Pulling Up Anchor, “Fixing Fractures,” & Preparing for Greatness
Episode #1079: In this episode of the Arete Coach Podcast, Doug Bouey, an Executive Coach, Consultant, Vistage/TEC Canada Chair emeritus, and Author reviews his journey to executive coaching, his book Fixing Fractures, Restoring Shattered Relationships in Business and Life, the importance of addressing what holds us back, and his experience as a Gazelles Coach. During the conversation, Doug shares insight on the power of questions from his time working with the Native population in Canada and how coaches can help their clients overcome challenges with strategy and practical insight.
About Doug Bouey
Doug Bouey is an Executive Coach, Consultant, Vistage/TEC Canada Chair emeritus, and Author of Fixing Fractures, Restoring Shattered Relationships in Business and Life. Doug has been the President and Principal Consultant of Catalyst Strategic Consultants LTD since 1986. At Catalyst Strategic Consultants LTD, he consults business leaders, helping them reach their greatest success. Doug uses a wide range of tools and approaches to help his clients overcome their challenges and amplify their arcs of success. In 2010, Doug received the Don Cope Award for his service in Vistage.
Before entering the coaching industry, Doug had great success in law and was a Native Law specialist in Canada. During the time at which Doug practiced law, he also taught negotiation and counseling to law students and served as a lawyer in residence. Doug has a master’s in Human and Organizational Development and is a Certified Gazelle Coach.
Today, Doug continues to impact the lives of others through his books, coaching, and consulting.
Pulling up anchor and setting sail
When discussing how Doug Bouey came to his executive coaching career, Doug shares a “personal change” that came to him from his experience with a consulting company. In this personal change, Doug repaired his relationship with his father. Severin comments saying, “in coaching…we’re really focusing on healthy people and being very forward” in terms of direction. However, he states “there are times when the past is anchoring us so harshly” that it must be addressed. Severin then shares his own personal experience of pulling up anchors from his past and setting sail toward the future. Doug responds by stating, “many people are anchored, they’re stuck in past references… Sometimes it’s just a really great interaction with a solid persona that gets us out of it.”
Doug’s prior experience with Native Law
Prior to executive coaching, Doug was an attorney who specialized in Native law. He worked closely with Native peoples in Canada. He explains that much of his career was “dependent on meeting them where they were and starting where they were. So it was early days of doing the same kind of thing, which is asking good questions.” Just like executive coaches, Doug had to ask insightful and enlightening questions to broaden his understanding of the Native culture and peoples. He shares a story of explaining traditional animal control services to a Native council meeting and learning that their cultures “would never, ever” dispose of a dog because they were “sacred to” their culture. Doug continues asking powerful questions that enlighten and bring more perspective in his coaching practice today.
Insight from Fixing Fractures
Doug’s book Fixing Fractures, Restoring Shattered Relationships in Business and Life is a handbook on how to “fix a break that’s happened with someone that you really care about.” He explains that his book is “grounded in a mindset called the resolution mindset and relationship mindset… to help people self-actualize” the process and apply it themselves. Doug hopes that his book helps others in “overcoming needless disconnection” and that it will help others build their emotional intelligence by “practicing fixing fractures.” Doug also shares a story of how his “Fixing Fractures…” methodology has helped two brothers who were “running an enterprise” resolve their conflicts. Using his methodology, the brothers were able to resolve their conflicts “right down to the roots, so they never come up again.”
“Everybody shows up great”
When asked about his personal mantras or rules that guide his life, Doug shares that he’s trying to “help people of fine character, improve their impact” and “enhance their impact.” Severin then asks how Doug determines if someone has good character. Doug responds and explains that “everybody shows up great.” However, once a significant challenge comes or an “opportunity to scratch through that surface and see who they really are” comes through, Doug explains that’s when you “get a sense of whether they have fine character or not.”
Preparing for greatness
At 30 years old, Doug “sat down one dark evening and made a plan.” This plan “had 16 main things” he felt he should accomplish “in order to be a credible coach and leader.” For many years, Doug worked on his plan and marked his completion of certain tasks. When asked if he would take the title of a “lifelong learner,” Doug says, “oh, absolutely. I’m a sponge.”
Coaching beyond “the edge”
In executive coaching, Doug believes that coaching clients “are at the edge of their ability to handle whatever situation they’re confronted with, or they’re at the end of their plan, and they’re talking to a coach because they’re at that point.” Because of this, he explains that coaches who over-rely on asking “so, what do you think” fail to offer helpful coaching to their clients. He states that in his coaching, he prefers to give his clients “a concept or a way to make forward progess, to organize their thoughts around some structure that allows them to gain ground on whatever it is they’re trying to penetrate now.” He then adds “I always think of coaching as being like a mountain guide. I may not have climbed your mountain, but I’ve been in high country a lot.”
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