Chris Kolenda: How a Catalyst can help you SOAAR to New Heights as a Mentor

How a Catalyst can help you SOAAR to New Heights as a Mentor

I love helping people, so being a good mentor is essential.

My journey towards good was rocky sometimes because I offered too much value too quickly. I’d often latch on to my employee’s or client’s first words and provide advice. I made this mistake with Geraldine (not her real name), one of my first clients.

I liked being fast and responsive, but that approach got in the way of understanding and buy-in. A person’s first observation tends to be a symptom of a more significant challenge that you need to uncover because they often have not identified it clearly for themselves. Providing advice based on surface understanding met Geraldine’s resistance, and we didn’t get anywhere. We both felt frustrated.

I needed to change. I learned to listen for understanding by repeating a person’s points in my own words and asking, “Do I understand that correctly?” When they said, “Yes, that’s exactly right,” I replied, “Tell me more about that.” Using a few open-ended and clarifying questions uncovered core issues. A common diagnosis opened the path to co-creating solutions.

A doctor uses the same process to interpret your aches and pains.

This point is where commoditized coaching falls flat: you are not supposed to provide advice but let the person discover the solution on their own. It’s like having a doctor who helps you find out the root cause of the pain and then leaves you to figure out the treatment. Huh? 

Many certified coaches should not provide advice because they lack executive understanding. They hope that interesting questions will enable the client to find solutions within themselves, like buried treasure. This approach could work if the client is facing the same challenges they overcame in the past.

You aren’t facing repetitive challenges; you are grappling with dynamic uncertainty that creates novel challenges requiring perspective and innovative solutions. You need someone to help diagnose your challenges and shorten your path to success. You need a catalyst, not a commoditized coach. 

A catalyst meets three requirements: they want what’s best for you, can build your capacity, and are willing to tell you the truth. Commoditized coaching can only meet the first one.

I invented the SOAARTM Catalyst method – Situation, Objectives, Actions, Accountability, Results – to institutionalize this process so I can use, evaluate, and teach it. 

Situation: we diagnose your circumstances so that we are on the same page regarding the heart of the matters you face. You will see my unique process visuals in action.

Objectives: we co-create desired outcomes and results.

Actions: we determine the steps to get you from where you are now to where you want to be and practical ways to enact them.

Accountability: is a two-way street. you are answerable for taking the steps we co-created, and I’m responsible for helping you do so successfully.

Results: we review your results and progress periodically and make adjustments that help you get even better results faster.

Would you like to explore what it’s like to work with me as your Catalyst? Email me, and let’s see if we’re a good fit.

P.S. I’m developing a certification program for leaders and consultants to use this method. You’ll master each step of the process, license my tools and visuals, practice with my coaching and support, and gain marketing and sales advice.  

As a leader, you will inspire your employees to contribute their best to your organization’s success. You’ll help your employees SOAAR to new heights, improve retention, and attract the right talent while you gain increasing respect and admiration. 

As a consultant, you will help your clients SOAAR, which will lead to repeat and follow-on business as well as referrals and introductions to other right-fit clients. You’ll have the joy of helping great people achieve more extraordinary results than they could have imagined.

I’m targeting September 17-19, 2024 for the program. The one-time fee of $7500, includes the training program, 90 days of my support, free admission to all future certifications (whether in-person or via Zoom), and entry into a private discussion forum with other certified catalysts. 

I’m reducing the fee to $4500 for the month of March 2024. Interested? Send me an email. View my other programs here.

Chris is so easy to work with. Leaders have so much on the plate – having someone easy to work with who listens and is interested solely in helping us achieve our goals was terrific and made it easy. Our conversion rates have increased, so revenues have already increased by about 10%. Ownership at mid-level has made our C-level jobs much easier – we can focus on the strategic challenges and not have to worry about internal problems.”

Dustin Smith, Chief Operating Officer, Aspire Allergy and Sinus

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