In challenging times, we always have two choices – turning toward and facing our reality or turning away and denying it. The pandemic has been a dark night, albeit a long one; it is a dark night that has not yet broken dawn. Now, the dawn feels closer. The virus has been a rite of passage for the world – a gift to teach us lessons not learned before – organisationally, climatically, socially, politically and financially. We are learning to be more inclusive, resilient and sustainable. Pandemics have forced us to break with the past and imagine our world anew. This one is no different. It is a gateway between one world and the next and forces us to reconsider who we are, what we value and in the long run help us rediscover the better version of ourselves. As Maya Angelou stated –
We are all shedding old skins and it is a painful process. Liberating yes, but pain inducing. This new transition is taking us into a deeper place of healing and some of us now have a conscious connection with reshaping our futures. We have a choice to perpetuate the old rules and our collective behaviour – or to change them. As humans we can profoundly reshape our own ways of operating. We find ourselves living in a new state of awareness. Are we paying attention? What does the future look like? What are we manifesting?
A lot of organisations are already beginning to look at the world of work, how we work, and how we need to change how we work, to both meet the current shifts in systemic change on the planet in all aspects, as well as to welcome in flatter organisational structures, less hierarchical, gender and race inclusive, as well as welcoming in the world of millennials and gen z’s, who operate in a different paradigm to the current average 50-year-old leadership. The pandemic has provided us with a platform to challenge everything we know and rely upon, personally and professionally. Our structures are more vulnerable than we realised, at work, and also financially, at home, socially, health wise and politically. Change brings along opportunity. The last year has forced us to think innovatively outside the box. When we accept and fully embrace systemically what wants to emerge and happen, we can emerge out of comfort zones to try new ways of working.
Allow yourselves to be surprised by the unknown! In times of uncertainty, trust has never been more important. Team members need openness, transparency, and vulnerability shown by their leaders. Authentic leaders inspire others by revealing a part of themselves that is relatable – and by being someone who people want to get behind. Great leaders are often not born leaders – they become great by allowing their life experiences and communications with others to shape their leadership style.
As a global Executive Coach, I find the impact of virtual coaching is we are able to cover ground quite quickly virtually. Diaries are busy and coaching virtually provides a larger scale of availability for both parties. Commuting time or finding private space in public places are not of concern. However, face-to-face coaching can be more personable to relationship and trust building. In the beginning of a coaching relationship, a face-to-face meeting is beneficial in order to establish the relationship early on and begin to build a solid rapport. Throughout the pandemic, people still wanted training and development – many turned to YouTube to learn a new skill in home crafts or cooking, for example. In a post Covid world, many are evaluating how they live their lives both personally and professionally. Virtual interaction was better than no interaction and the pandemic proves the virtual world works. Whilst face to face is now down to personal preference and this is slowly getting back on track; virtual coaching has become dramatically more popular.
Coaching seems to be moving towards a more flexible delivery space, for example, offering two 1 hour sessions per month, a mixture of virtual, face to face and teams coaching, meeting the needs of the customer more spontaneously in the moment. This trend was inevitable due to the level of change that has occurred and continues to unfold at a pace. It is key to be open to moving the posts continuously and adapt quickly to this new interactive sphere. The advantage of technology and tools have helped us streamline how we do things and deliver flexibly and in the moment.
There is also a culture trend, the pandemic has brought with it a new found awareness to lifestyle and pace. Mental health has never been discussed so openly and after a year of fear, sadness and extreme anxiety, many executives and managers are curious to learn how to include coaching in their behavioural repertoire. Employees are starting to receive support earlier, which could prevent destructive behaviour patterns and worse case scenarios. If organisations could create a culture of development to complement their culture of performance or results orientation, more opportunities would emerge for enhancing engagement, organisational citizenship, effectiveness and innovation. Executives and employees would feel valued and believe their organisation is investing in their development on an on-going basis.
A 48 hour cancellation policy is in place to ensure session times are filled. Reasonable flexibility is always given when rescheduling, but any appointments cancelled within a 48 hour period may incur a cancellation fee.