Unlocking Personal Potential through Professional Coaching with Jacquelyn Lane and Scott Osman

Unlocking Personal Potential through Professional Coaching with Jacquelyn Lane and Scott Osman

Scott Osman once believed he never needed an executive coach. Jacquelyn Lane had an epiphany when she attempted to defend a mistake she had made. Her manager’s question, ”What does it serve you to be defensive here?” changed her perspective. Now, both lead 100 Coaches Agency, an organization representing the world’s best coaches, founded by internationally renowned #1 executive coach and #1 NYT bestselling author, Marshall Goldsmith. During their Take Command Podcast interview, Osman and Lane passionately discuss the importance of coaching in overcoming career-limiting thinking and unlocking our full leadership potential.

Coaching matters. Lane defines coaching as the “ability to learn, grow and develop, which is often about taking feedback to be open to change and input from others. They’re simply things that we can’t see in ourselves. And so coaching is an outside perspective that helps us learn, grow, and be better.” Both Lane and Osman agree that securing a professional coach is best, but if people are not ready for that yet, they should seek out their bosses or peers to give them clear, honest feedback. Osman describes coaching this way, “The world around you is changing, and the coach can help guide you through that change to deal with the things that are different and also help you either to be different or better … So, the very first hurdle is being open to change.”

Embrace expansion. Osman admits he told many potential coaches that he was feeling good and didn’t need any help until one coach changed his mind. The coach explained: ‘“If that’s the case, then how about we work on expansion?’” Osman explains. “And he went on to explain it in that first session. He said, ‘Look, if you believe that things are good the way they are this is a self-limiting belief and it’s stopping you from thinking beyond where you are now.’” Ten years later, Osman says, “Coaching is not about fixing a problem; coaching is very often about creating expansion.”

Beware of blind spots. Osman and Lane say everyone has them, even if they vehemently deny they do. “There are just these glaring blind spots that are by the nature of blind spots invisible to me,” Osman explains, “and I need someone from the outside who has a different perspective and a different experience and a different point of view to help me see what I don’t see.” Lanes offers this colorful analogy: “The saying goes: the jam can’t read the label on the jar, right? None of us can see ourselves from the outside. And similarly, you know, if I think of so many great leaders who become aware of challenges in their business that they simply didn’t see, only because they asked some of the other people in the business. For example, front-line workers.” Osman tells the story of Hubert Joly, the former Best Buy CEO who turned around the company, in part, by traveling the country asking employees for their advice.

Ask questions. One method corporate leaders are successful is when they create safe spaces where their employees feel comfortable sharing ideas and criticisms. Osman and Lane say leaders must be willing to ask questions.“It’s amazing how few people, especially leaders,” Lane says, “ask for feedback or ask for the ideas and suggestions of people beneath them. Many leaders think that it’s their job to have the answers or to fill the space with their ideas, input, and insight. But that’s simply not the case, and sometimes just creating the space … just asking for it opens up that flow of information once again.”