Why do most change initiatives fail to deliver on expectations? Organizational culprits include a lack of vision, an absence of accountability, and disjointed communication. But unhealthy leadership, surrounded by fear and insecurity, is the ultimate offender. Insecurities and a lack of positive energy will take down most change initiatives, and we all need someone to help keep our mindset fit. Top performers understand the value of a relationship with their consigliere, advisor and coach.
For many of us, it’s tough to trust the idea that collaborating with a coach is an act of strength. Years ago, I remember colleagues suggesting that people who had too much fun at work were not as committed, passionate, or achievement oriented. Just one of many lies that held us back. The research says the opposite: if you want to tap into deeper skills, creativity, and commitment, you must create an inspired, goal-oriented culture. When personal fears kick in, we all shut down. We all can benefit from an inspiring advisor and coach to bring out our best.
Consider this: the Journal of Applied Psychology shows that high-performing companies have three times more positively energized leaders than the average organization. Energized leaders birth spirited, hopeful, high-performing cultures. What’s your process for staying inspired and what mindset are you bringing to your team?
My personal coaching philosophy focuses on three themes:
Embrace Vulnerability. Sharing one’s vulnerabilities is an act of courage. I try to build trusting relationships founded on humility and transparency. Since I also have a personal development plan myself, I can ask difficult questions of others. If it feels natural, I’ll share first; people are always willing to discuss personal challenges when others authentically share their own struggles. Coaches must work to create a safe space where honest conversation can occur.
Remove Obstacles. Hidden obstacles inhibit growth. My job is rarely to “change” others, but to help illuminate and remove internal roadblocks so others can access their best self. Considering everyone is different, a coach’s role is to ask questions that help discover the unique impediments stalling performance or hindering one’s mindset. The best coaching sessions focus on discovering and removing any stumbling blocks limiting personal growth.
Build on Strengths. Our brains react to negative feedback as a threat, damaging our ability to learn and adapt. But we grow when someone reinforces and builds on what we already do well. My objective is to remind clients of their best performance moments and to highlight behavioral patterns that elevate their game. This increases personal awareness and assists in enforcing daily routines which access their best moments. Everyone involved in coaching must look to affirmation as the motivating force for change so that we can build on what others already do well.
It may seem obvious, but the best managers are good coaches themselves. This insight was validated by Google’s own internal management research study. Their research assessed manager effectiveness ratings, coupled with feedback from Google’s annual employee survey. The study uncovered that the highest performing managers are adept at coaching, have updated their own technical knowledge, and create inclusive, empowered, vision-oriented cultures. The top performance coaches teach a process for staying loose, inspired and present. They understand that positive momentum is a bi product of staying in the process.
Who’s your coach and what’s your process?