by Dr. Keith Merron (USA)

Many will tell you that the keys to being a great coach have all to do with a specific set of skills such as listening, artfully offering feedback, reflecting back well, etc., and I might agree. Still further, many will offer you a wonderful set of tips for how to market and sell yourself, how to give a powerful elevator speech, or how to ‘land’ the client, all of which might be quite useful. All of those things might be good for being a good coach, but not will evince mastery. In my view, mastery has all to do with one’s quality of being and little to do with the skills.

Being is an elusive concept.  It cannot be objectified. One cannot touch it, smell it, taste it, or see it. Moreover, because so many branches of science, psychology and philosophy deal with the concept of being, it has been defined in a variety of ways.  For example, Martin Heidegger, the 20th century philosopher, refers to being as a fundamental state of existence in the world. He was interested in the ‘is-ness’ of being. He also believed that living an ‘authentic life’ had something to do with discovering and expressing one’s natural state of being.  Looking at being from a slightly different angle, many eastern philosophies refer to being as the innermost core of one’s self, that which is connected to all things. Each of these views clearly has merit, as do so many more.

While many have wrestled with the concept of being, and clearly have differing points of view, we need a concrete definition.  When I refer to one’s being, I am simply referring to where one’s consciousness is located at any given moment. My consciousness, in this case, has to do with the content of my thoughts and my awareness.  It is where I come from when I take action. When a friend is troubled by my angry expression and says, ‘Hey Keith, take a look at where you are coming from,’ she is asking me to look at my attitude with regard to that particular situation, or at the thoughts that produce the anger.  She wants me to see where my anger derives.

At any moment, I can come from any of a number of places in my inner being. Sometimes I am in touch with my core self and feel connected to all things. Sometimes I am the wounded child of my deeper self and act petulantly. Sometimes I express myself through my outgoing personality and am playful.  In every case, my behaviour is driven by some part of my inner being.

Source: iCN Issue 29  (Building your Organisation); pages 19-21

About Dr. Keith Merron

Keith Merron is the Managing Partner of Leadership Pathways, a consulting firm dedicated to helping organisations with bold visions achieve sustainable high performance and industry leadership. As an organisation’s effectiveness and an executive development consultant, he has more than 35 years of experience assisting executives and managers in business, government, and education.

In the context of his consulting, he works with the C-suite as a transformational coach. In addition, Keith has designed and led over 100 seminars and workshops for leaders. He has helped create some of the most innovative leadership training programs in the country. Through his consulting firm, he regularly offers a workshop for coaches called: The Art of Transformational Coaching. See his website: www.leadership-pathways.com for more information.

Keith received his Doctorate from Harvard University in 1985, where his studies spanned the fields of human and organisation development. He is the author of five books on human and organisational change and is putting the finishing touches on a new book, tentatively titled: The Art of Transformational Coaching.

Keith teaches at the Hult International School of Business and is in high demand as a speaker on the subject of leadership and building extraordinary organisational cultures.