the circle, Clare Downes, Enabling Exchange

Guest Article written by Clare Downes, from the circle

What is the Enabling Exchange?

I believe that the best way forward in business is an open exchange of experience to enable development and progression.

The Enabling Exchange is about encouraging a positive exchange across start-ups, SMEs and family businesses with corporate organisations, to help businesses develop and evolve.

Within family businesses there are complex networks of emotional ties (sometimes strained), skills and lack of skills, generational conflict. And – often extremely strong bonds that create powerful businesses, with relationships on another level, compared to a non-family entity. The great depth of tolerance and understanding shown in many family businesses would benefit any team. Family businesses often have the power to overcome difficulties through their deep understanding of one another.

The need to embrace a more corporate approach to structure, responsibilities and strategic thinking would greatly aid many a family business. Both corporates and family businesses, may be successful in their own right, but would only be enabled yet further, through an ‘enabled exchange’. And coaching is a great way to enable! My definition of coaching is an approach that blends mentoring and the non-directive stance; this combination used wisely, can be highly productive.

I believe that there are two business types resistant to showing vulnerability (and embracing change) at the top; long established family businesses and long established corporate giants. To set up a scenario with a selection of the two working together to find productive partnerships, has the potential to be very powerful. A true sharing of culture, values, approaches, thinking, structures, challenges.

Questioning – Listening – Thinking – Enabling

This is not a radical experiment – it is just back to the basics of coaching. The most commonly used method of coaching is the GROW model (Goal, Reality, Options, Will), referred to in many books. In my Enabling Exchange model; Questioning, Listening, Thinking, Enabling – combine with the four words of the GROW model, to deliver results. This is one of the joys of coaching, the scope to create our own style and approach, to achieve results for our clients. Questioning is how we begin, we then must listen and think carefully before responding as the client may be significantly influenced by our input; it must be deeply considered. And – finally, the goal is to enable the client to make their own positive decisions.

Business Benefit

Enabling Exchange is nothing new – we all learn from sharing, whether at home or work – however, I am applying a proactive approach to enable one sector of the business world to actively benefit from the other and vice versa.

If you are part of a family business and would like to explore these ideas with me further, please contact me below:

Clare Downes, the circle

07957 668292 e:

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