I was reflecting the other day on the coaching issues that we to work on with our coaching clients, and decided to create a list of all the issues to identify the most common ones.  The top 3 did not surprise me:
1.  Developing Confidence
2.  Influencing others effectively
3.  Clarity of direction

These three issues also relate to the 1st (self) 2nd (others) and 3rd (observer) positions that can bring new perspective to a situation.  If you reflect on an issue from your own perspective (1st) and then from another’s (2nd) and also as an observer like a fly on the wall (3rd) it can be a great way to look at an old situation from new eyes.

All of the clients that focused on confidence might be seen from the outside world (2nd position) as already extremely confident and successful individuals, yet they were lacking confidence in a particular area of their life/work.   They want to feel it from the inside, not just be seen from the exterior.

Influencing others
Having the ability to influence can mean having the abiity to step into the shoes of others and understand life from their perspective. It does not necessarily mean we agree with it, but in order to be understood, we need to first seek to understand and then we can decide how to act appropriately in order to influence the outcome that we want.

Clarity of direction
Getting clarity for executives these days can be difficult because we work in a pressurised environment with a myriad of issues that have to be dealt with every day. When they are able to step back, sometimes into the 3rd position (as an observer) they can gain clarity.

What I do as a coach is to help the person view an issue from these different perspectives so that they can understand whats really going on.   There is a fabulous Dewitt Jones video that illustrates this perfectly.  He is a world class photographer who talks about finding the right perspective for an issue. He says, if you choose the right lens you can have the potential to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. Watch the preview, you get a sense of this!