When going on holidays, most of us have some kind of plan and or things we would be interested in seeing; experiencing or doing. At one extreme, some people plan their holidays with ‘laser precision’ – organising daily accommodation; restaurants and activities. While others may know the towns or cities they will visit – and that’s about it. Whichever approach, travel leads to both expected and unexpected (my favourite) outcomes.
Unexpected outcomes also come about when we are coaching individual leaders. When coaching an individual, we often start with a diagnostic [to gain data], and as an input to the development objectives. During the six to 12-month coaching program we work with the individual to ensure that development objectives are met (if not exceeded). And often, the coaching program leads to unexpected outcomes.
We were engaged to work with leader from the resources sector who was dedicated, ambitious and competent. The development objectives (signed off by the CEO) were achieved. One of the leader’s development objectives was to focus on impactful communication. Through the coaching process the leader gained tools and techniques to enhance her communication – expected outcomes; however, the leader also gained personal insights; career clarity and undertook development activities outside of her comfort zone that were unexpected. These activities included presenting to a large group of Airforce personnel to stretch herself and challenge her confidence levels to present in an engaging manner. The overlay of this was that Toastmasters International members were also invited along to the same session and facilitated the morning as a Toastmasters event. This meant the leader, received instant feedback from three very experienced (and competent) Toastmasters. This unexpected event resulted in unexpected outcomes – the leader learnt volumes about communicating with impact; as well as gained confidence from a situation/context that she may not have otherwise participated in and was very proud of her achievements.
The key to this is being open-minded to unexpected outcomes and leveraging off the presented opportunities. Learning and growing are keys to relevance in the workplace. All leaders, no matter how experienced, should seek out opportunities to grow and gain the benefits of the unexpected outcomes.
[As an aside, on a recent holiday to the US, some of my unexpected outcomes was learning how to play Fortnite (with by friend’s 14-year-old son); learning about the history of spies (at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC) and learning the value of pushing myself outside of my comfort/fear zone (e.g. to undertake white water rafting and to ride a mule to the bottom of the canyon)].
Change2020 specialise in delivering bespoke leadership coaching programs that foster growth mindset leaders who lead by leveraging off presented opportunities and know how to use innovative strategies to guide your business to success. Contact us to begin building a strong leadership team that results in a better workplace achieving business outcomes.