First stage: Thinking about leadership in the abstract
Participants from all countries describe the initial completion of the self-assessment inventory itself as a trigger to ‘new’ thinking, even before they receive any feedback.
Second stage: Reflections on oneself
However, once feedback is received, the focus of particpants’ attention seems to shift from thinking about leadership to thinking about themselves.
Third stage: reflecting on oneself as a leader
The participants were ready to talk about their feedback and themselves, and indeed were mostly eager to do so. The discussions of self in the coaching sessions, and of whether the way they perceive themselves as leaders is shared by those they work with, led to deeper reflections and to acknowledgement that social situations, even at work, are places where multiple realities exist, and that it is wiser to accept these and try to work around them.
Fourth stage: goal setting and reflections leading to concrete leadership actions
Once attention has switched from self-view to the way participants are seen by others in the coaching sessions, and whether these match, inevitably this leads to reflection from individuals about how they carry out their roles. During this phase there seems to be an accompanying shift away from general discussion of attitudes and behaviour, to describing specific incidents and problems in the workplace.
We are currently working on several publications as well as an edited volume on the project.