Coaching For the Arena

Lu Setnicka

I just finished listening to Brené Brown’s latest book, “Dare to Lead:  Brave Work, Tough Conversations, Whole Hearts.”  It’s excellent.  So much so that I’ve pushed rewind and am listening to it all over again.  From the very beginning.  And frantically scribbling notes (and pushing rewind frequently) to capture her brilliant insights.

For example, “I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes and has the courage to develop that potential.”  And she quotes Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher from Roman times, “What stands in the way, becomes the way.” So much of what she discusses in this book is directly applicable to my role as a coach: helping my clients figure out what’s standing in their way to living the life they want to lead (and then our work becomes that challenge) or guiding them toward their true potential, often leading them to make courageous decisions about leaving a job, ending a relationship, or beginning a new profession.

But the metaphor that really stood out for me is what she calls, “…rumbling with vulnerability in the arena.”  The “arena” is home, a workplace, a relationship, an environment, either internal or external.  When she talks about “rumbling with vulnerability,” it’s about striding into that arena, metaphorically, and getting ready to do some really hard work in a conversation, showing up in an authentic, genuine way.  That often requires the courage to be vulnerable, to say you were wrong, to apologize for dismissing a colleague’s point of view, to opening yourself up to a new and different perspective.

It’s the work we all need to be doing.  As Susan Scott, author of “Fierce Conversations” states, it’s time to “come out from behind yourself into the conversation and make it real.”  Or, as I’m sure Brené would agree, “…The conversation is the relationship.”

So much of our work at From Within Coaching is focused on your arena, wherever that may be.  You may be seeking a new job, you may thirst to evolve as an executive leader, or you may be scratching your head about the next direction for your life. Whatever the quest, we follow the guidance of the Brené Browns and Susan Scotts of the world, acknowledging the “rumble” is often with you, requiring vulnerability and great courage.  A coach can jump into the arena with you, help you remove your armor, and tackle whatever is standing in your way.  We look forward to helping you with that quest

Photo by Briana Tozour on Unsplash


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