I occasionally work with a number of individual clients for whom I act as a ‘thinking partner’ – a blend of coaching, consulting and mentoring. We use a mixture of Skype, phone and face to face time to do this.
The heart of the idea is to create a space where someone can think ‘out loud’. The conversations we have provide a rehearsal space where clients can not only reflect but try out new ideas, arguments or presentations. I give them feedback and challenge them. I provide stimulus, frameworks and tools. I may help them design specific meetings or events, or processes.
Senior people are under so much pressure, they need help to create opportunities to think properly, hence the idea of a ‘Thinking Partner’. They value the fact that I have no particular angle or agenda – and tell me this is hard to find.