It’s common to take stock of things and consider meaningful change at the end of the year. And with good reason. We naturally gravitate toward self-assessment, change, and new directions when we reach important, symbolic time posts, such as the close of the year, the new year, birthdays… even Mondays! (Have you ever met anyone who decided to start a new exercise routine on a Wednesday?)
That’s what Matthew was thinking about as he considered how he wanted to grow and evolve as a leader. He felt the coming year was especially important because the past two years had been so disruptive — and exhausting. COVID had turned so many things upside down and sideways. With the recent delta and omicron variants, it had become clear to Matthew that unplanned disruptions and their consequences were likely to continue for the foreseeable future: the cliché “new normal” people were referring to.
Given this environment, what leadership skills were important for him to develop? Not only is it incredibly difficult to accurately assess your own strengths and weaknesses, but Matthew needed to prioritize and decide where he wanted his journey to take him — his “why?”… Strategic thinking? Communication? Listening skills? Building trust? Motivating others? Helping to shape organizational culture? Where should he concentrate his attention in 2022?
“Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Hellen Keller
Given his focused, achievement-oriented personality, it felt odd to Matthew that he was not sure about the direction his “daring adventure” should take him. For more about big changes, read Arden Coaching’s blog, “What’s My Next Step?”
Fortunately, Matthew had some knowledge of executive coaching — what they do and how they can help. (For more, read “Now More Than Ever: Change and Coaching,” by Arden Coach, Peter James, PhD, MBA, PCC.) He decided to take advantage of executive coaching made available through his workplace.
An executive coach helps to develop their client’s professional skills. Central to their work, they strive to help you reshape underlying behaviors to improve leadership capabilities, communication, and performance. For genuine, long-term change to take place you first need to understand and evaluate your patterns of thinking. What are the underlying reasons and engrained habits responsible for your current performance? This is where executive coaches begin.
It is essential to understand your underlying patterns of thinking before you can commit to any new course of action — from enhancing your strategic thinking skills to losing 20 pounds. An executive coach, however, does not tell you what you should or should not do. They prepare people to assess, reflect, and make their own decisions.
With an executive coach’s help, Matthew decided to focus on improving his executive presence, deepen his listening skills, and work to build higher levels of trust within his team. All these leadership characteristics will help him thrive in his industry, and apply to in-person, remote, and hybrid work environments — all situations he’s likely to encounter this coming year, and beyond.
Food for thought!
- What is one area of your life in which you’re called to have a new adventure?
- What will you do to grow your own leadership this year?
To learn more about how executive coaching can help you strengthen leadership capabilities and improve team performance, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.