Where are you stuck and what Tug-Boat nudge and support would free you?
I was watching the rescue team working to free the huge ‘Ever Given’ container ship from its awkwardly wedged position in the Suez Canal and three things struck me:
I don’t know if you’ve ever watched a Tug-Boat in action, but they are amazing vessels. Some can break ice for huge ships to pass safely through, some have water cannons and can fight fires that would otherwise cripple a vessel. I’ve watched these comparatively tiny boats gently guiding huge and powerful ships in challenging situations such as through a high and tight weir on the Egyptian Nile or manoeuvring HMS Queen Elizabeth through a busy harbour in Portsmouth on her maiden voyage and now, achieving the seemingly impossible in the Suez Canal.
The Suez Canal Tug-Boat team process was to move one small area, then take time to reflect together on safe, dry land before taking the Tug-Boats out to nudge the next key area of the container ship. Trying, stopping, observing and learning from each nudge response before engineering the next.
I’m not sure how I feel about comparing myself or the coaching profession to a Tug-Boat, yet the analogy seems to fit remarkably well with what we do:
The agenda always belongs to the client. Their goals, needs, aspirations and values are all in their own wheelhouse already and they have all that they need to travel under full steam to their chosen destination, with just a little help to get unstuck, get going and learn and grow along the way. I’m certain that both the ‘Ever Given’ and the Tug-Boat team learned a lesson or two as they worked together in that very tight spot.
Coaching is fundamentally about relational presence. Whatever style of coach you work with, there is a common, relational core and both the client and coach benefit from that close connection and collaboration. Together they create a safe space in which to reflect, see from other perspectives, observe, get curious, try things out, see what happens and design next steps, nudges and support. Together they learn and grow from the rich experience of being joined for a while by a towline.
Get in touch, grab a towline and get ready to set your ship on the right course for you.
Gillian (Tug-Boat) Walter