Colleague blogger, Laura Moroney shares her thoughts on how taking a coaching approach can help everyone to achieve more in their life.
You may think – what an elaborate title. I chose it because the very definition of enlightenment is what I believe we at Bromford are aiming to achieve in our relationships with our customers. The action of enlightening or the state of being enlightened involves things like understanding, insight, education, learning, knowledge, awareness, information, erudition, wisdom, instruction. We aim to get to a place where we are no longer the ‘enforcer’ or the ‘officer’.
We want our customers to reach enlightenment in their lives and homes by being coached or guided through their tenancy with us, in a more humble and open minded way.
Since starting at Bromford I've always been encouraged to use my personality and to be myself. I tend to enter into conversations and situations with customers in a light-hearted and good humoured way where possible. I find that I get the most positive results this way. I was delighted to learn that we’re taking a coaching approach when working with our customers. This way of working really appeals to me and I am extremely enthused and delighted to be part of this.
The change will definitely feel slightly odd for me in certain ways. My background has involved a lot of doing for people, particularly older people. Some might say I have been known to spoon-feed a little. In the past I tended to problem solve and give the answers. I would make the calls, do all the research and fill all the paperwork in. This was almost engrained into me. I am now learning that through coaching I can still guide and assist people, but I can also lead them to the answers to issues and queries themselves. This is a much more rewarding way of working, it enables people to feel more empowered and instils more confidence in them.
I have no doubt that there are going to be challenges with this new way of working. There are customers on my patch with mental health issues such as psychosis, personality disorders and dementia and a lot of these people may feel intimidated or overwhelmed by more open ended questions.
I’m confident though that with the right coaching these customers will start to see a difference in themselves. Sometimes we just ‘do’ for people because we assume that they can’t ‘do’ for themselves. In reality, if we take the time to get to know our customers and to build their confidence I’m sure we’ll find that most people will feel empowered once they’re able to do things for themselves; and it’s our job to show everyone that they are more than capable of finding the answers for themselves…thus building strong and resilient individuals and communities.
I read a quote recently and it began by saying:
If you look at the path, you will not see the sky...
This really brings home the way we should all need to be seeing, not only our work but our lives. I take from this a meaning that if we just focus on the job or the result then we will miss the real potential in people. If we look into all aspects of a situation, rather than the obvious, we will see more and find more answers. At Bromford we speak about unlocking potential all of the time, now I genuinely feel that we are closer to being equipped and enabled to do a lot more of this.