by Susan Power, PCC, MBA
This marks the beginning of the International Coaching Week (Reimagine the Future, May 16 to 22, 2022)! During this week, I invite you to learn more about coaching, and how coaching can help you to become a better leader. After two years of volunteering as President of International Coaching Federation Atlantic, I am pleased to see the growth in our membership and proud of our Board's dedication to contributing to growing awareness of the benefits of coaching in the Atlantic Region.
This marks the beginning of the International Coaching Federation's (ICF) annual celebration of coaching with International Coaching Week (Reimagine the Future, May 16 to 22, 2022)! During this week, I invite you to find ways for you and your team to learn more about coaching, and how coaching can help you to become a better leader.
In March of 2020, I decided to shift from a focus on pure human resources services (Power HR Inc.) to leadership development/coaching as PowerUp Leadership. This exactly coincided with major corporations freezing their training spend as we were bracing for impact with the start of a global pandemic. It certainly occurred to me that this was a risky time to double down on leadership development when organizations were simply trying to keep the lights on. However, I also knew that employees would be critically watching how their organizations responded and whether their leadership team weathered the storm with empathy and clear employee communications.
Fast forward two years later, and the Great Resignation is happening and continues... We have benefited from a pause, lots of reflection, and many of us have used this time as a reset to reprioritize what truly matters during a time of great uncertainty and stress. As a professional credentialed leadership coach, everyday I am privileged to coach individuals across the globe in California, Texas, Portugal, Switzerland, Brazil, the UK, Toronto, Boston, etc. I have learned that more than ever people are seeking to work for organizations that uphold their core values, and the best talent is not prepared to sacrifice their values simply for a bigger bonus or paycheck.
Through my relationships with some of the world's largest coaching organizations like BetterUp, AceUp, CoachHub, and Leadership Circle, I have had opportunity to coach individuals at top global technology firms such as Google, Facebook, Intuit, Slack, Salesforce, etc. It is certainly the case that as a coach, I learn a tremendous amount by hearing my clients think and reflect out loud. My job is simply to hold the space to foster a safe environment and explore with a playful curiosity where each coachee is getting stuck on making progress towards their goals. As a coach, my role is to ask powerful questions and by being fully present, I can share observations that help a coachee get unstuck and form new beliefs that support them in making progress.
I take tremendous pride in the success and growth of any coachee who shows up on my coaching roster, and personally make it my top priority to support each coachee in prioritizing their own learning and development.
Organizations change and grow, with mergers and acquisitions, scaling, and other changes. No job is permanent, and no leader who you work with is your permanent coach or boss. The theme I have observed after coaching over 300 professionals during the past three years from the emerging leader to executive level is that the issues that professionals struggle with are consistent across industry and job level. The top issues that come up include finding the confidence to communicate with impact, aligning different stakeholders, and setting up boundaries to carve out time and space for strategic thinking and developing the team.
My challenge for you during International Coaching Week, is to take a step back, and reflect on how you can become a better coach for your people. Perhaps, it involves dedicating more 1:1 time to career development discussions, or take a course to learn how to incorporate coaching skills into your communication style with direct reports. No employee will be successful without a supportive leader/coach on their side. As leaders, we can all do a better job at being that amazing coach for our team. Why not make being a better coach your focus during International Coaching week! Let's reimagine the future where the great resignation ends because people are working for organizations that inspire them, and for a leader who treats them with respect and care to support them in reaching their goals.