It has been years since I constantly see how Romanians who succeed in having careers in international organizations pay close attention to training. And here I am not referring to learning the programs or objectives of these international organizations / institutions! But to a different type of learning!
In fact, they first dissociate or stop from collective, institutionalized thinking, and then they are honest in having the courage to say out loud what they want with ardor! This is where a different kind of learning begins: they train themseves to stay motivated, to identify and enhance their resources. They overcome fears and leave behind all those who tell them that they cannot fulfill their dream! “We each go to a coach for about 5 sessions,” two dear friends, with good careers in Brussels, recently told me. They are husband and wife.
He – “My perspective from now is completely different and I learned a completely different way of thinking and especially how to act. Me, the one who became after 6 months of coaching, I am the one who got the position for which I competed. I didn’t succeed before! “
She – “I know my goals. I know how to set them up and evaluate my progress positively, the steps I take to achieve. Coaching helped me identify them. And I think a lot in terms of change. I embrace and appreciate changes as opportunities. The context of change is always the one in which I call for coaching. “
At the political level, however, we have letters 10 foot hight: Romania has blocked the formation of the European Commission! If it was clear to my colleagues who became employees of international institutions that they needed to change their perspective and approach and this change brought them success, the Romanian politicians seem to believe that things are the same in Brussels as on the mioritic banks of the Dambovita river. But reality contradicts them!
In politics it is the same as in any other business: successful leaders always seek the advice of others! Sometimes even to the stranger who passes on the street or from people specialized in developing the skills necessary to achieve the desired success. Coaching is an intense tool used in the political sphere at international level. A coach can help understand and integrate the different tips that politicians receive from others. Not by proposing a solution, but by helping them sort out what they hear, what they feel about them and what opportunities they want to choose.
The coach always supports his client to develop precisely the awareness of the gaps between his intentions and actions, between the declared values and behavior. At the political level, it can be the beginning of an authentic career.
The alert pace of political power puts political leaders under immense pressure to do and say things they don’t normally do. There is also constant pressure from the wide variety of interests and we often see politicians losing sight of why they have applied. The coach supports them in such moments of confusion and helps to maintain the original vision. Through coaching, the client becomes more authentic and courageous, willing to drive with boldness from a higher level.
The following benefits of coaching at international political level can be mentioned:
- the creation and development of authentic political leadership,
- creating leadership through collaboration, including building viable alliances,
- developing a political vision that will work even after winning the elections,
- keeping the political vision alive despite political struggles and defeats,
- discovering new possibilities as solutions to the rigid political beliefs rooted.
The learning curve is steep for a newly elected leader and full of potential mines. Speaking with the honesty of someone who is no longer seeking public office, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair stated: “When I came to office, prime minister was the only job I’d ever held; I’d never been a government minister before….The business of running a government is like anything else: You get better the longer you do it. And there are lessons out there that, had they come to me in an identifiable form, would have been useful to know. Government is a race between expectations and capability.”
A coach is not a specialist in politics. He does not comment on the political opinions of his clients and does not express his own positions – on the contrary. The coach can be the only person who does not want something from the political leader and therefore can offer an honest and reflective listening.
For those who are brave, I suggest that you train yourself to answer the following questions:
What do you want to get out of politics?
What is the biggest accomplishment you want to have during your tenure?
What is a great thing that could happen in your political career?