Innovation, Freefall and Not-Knowing
It’s commonly said that the highest value we coaches can offer is not to give “answers” but help our clients learn how to engage their own challenges.
Sometimes this is about holding back what we think, so the client can discover what they need while improving their discovery and innovation skills.
More challenging are cases when we recognize that we simply cannot know the answer in the first place. To support our clients in their development, we need to nourish our own capacity to be in the condition of not-knowing.
How do you relate *in yourself* to not being the person with the answers? How do you stay with the often uncomfortable awareness of incomplete information, contradiction, ambiguity, conflict, uncertainty, complex systemic challenges; the vulnerability of not seeing a clear path to a clear goal?
The key skills to build here, in my experience, include self-awareness, self-management, and presence; the capacity to take and concurrently hold multiple perspectives; the capacity to respond creatively instead of reacting from our defenses.
In this article, Alana Felt of Ten Directions offers beautiful, practical reflections on “cultivating a relationship with not-knowing.”