Layo has recently used “Shadowing” as part of a coaching process and is convinced that this benefits any leader seeking to increase awareness of their own strengths and of areas impacting on their effectiveness!
The coach accompanies the coachee going about their daily tasks – like a shadow – in order to observe actions and behaviour based on pre-determined focus areas. The result is specific feedback from coach to coachee regarding these focus areas and the development of alternatives for behaviour. It is up to the coachee to try these on, see if they fit and to determine what their next development steps shall be.
What makes shadowing so powerful is the fact that the coach gets to truly experience the coachee in his/her normal environment and to observe interactions without being party to them.
The art and the challenge for the coach is to concentrate fully on the coachee for the entire day, to focus on observing processes as opposed to content, to hold back with comments and opinions until it is time to give feedback, and to refrain from judging at all times.