Ed Batista, an executive coach and Stanford lecturer, discusses self-coaching, highlighting its relational aspect and the value of writing for self-reflection. He underscores the necessity of personalizing documentation techniques and references Stanford’s successful “touchy-feely” course, explaining its organizational impact. Ed addresses the crucial role of coaching in today’s divisive climate, focusing on the challenges leaders face in navigating polarizing social and political issues and providing guidance on effective leadership and team management through strong communication.
[2:44] Ed describes his significant life transition from living in San Francisco for 30 years to unexpectedly moving to a working sheep and cattle ranch in Marin County due to the pandemic. Various factors, including the change to virtual work, retirement from teaching at Stanford, and a reassessment of priorities, led to this shift. He reflects on the challenges and educational experiences of rural living and shares the difficult decision to step away from teaching a course they founded at Stanford, “The Art of Self Coaching,” but later on, realize that it was the right choice.
[7:10] He explains that self-coaching is a self-directed process, but not a solitary one. Ed believes that while reflection is crucial, it is equally important to engage with others in the process. His teaching approach, which involves giving students readings and prompting them to integrate the material with personal experiences through writing. He then encourages students to recognize the need for both solitary reflection and engagement with others, as the latter is essential for discussing challenges and seeking help.
[9:33] Ed shares about the value of reflective writing, such as journaling, for personal development. He mentions that traditional diary-style journaling can be tedious and unsustainable, leading many to abandon the practice. Subsequently, he advocates for a more personalized and sustainable approach, emphasizing that the act of writing itself, regardless of whether one revisits the content, has numerous benefits. Ed also provides insight into their experience with a course called “Interpersonal Dynamics” at Stanford, also known as “touchy-feely”. He provides a historical context, detailing the course’s evolution and its enduring impact on individuals and organizations.
[17:09] With the increasing challenges in this world, including social, political, and economic issues, Ed explains that there is a need for coaching, particularly among leaders. In the current environment, leaders may find it challenging to navigate these complexities and may feel compelled to issue statements or commitments that prove difficult to fulfill. With this, the need for leaders to address these challenges in coaching relationships is crucial, because coaching provides a safe space for leaders to acknowledge the pressure they face, discuss the complexity of issues, and explore different perspectives.
[20:11] He discusses the challenges faced by leaders in addressing social and political issues within the current tumultuous and polarized environment. Ed highlights the complexity of these issues and the pressure leaders feel to adopt simplified stances that may not align with the best interests of their businesses. He also emphasized the importance of acknowledging the nuanced needs of various stakeholders, including employees and customers. Ed also diverted into the topic of impacts of virtual work on social connections, suggesting that even in virtual settings, finding ways to create in-person experiences can foster social cohesion, and how to address problems in the workplace.
[30:19] Ed Bautista contrasts one-on-one coaching, highlighting its high fidelity and settled mindset, with challenges faced by leaders in group settings, especially in virtual environments. He stresses the importance of camera use, in virtual meetings, and recommends one-on-one interactions within group contexts for deeper insights. Ed provides advice on group facilitation, emphasizing a leader’s intervention when necessary, and the consideration of external facilitators. Ed advises workplace leaders to offer support, coaching, and clear expectations while cautioning against prematurely assigning leadership responsibilities.
[38:44] He talks about the challenges individuals face when transitioning from individual contributor roles to leadership positions. There is a need for a shift in mindset, especially for those who were valued for their technical expertise. He also highlights the emotional difficulty in relinquishing the role of the “smartest person in the room” and adapting to a new way of adding value as a leader. Ed also notes the misconception of overworking as a way to add value and stresses the importance of understanding where one truly adds the greatest value, focusing on high-impact tasks rather than routine activities.
[44:44] In discussing organizational culture, Ed Batista highlights the interplay between empathy and accountability. He critiques high-accountability environments lacking empathy, comparing them to boot camps without a sense of safety. Conversely, he warns against overly empathetic cultures with low accountability, likening them to unsustainable daycares. Ed advocates for a balanced approach, encouraging organizations to cultivate cultures that are both high in accountability and high in empathy. Despite acknowledging challenges, he emphasizes the potential benefits of finding equilibrium between these two elements.
[44:46] Closing Quote: Remember, each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen. – Pete Carroll.
Quotable Quotes:“If you're deliberate about trying, then you give yourself a fighting chance.” Click To Tweet “It is a matter of understanding the sort of ruthless power law, the Pareto curve in life that says if you're tackling the tasks that allow you the greatest value, and you get them right, everything else on your to-do list is… Click To Tweet “We can bring people together from across vastly different geographies.” Click To Tweet “Empathy is about understanding where they're coming from.” Click To Tweet “We wound up creating an environment in which people felt obligated to stay silent or mouth the official position.” Click To Tweet “If we feel that sense of interpersonal connection, and have a greater sense of social cohesion, there's greater trust.” Click To Tweet “How do we create enough media in person experience to ensure that people feel a sense of social connection?” Click To Tweet “The worse the state of the world is, the more leaders benefit from good coaching.” Click To Tweet “We gain by virtue of writing down thoughts and feelings about experiences, even if we never reread it.” Click To Tweet “Construct writings in a way that's going to be sustainable for you and that's going to work.” Click To Tweet “We need some time, time for solitary reflection, and we also have to come back and engage with other people and integrate that.” Click To Tweet
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