Leading In Challenging Times: How An Executive Coach Can Help
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All organizations face challenging times in their lifecycles. Rarely in the commercial world are the “fertile waters of growth and development” calm and tranquil.
That’s the organization though- but what about you, the individual, who may be leading that organization, and responsible for guiding the ship through these troubled waters? As the captain of the ship, you may also need the powerful combination of support, encouragement and challenge to assist in your navigation.
But where can you get this backing from? As the leader of the business, aren’t you expected to deal with all the challenges and obstacles that can emerge? Well, yes, of course it’s the leader’s role to lead, but securing the ear of an independent coach can prove really beneficial in helping you to navigate “unchartered waters.”
Most of us (at times) can find our daily challenges overwhelming. It’s how we face, address and manage these challenges that distinguish the leaders from the followers. A great deal has been written about stress management in response to the emotions an individual can experience in difficult times. This has included the utilization of coaching to highlight methods such as suppressing feelings (not always a healthy strategy), reframing, where a different perspective can help realize a new approach to a difficult problem, and of course (the increasingly popular) mindfulness, where a coaching conversation can bring people into the moment, rather than focusing their thoughts on regrets from the past or worries about the future.
These are all very credible (and where used appropriately), useful methodologies. However, additionally and perhaps more importantly, from a practical viewpoint, the leader’s ability to be resilient is becoming ever more significant in particularly challenging times. Being resilient is a critical quality at such times. Resilience helps you to cope more effectively with uncertainty, enabling you to bounce back from physical and emotional stress, absorb high levels of constant change, and remain effective, adjusting positively to the inevitable disruptions in life.
Your mindset will be a primary factor in your resilience profile, of which there are three critical elements. These are:
1. Optimism: a favorable view of a situation, expecting a positive outcome.
2. Attitude: the way a person views something and behaves towards it, including openness, flexibility, self-care and well-being.
3. Awareness: the ability to understand yourself with regards to behaviors, thoughts, emotions, skills, strengths, weaknesses, traits, and issues.
Working with a coach can help you identify ways you practice constructive behaviors and attitudes, providing you with an opportunity to think seriously about yourself and help uncover areas in which to focus on to build your own resilience. This includes specifically taking action in terms of seeking help and support to discover or search for assistance, generating and exploring options to identify and investigate possible approaches, solutions or outcomes and taking action to resolve problems, reduce obstacles, decrease negative impact, reach goals and positive solutions.
And remember, no matter how resilient you may think you already are, a sounding board in the form of an executive coach may be able to support you in your navigation through the aforementioned “fertile but turbulent waters.”