Commitments to ‘Be, See, Seen, Clear, Believe’


A Coaching Model By Barbara DeMatte, Business Coach, UNITED STATES


It’s a funny thing

When you ask Google for the best: Actor, Soccer player, Leader, Sports coach, Apple picker, Scientist, Golfer, Fighter Pilot, Innovator, Musician, Scientist, President, etc., there are lists galore. These lists are published annually and people vie for the honor of being described as the best.

When you Google for the best managers in companies, there is no list of people, only articles on attributes of what great managers should be. Does this mean there are no great managers?

These attributes include the following:

  • be a good communicator
  • help the team with career development
  • be optimistic
  • a delegator
  • have a vision
  • be decisive
  • provide answers
  • ask questions
  • collaborate
  • transparency

This is a nice list, of attributes that could apply to any job.

Marcus Buckingham says:

…there is one quality that sets truly great managers apart from the rest: They discover what is unique about each person and then capitalize on it.

This seems closer to behaviors that a manager can consistently demonstrate and be accountable to.

Becoming a great manager seems to be a work in progress, after all, managing people is hard. Maybe it is an ever-reaching goal that continues to stretch each manager to another level of empathy, compassion, and trust in people. 

There is a company that provides: ‘stunning artwork paired with an inspiring message that makes motivational posters so effective for a wide variety of office settings. In business, taking in meaningful words and memorable images helps improve productivity and spark growth. Having a constant reminder of encouraging posters in an office or business building spurs momentum.’

I cannot see how words and images have a measurable impact on productivity. These  ‘constant reminders’ do nothing to be encouraging or spur momentum. These posters ultimately are not ‘seen’ after a while because there is no accountability to action. These simply become placeholders on company walls.

Living a commitment to being a great manager is accountability in action. I give tribute to my former manager from over 40 years ago. She continues to be a dynamic woman who empowers others because she has exhibited the following behaviors throughout her career. This is a tribute to her integrity and behavior: doing the right thing consistently when no one is looking.

The 5 Commitments


Be present, all of the time
Be who you are and no one else
‘See’ every one of your employees and colleagues
Be clear on how you want to be seen
Be clear on your own measurable expectations as a Manager of People™
Be clear with each employee about their measurable expectations
Believe in each employee and colleague, those you like and those you may not like as much
Believe in yourself
Believe in your values
Believe in your own accountability

One of the greatest human needs is the need to be SEEN, not for who we pretend to be, but for who we truly are underneath it all. Luminita D. Saviuc

In place of quotes and motivational posters, great managers can evaluate themselves every day with these 5 words. I call these commitments.

  1. Be
  2. See
  3. Seen
  4. Clear
  5. Believe

When I challenge managers to evaluate themselves with these commitments, they recognize they come up short. On any given day, one or more of these commitments are not met 100% of the time, and that is ok. Mostly, it is because the demands of the job push managers to be tactical and reactive instead of strategic and responsive. 

Consider the Impact of the Behaviors Behind These Descriptions of These 5 Commitments

1. Be:

  • present
  • who you are
  • endure
  • prevail
  • persist

1. Be:

  • invisible
  • disappear
  • vanish
  • fade
  • discontinue
  • quit
  • give up

2. See:

  • each person for who they are
  • notice
  • observe
  • recognize
  • distinguish
  • listen

2. See:

  • ignore
  • pay no attention to
  • be blind to
  • overlook
  • take no notice of
  • look the other way from

3. Seen:

  • be seen and visible
  • noticed
  • observed
  • to have perceived with one’s eyes

3. Seen:

  • disregard
  • overlook
  • tune out.
  • missed
  • averted
  • avoided

4. Clear:

  • be clear about measurable expectations of yourself and each employee
  • understandable
  • coherent
  • articulate
  • uncomplicated

4. Clear:

  • complex
  • ambiguous
  • difficult

5. Believe in:

  • in each employee and colleague
  • yourself
  • your values
  • value
  • advocate
  • have faith in
  • trust in
  • have every confidence in

5. Believe in:

  • doubt
  • mistrust
  • discredit
  • doubt
  • disbelieve
  • abandon
  • suspect

Coaching a manager to change perspective can change behaviors that have a long-lasting impact on a manager’s connection with each employee and colleague. This is empowerment which can have a positive effect on a manager’s career and reputation. Coaching provides the context for the manager to make a daily choice to look at different perspectives. Coaching provides a safe environment for managers to change the way they perceive things and people. Coaching provides the support for the manager to look in the mirror and see the behaviors that are impacting others. Coaching provides the opportunity for the manager to decide on their behaviors and how to hold themselves accountable. Coaching supports the manager in their own decision about what work behaviors they want to become habits

On any given day, a manager should hold themselves accountable to recognize their shortcomings. Then,  commit to making an adjustment the following day and hold themselves accountable for behaving to any one of the 5 commitments.

The 5 Commitments to ‘Be, See, Seen, Clear, Believe’

You are loved when you are born, you are loved when you die. In between, you have to manage. Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger 

Managers have the ability to consciously commit to making it better for others every day. To achieve this, great managers can evaluate themselves every day with these 5 words and commit to making it better for every person, every day

Commitments Business Coaching Model Barbara DeMatte

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philosophies and beliefs and must communicate who you will coach
and the problems you will solve.
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Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger OBE is a French former football manager and player who is currently serving as FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development.
Marcus Buckingham

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