.
The connections that are created serve like a web of support,
allowing an idea to spread into an organization. Without
enough support, new ideas can be crushed by the fears, resent-
ments, and misunderstanding of others. For natural creative
thinkers such as Clare, the most signi¬cant development
opportunity is often this touchstone of building connections.
This is where the foundation that was built by the previous
touchstones really pays off. Inspiring others to expand their
perspectives is no small task. It requires the ability to discern
subtleties in many levels. Building connections goes well
beyond intellectually convincing someone that an idea is
worth pursuing. Clare needed to win the hearts of her team-
mates, as well as their minds. Her conversations about the pro-
posal needed to reach her audience on an emotional level; the
team members needed to feel positively about the endeavor to
really get behind it. There also needs to be alignment with the
values of others.
The size and scope of the support web depends on the
impact a new idea will have on the organization. The greater
the impact, the more work is needed to pave the way for it.
Impact can be calibrated by the extent to which the idea
exceeds the general comfort zone of those whose support is
needed and also the degree of cooperation and collaboration
required from others to get something implemented. The
integrated solution that Clare proposed stretched her team in
some signi¬cant ways, which is why she needed to invest so
much time and energy upfront to build the connections to
support it.
4. Demonstrate clear commitment. It is important for the client to
look closely at what she is committed to. The focus of the
102 Coaching That Counts

client™s commitment will have a tremendous impact on how
she proceeds in getting something implemented. Previously,
Clare had become so attached to getting her ideas accepted that
she approached the process of gaining approval for them more
like soliciting votes than building a support base. This personal
focus led Clare to perceive feedback as criticism, and not just
criticism of the idea, but criticism of her. Consequently, she
defended her ideas more vehemently, which tended to close
down avenues of communication, not open them up.
With Tressa™s help, Clare was able to discern that her com-
mitment was to ¬nding an integrated solution that the team
could embrace and that met the needs of the market, rather
than being committed to getting her idea accepted. She saw
herself more as the person creating the space for this to happen
than being the owner of the idea. This broader perspective
allowed Clare to be more ¬‚exible in how she approached her
teammates. She tended to listen for openings for the path
forward rather than criticisms that needed to be defended.
This also enabled Clare to integrate the suggestions of others
into the plan more readily, which cultivated support and
enthusiasm for the project.

The Essential Outcome of Quadrant 4:
Personal Power

Personal power is the ability to focus the full complement of your
personal resources”your creativity, intellect, and spirit”to create
what you believe is possible. It is personal because it is not power
over or involving anyone else. It™s all about you. Sometimes people
mistake power for force. Force involves throwing your proverbial
weight around to get what you want, whether others want you to
have it or not. Force tends to create winners and losers. Power, on
the other hand, is about awareness, choice, and focus.
Powerful people are aware that they have a full palette of abilities.
They know this because they have stretched themselves through new
Quadrant 4: Original Action 103

experiences to discover what they are made of. The wide array of
development that occurs as clients move through the four quadrants
allows them to experience aspects of themselves with which they are
less familiar. Choice is what moves all of their abilities into action.
Powerful people take responsibility for choosing who they want to
be and what they want to create. Clients who step into their personal
power are naturally respected leaders who become role models for
Personal power rests solidly on the work of the previous quad-
rants. The physical, emotional, and intuitive centeredness that
evolved through the earlier work forms the foundation of this level
of development. Clare was stepping into this space as she took the
risk to introduce her ideas to the team. Leading the implementation
of the integrated solution will test Clare in many ways. These expe-
riences will hone her leadership style and deepen her base of
personal power.
Continuing with our basketball analogy, a leader who is working
in Quadrant 4 is like a truly great basketball player whose style of
play is uniquely his own and who transforms the performance of
the entire team through his inspired approach to the game.

Coaching Tools and Approaches for Quadrant 4

The following are strategies for coaches to consider integrating into
their Quadrant 4 coaching engagements:

Ask “What if?” It is the coach™s role to ask a client to look beyond
perceived limitations and imagine what might be on the other
side. Like the elephant that no longer challenges the chains that
restrained it as a baby, clients sometimes need to be reminded
that they have grown in signi¬cant ways and are capable of
accomplishing more than they believe.
Clare ¬rst suggested the idea of the integrated solution in a
coaching call with Tressa more as a piece of wishful thinking
than a viable course of action. Listening carefully, Tressa could
104 Coaching That Counts

hear Clare™s belief in the concept hiding under the layer of
reasons why it would never work. As Clare™s coach, Tressa
encouraged Clare to really look at each of the excuses that she
was offering for why the idea would not ¬‚y to honestly iden-
tify which ones were real. Through this process, Tressa was able
to help Clare identify the assumptions she was making, both
about what others were likely to support and what she was
capable of. By untangling the story, Tressa helped Clare see
what questions she would need to get answered and what
assumptions she would need to test in order to determine if her
idea had potential.
Quadrant 4 is the place where clients come face-to-face with
the assumptions they make about what is possible. Often the
assumptions are ones that help clients feel safe. As long as Clare
was certain that no one would support an integrated solution,
she felt there was no point in presenting it. If she let go of that
assumption, then she would come face-to-face with her fear of
stepping out and taking the risk. Coaches must work carefully
in this area. It is the coach™s responsibility to help the client
determine if perceived impediments are real or not, but it is
solely the client™s responsibility to choose whether to move
forward with something. It is the coach™s role to hold a space
for the client to make these kinds of important decisions.
Weave the threads together. Quadrant 4 is the space in which
the various aspects of development that clients have gone
through”both inside and outside coaching”come together.
Often, the client has some gift or ability that she was not able
to give full expression to because she lacked the supporting
skills to fully realize that aspect of her potential. Clare had a gift
for seeing business opportunities that others missed, yet she
was frustrated in her efforts to really experience the impact of
her unique perspective because she lacked the interpersonal
and leadership skills to enroll others to support her ideas.
Through her coaching experience, Clare was able to bring
online the skills she needed to champion the team™s efforts to
Quadrant 4: Original Action 105

develop new technology to take advantage of market opportu-
nities. Tressa helped Clare see that she was ready to play that
leadership role. Sometimes the coach has to be the one to say
“You™re ready! You have everything you need to take this next
Illuminate the connections. Building the web of support that is
needed to bring new ideas to life requires the ability to see
where the support is needed. It is the coach™s role to ask the
kinds of questions that illuminate the connections that need to
be created if the client is not seeing them. At ¬rst, Clare felt that
she really only needed to bring a few of her team members on
board with her idea to get it accepted. When Tressa asked Clare
who beyond the immediate team would be affected by what she
was proposing, Clare started to see that she would needed the
support of IT and other groups to move this idea forward.
When Tressa asked Clare who could derail the integrated solu-
tion, Clare could see that a few key players were tangentially
involved with implementing the idea and could really throw a
wrench in the works if they started to actively resist. Clare was
not expecting to get complete support from everyone, but she
did need to be aware of the dynamics that underlie moving an
initiative forward in an organization so that she could cultivate
as much support as possible. Tressa guided Clare to see the out-
lines of the web she needed to build.
Connections can come in all shapes and forms. Even clients
who are implementing much less complicated efforts will need
to take a more holistic view of their situation to see what needs
to be created to provide necessary support.
Ask the courageous questions. An element of courage is more
present in Quadrant 4 than in any of the proceeding quadrants.
It takes courage to act on one™s inspiration. It takes courage to
try something new. It takes courage to choose a direction and
pursue it, especially when you are not sure where you are going
to end up. Coaches need to be role models of courage, and
in the fourth quadrant, that means asking the courageous
106 Coaching That Counts

questions, those that bring the client face-to-face with per-
ceived limitations. Courageous questions need to be asked not
as a challenge, but as an invitation to see something from a dif-
ferent perspective. When Clare wanted to wriggle away from
introducing the idea of an integrated solution, it would have
been easy for Tressa to concur that the idea was too farfetched
to consider. Instead, Tressa asked Clare to play with the possi-
bility that it could be done. This led to some big questions for
Clare that revolved around who she would need to be in order
to step into the role she had described. For Clare, it meant con-
fronting her fear that she would be shot down for having such
a bold idea. It also meant that Clare would have to have some
dif¬cult conversations.
Courageous questions can also guide clients to acknowledge
what they know to be true and have been avoiding in some way,
such as the possibility that they are in the wrong position or
the fact that the client is participating in something that is not
right for the person. Once answered, these questions compel
clients to shift or move into action in some way. These ques-
tions get at the core of what is going on, the Aha! moments that
open new doors of personal and professional growth and
sometimes make us all uncomfortable. The discomfort is often
¬‚eeting and reveals a profound sense of relief that the essence
of a personal or professional challenge is ¬nally revealed, and
now action can be taken.
Sometimes this can be a scary place for a coach to be. It is
the moment when you see that you have been coaching the
symptoms, and the root of what needs to be addressed is
coming into focus. Clients need to go through the personal and
professional development that the earlier quadrants provide in
order to be ready to see and accept the nugget of truth that will
open the door to new possibilities. This process occasionally
happens as a moment of truth, but it is more likely that clients
will come to their own awareness over time, guided by a series
of courageous questions that are peppered into coaching
Quadrant 4: Original Action 107

conversations. Coaches need to guard against becoming so
comfortable in their coaching relationships that they are unable
or unwilling to challenge their clients to see the underlying
dynamics that limit them from achieving what they want to
Get out of the way. By the time a coach and client reach Quad-
rant 4, they have traveled a long road together. The coach will
have played many roles for the client. He may have held her
accountable for her commitments in Quadrant 1, guided her
through some emotional conversations in Quadrant 2, and
been a con¬dante for her fears in Quadrant 3 as she tried trust-
ing her intuition in a more signi¬cant way. It is common for
coaches to play a more active role in the earlier quadrants, pro-
viding tools, role-modeling new approaches, and offering pos-
sible ideas or solutions to consider.
As the client moves into the fourth quadrant, the coach™s
touch must become lighter. At times the coach™s role may be
just to witness the client™s success and celebrate his achieve-
ments. The questions become more focused and often more
profound. So much of what the client needs to know now
resides within him, and his real work is to trust this knowledge.
The coach needs to recognize when it is time to step out of the

The Leading with Insight Model

Although the Leading with Insight model has been presented in a
linear fashion, clients tend to move through the quadrants in a more
circuitous manner. They may be working in more than one quad-
rant at a time, just as Clare had to expand her abilities to engage in
meaningful one-on-one conversations with her peers as she worked
on her Quadrant 3 goal of getting her team to approve her earlier
proposal. Sometimes clients set more challenging goals for them-
selves and need to shore up their work in earlier quadrants to
support this new level of achievement. This often happens when a
108 Coaching That Counts

client is promoted. The new position will most likely create more
pressures and may involve having more dif¬cult conversations or
working with a much larger network of people. Clients may choose
to deepen their facility with the earlier touchstones in order to step
successfully into these new challenges.
The Leading with Insight model describes the web of develop-
ment that underlies the vast array of outcomes that coaching can
deliver. The development that is described is sometimes handled
overtly in coaching conversations, but it is more often integrated
into the context of the coaching work.
It is important to bring this model into our awareness now to
ensure that the essence of what makes coaching so powerful is not
lost as more structure, focus, and discipline are applied to this
complex process. The opportunity before us now is to harness the
power of coaching to transform people and organizations in strate-
gically signi¬cant ways. The challenge is not to lose the power of
coaching in the process.

Quadrant 4: Original Action
Focus: Step change, on any level from personal to system-wide

Insight: Inspirational

Belief in possibilities
Have faith
Build connections
Demonstrate clear commitment

Essential Outcome: Personal Power
Section Two
Managing Coaching Initiatives
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Coaching as a Strategic Initiative

In the preceding four chapters, we have read some wonderful stories


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