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What a weighty word, a complex concept and it even comes with a religious heritage. It’s more than a viewpoint, it’s an axis from which we all orbit. To learn about our personal sovereignty and to live from this place is part of the journey of becoming a transformative, generative coach at inviteCHANGE.
Learning to trust myself as a coach is intertwined with learning and practicing living from sovereignty and now being a champion for it on behalf of my clients.
Here’s a personal example to illustrate sovereignty as it gained importance in my life.
Years before I became a coach, I was a manager with a new, emerging team inside of a company that had just completed an acquisition and reorganization. Several times I walked into ambiguous situations with employees or managers where I would be asked what to do. Early on I found myself using the executive’s name or authority as the reason to act a specific way. One day I happened upon a conversation and heard one of my district managers doing the same thing – handing off his personal power by saying to the employee, “Sarah said to do it this way.” The impact hit me right in the gut. The manager didn’t sound or feel authentic or trustworthy.
It was time to look within and find where I was side-stepping direct communication. What was holding me back and what was it that I wanted to claim in myself? Working with my professional coach and her powerful questions, I began to bring forward insights of authority and accountability and how my inner “sovereign” could be honored in the workplace and throughout my life. While I may have been subject to authority that was harsh, unfair or without empathy, that did not have to be what I brought forward to my team. Tuning in to what was true for me, and then connecting to my core values, essence and purpose comprised my sovereignty. The change to live from sovereignty was intentional and incremental. How it manifested with the team amazed me on all counts. Living from sovereignty brought out their sovereignty in ways that were shrouded by shifting accountability to someone, anyone or avoiding situations that called for them to be fully present. As they realized they mattered, that their point of view was valuable and called for, fear or ambivalence were replaced with respect, diversity, inclusion and integrity. They began to claim their sovereignty. The dynamic impact of sovereignty resulted in the team overcoming seemingly insurmountable challenges including a recession, hundreds of businesses/accounts closing and much more. Together we rose to the occasion and experienced team sovereignty as we grew into our responsibility for contribution, retained the top talent and grew closer to our clients and suppliers.
How did coaching support this success story? The introduction by the coach and practice of living from sovereignty by the client. I now have the pleasure of introducing sovereignty to my clients and witnessing their evolution and success!
Sarah passionately and practically pursues the development of leaders through intentional, organic growth. She emboldens leaders to create an environment where management is expansive, willing to move with agility beyond comfort zones, and to champion the individual and collective genius within the organization. With teams in transition she inspires connection, realignment and forward progress within the awkward movements of the changing landscape. Her belief is that coaching is as essential an element for an organization as the product or service the company produces. “An employee who grows personally, grows professionally” and coaching seeds growth.
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