While some clients soar to new heights, others encounter structural barriers — the "glass cliffs," "concrete ceilings," "sticky floors," and "double binds" of today's workplaces.
Unconscious biases and historical structures make it difficult for some people to advance and easier for others.
We all embody the social norms and conditions we are raised and living in. We integrate these because of the default narratives and practices we have inherited and been “shaped” by. While these conditions may not align with what we value or even how we see ourselves, we embody them and think and act from them anyway.
Most coaches need new tools, skills, and knowledge to perceive and act on the differences between personal, interpersonal, and institutional issues and power. While many coaches may condemn racism and institutional inequities, many don't honestly know how to bring their commitment to equity and belonging into their client relationships.
When we do not understand the contexts that our clients are navigating, we run the risk of unintentionally doing harm. For example, after a female client is denied a promotion, focusing on her "inner critic" or suggesting assertiveness skills, when in fact, the company’s president is unwilling to promote a woman to C-level leadership.