Leaders in all sectors across the board continue to realize that feedback and self-improvement feeds into the old adage “knowledge is power,” and is certainly not a sign of weakness.
An executive coach can help you solve problems, offer honest feedback and bolster leadership skills. The most predominant impetus for a coaching request we see currently is for the support of optimal communication, mental fortitude, and stronger relationships in the workplace.
The ability to collaborate with one another is one of the most critical skills to master. For example, it is not uncommon for executives to request coaching because they are beginning to derail in their careers and they know something has to change. All of the competencies and attributes that have gotten them where they landed no longer work or simply are not enough anymore. Another issue may be an unwillingness to explore the way they communicate and how they operate. Leaders who are reluctant to look in the mirror, to “know thyself,” typically don’t last. As Plato’s wisdom of ages explains, “an unexamined life is not worth living.”
Most everything in life involves relationships, your ability to communicate well and handle difficulties with emotional resilience. These skills cannot be achieved without observing and taking stock of your actions and the impact they have on others. With the right coaching and tools, you can enhance your ability to handle challenging and often emotional conversations, for the purpose of creating alignment and a positive momentum in the workplace.
When relationships and communication are broken from the “top down,” the fallout often arises in the following four areas:
1. Avoidant and reactive management culture.
This may occur when snap judgments and closed-minded thinking prevails. It can produce an “us against them” culture where employees feel as though they have to remain on the defensive. Associates need to feel they can safely communicate their ideas and concerns, and that they will be heard. Coaching can also help with emotional self-regulation and communication skills so that leaders can learn new behaviors that engender a sense of collaboration — as opposed to competition.
2. Team members not receiving crucial, timely feedback.
Complications often arise when a discussion occurs on a performance issue. Associates tend to respond negatively because in many cases, the manager’s primary objective is to punish the associate instead of solving the problem, and the associate senses the manager’s lack of respect for him or her. The associate, therefore, takes a defensive stance to protect his or her self-esteem. These managers lose sight of the real purpose of the discussion, which is to inspire an associate to be motivated to change. The purpose is not to punish the associate. Effective coaching requires being an adult rather than playing a parental role.
3. Teams and individuals not being held accountable.
When a team is in crisis, accountability will inevitably plummet. Deadlines are missed, communication diminishes, and resentment prevails. An executive coach will help you identify core issues and improve communication and accountability, ultimately increasing productivity.
4. Teams not equipped to resolve issues and solve problems.
When leadership can model equanimity and be a source of reassurance and confidence — particularly during challenging conversations and resolving issues — everything changes for the better. Skilled coaching can help you improve your ability to express emotion in a way that will inspire team members through emphasizing empathy, respect and compassion.
By Susan Steinbrecher
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