Our world is being reshaped by COVID-19, our reckoning with racial injustice and our politically divided country. On a daily basis, we’re bombarded with news stories that can be hard to digest; or perhaps we choose to ignore the news altogether because it’s just too much.
What has changed for you? Very likely, everything. How you work, how you parent, how you socialize, exercise, worship, educate, eat… and on and on and on.
Right now, we’re living with a lot of ambiguity. No one knows what’s coming next, but because our brains like predictability, it can cause emotions like anxiety and fear to pop up. We’re trying to fall into new patterns and routines, but just like your phone slows down and acts funny when you leave a bunch of apps open, your brain has so much new information to process and integrate that it might be overwhelmed.
Because of this, I strongly believe that each and every one of us needs a coach (and/or a therapist), now more than ever.
Ann Betz of BeAbove Leadership recently posted a wonderful article called The Top 10 Reasons You and Your Organization Need Coaching More than Ever Right Now. It’s a great read that I highly suggest taking a few minutes to review. In the meantime, I’d like to share my favorite takeaways.
Coaching Reduces Stress and Teaches People to Build Resilience
Having someone listen to you and witness your experience goes a long way toward processing this new reality. To be seen, heard, and validated without an agenda (as family members and friends often have) is wonderfully freeing. A coach has no attachment and really serves to take us deeper and challenge our expectations of what is possible, offering up possibilities that we may not have explored on our own.
When we see where we are stuck, we can make conscious choices about how to move forward.
Coaching Impacts Everyone
There’s a beautiful ripple effect that happens with coaching, and it’s one of my favorite aspects of this job. When I work with a client, I know (especially if this person is in a leadership position) that our work will not only affect the client, but everyone they come into contact with, in a positive way.
Coaching Leads to Sustainable Change for People and Organizations
Most of us have had the experience of attending a seminar or class and learning something new that we’re excited about, only to realize two weeks later that we don’t remember any of it! It doesn’t get integrated into our lives and the new information slips away. Anytime I teach a class, I give people action items and tell them, “Within a week, I want you to take action on the items you committed to.” We also build in accountability by having them report back. This has people more likely to take action, integrate what they learned and make powerful choices going forward.
Coaching is much the same in that we build in accountability so that new ideas and skills can be fully integrated into your daily life—and those skills, when folded into your routine, create sustainable change. That’s the deep “why” behind coaching; to facilitate meaningful, long-lasting change.
Coaching is a Proven Retention Strategy for Organizations
People need support right now. Creating a space where people can share things they wouldn’t want to say to their boss or co-workers is a powerful retention strategy in organizations. That’s where they have the freedom to say things like, “I have a big project coming up, but I’m a little lost.” Or, “I’m really struggling to manage both my work and home responsibilities and I’m afraid I’ll fail at both.” This is powerful because not only does a coach give them a place to work through the tough things, but the coach can also remind employees of their strengths and their value and to celebrate their wins. It’s too easy to focus on what’s NOT going well without some support right now.
Coaching Helps People Get Unstuck…
…and find new perspectives. People often can only see what’s right in front of them. They think, “this is the way it is.” In my coaching sessions, I often challenge people and say, “I see where you’re coming from. What might be another way to look at this situation that you haven’t considered?”
You can choose a million different ways to look at any situation, but often we get stuck in one perspective. Coaches help people look for what’s possible, and spot opportunities they might not have seen before.
More than ever, we are being called to support one another through this tough time. If you and/or your organization could use some support right now, please reach out.