Having stayed loyal and committed to a large financial organisation for nearly 30 years some might say “Wow!, that’s dedication and loyalty” whilst others might say “You’re institutionalised – get a life!”
I think it’s fair to say that the events of the last few years allowed all of us to stop, take stock and consider what is important in life and question how valued we feel. For me, that happened in April 2011 after returning to work following my second maternity leave. Financially I felt I had no choice but to return whilst emotionally I certainly wasn’t ready. For 10 weeks, I faked it, put on my make-up, dressed appropriately for the leadership role I had and smiled even though inside I was crumbling. I finally crashed and burned resulting in going off sick with work-related stress.
Has this ever happened to you or anyone else you know?
It may not be the same situation, but similar, where you need support that you may not have needed before and struggle to understand why.
This is where the support of an Executive and Corporate Coach would’ve been a game changer.
Over the next 12 weeks, I took whatever help & support I was offered. I journaled daily in an attempt to understand my thoughts, feelings and behaviours. This helped me identify my values, beliefs and behavioural patterns which were hindering and supporting my recovery. It was as a result of journaling that I uncovered the part of my leadership role that I Ioved the most which was coaching my team and seeing them have the lightbulb moments as they took action towards their goal achievement and felt empowered by the decisions they made. It was at this point I discovered The Coaching Academy and went on my own journey of self-discovery realising that I needed a coach to move me forward from the place I was stuck.
Around the world, only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. Disengagement is more than just a percentage in a Gallup report, though. A disengaged workplace is the emotional effect of poor management. It’s an outcome that employees can feel daily, one that has a major impact on a company’s performance — no matter its size. For small and medium businesses, disengagement can be fatal.
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organisation, and put discretionary effort into their work. Employee engagement is not the same as employee satisfaction. Employee Satisfaction is defined by how happy or content your employees are.
After returning to work I used every opportunity I could to implement my coaching skills and loved learning about how to use the different models daily in my role. I started to see the real value of coaching in the corporate world. I could see how for a busy, stressed-out leader who is constantly in the hamster wheel and doesn’t know how to get out to strategically think, having someone on the outside whom you can trust implicitly is vital.
There has never been a more important time for Corporate & Executive Coaching and here are some of the areas that I’ve supported leaders and their teams with to increase employee engagement and increase their empowerment.
· Conflict Resolution – This can be internal or external. When there is external conflict you can see and hear it, however when it is internal that’s the feelings that someone is experiencing and this doesn’t come to light until their behaviour changes. The chances are the individual’s mind chatter is on overdrive creating stories and searching for information to prove that what they are thinking is true. Imagine if you could understand this quicker, well you can and that’s the power of coaching. Creating a safe psychological space where the employee feels safe to share their vulnerabilities without fear of judgement. The ability to have an open, honest and transparent conversation where you listen and then ask questions to gain clarity and move forward.
· Effective Communication – When we know how people best like to communicate then we can play to those preferences and avoid potential conflict. We all want to be heard, but most importantly we want to be listened to and valued. Having regular one to ones whether formal or informal allows us to feel connected. Sometimes those conversations can be challenging as both parties are pushed outside their comfort zone, however, this is where the magic happens as they grow and become empowered by the decisions they make.
· Team Building – All teams will go through Tuckman’s 4 stages of team development and it’s important to know where everyone in your team is so that you can support them to move to the next stage. Once everyone is in the boat, rowing in the same direction and is clear on the goals, purpose, vision and role that they play then the magic happens as they move towards being a high-performing team that celebrates success and can navigate the challenges smoother.
· Adapting to change – We all adapt to change differently, some embrace it whilst others may take longer as they seek to understand “what’s in it for me”. Every individual who is going through change will go through the change curve and I love to map people onto Fisher's Change curve when working with leaders and their teams. Once they have this insight and their awareness has been raised, they can support the individuals along the process highlighting what they see, feel and hear in terms of their behaviour and then have rich conversations to seek to understand what small steps need to be taken to move them forward.
· Values and Beliefs – This is key, once we understand someone's values and beliefs the conversations that we have can be rich and fulfilling because you will identify very quickly if there is anything that is incongruent and out of sync which will impact performance.
As an Executive and Corporate Coach, I, like others create a safe psychological space where leaders & their teams can be vulnerable with no judgement, just supportive challenge and a listening ear to explore the challenges and unlock their potential to achieve the impossible because after all the word itself says ‘I’m Possible’ and coaching will get you there far quicker than if you were working on your own.