Coaching Tools, Leadership

The Creative Coach’s Corner: How To Find An Elephant By Walking

By Yael Blum


There is an ancient Indian fable known as “The Six Blind Men And The Elephant”. In it, six blind men encounter an elephant and afterward are asked to make sense of what they “saw” by explaining it to the king.

Organisations are like mighty elephants, around which circulate a multitude of individuals having entirely different, but equally valid experiences. Like the blind men, each is “partially in the right and all (are) in the wrong” (Saxes 1872).

Two key factors in successful leadership are one, the ability to discern the difference between observation and the way in which we make sense of what we observe; and two, to foster the conditions for learning from our collective experience so we can take effective action.

Understanding the nature of experience is an essential coaching skill. And there are processes and tools we can use to help with this as Yael Blum shows in the October edition of the Worldwide Coaching Magazine.

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