Creative, Resourceful, and Whole
Brené Brown calls it "the assumption of positive intent". In his book Positive Parenting, one of Alfie Kohn's ten principals is to "assume the best possible motive consistent with the facts". In The Art of Possibility Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander call it "giving an A": every member of a class gets an A before school even starts, and along with it, the room and the grace to live up to that A instead of having to prove they deserve it.
It's the heart of why I coach: I believe that everyone is doing their best (or at least that they want to do their best), and that everyone is worthy of unconditional love. That belief of mine — that everyone is wonderful, fascinating, loveable and complete — is the best thing I have to offer, and it creates a context in which people can apply their complete, wonderful, fascinating, loveable selves to the work of creating a life where they can shine.
At the Adler Coaching School we say that the client is creative, resourceful, and whole.
Creative, to create their own possibilities, goals, dreams and actions.
Resourceful, to figure out how to carry out their actions and meet their goals.
And whole — so they don't need to be fixed, told, advised, or corrected.
I believe you have it in you already. You know what you need to work on, find out, start up or finish up. You know who you need to talk to, what you need to learn, what you need to read. You already know what needs to happen next, and if you don't know what you know, I'll hold space, ask questions, and listen until you find it.
Try this at home
What does this look like in real life? Do I really believe that everyone, every minute, is doing their best – even those Saab drivers who almost run me over every day?
Brené Brown's husband Steve expresses how I feel: "I don't think you can ever know for certain. But I do know that my life is better when I work from the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can."
Who can you give an A to in your life? Can you assume the best possible intentions of someone? What would that look like? What would that allow them? What would that allow you?