By Laurie Cure, PhD, MBA

Early in my career, I had the privilege of working with a highly progressive leader who saw the immense value in coaching to support growth. At the time, I remember feeling young and invincible, but incredibly overwhelmed. Looking back, I was also extremely naive. As I sat with my executive coach for our first session, I remember the details of room and view from beyond the window. I had no idea at the time what I was getting myself into or how profound the coaching experience would be for me.

Over the last 20 years, coaching has been an integral part of my life. I have never been without one; someone to continue to help guide me on my journey. As a coach, leader and entrepreneur, I value the coaching relationship and what it has empowered me to become. It has supported a deeper self-awareness and authenticity, encouraged me to step into my own power and take calculated risks, move into career fields more aligned with my dreams and desires, and understand who and I am and who I want to be as a leader, mother, wife and daughter.

Research over the past two decades continues to demonstrate that leaders who use a coach as a thought partner, teacher, and guide have more clarity of purpose, are stronger leaders with more engaged employees, and outperform others in terms of results.

At Innovative Connections, our consultants serve as executive coaches, leadership coaches, and physician coaches. They use coaching skills to move leaders to the next level, whatever that might look like for them. We work with leaders who are struggling with their behaviors and performance and offer them skills to enhance their relationships with others. We also work with leaders who are high-performing, but, like most of us, are challenged by rapidly changing leadership environments.

Harvard Business Review stated, “Rapid, constant, and disruptive change is now the norm, and what succeeded in the past is no longer a guide to what will succeed in the future. Twenty-first-century managers simply don’t (and can’t!) have all the right answers. To cope with this new reality, companies are moving away from traditional command-and-control practices and toward something very different: a model in which managers give support and guidance rather than instructions, and employees learn how to adapt to constantly changing environments in ways that unleash fresh energy, innovation, and commitment.” As we consider new business cultures that are emerging, coaches become an integral partner in assisting leadership to discover new approaches, step more fully into ambiguous situations, and more effectively navigate volatility. They can be an invaluable partner in exploring possibilities and gaining wisdom to take the next best step in the journey.

Growth and development take on different meanings throughout our careers and coaching offers a customized approach to address our needs, both in the present and future. Leaders report the benefits of coaching and emotional intelligence skills development in a variety of ways including:

  • Giving new meaning to work
  • Supporting wellness through improved resilience and decreasing burnout
  • Achieving higher productivity and overall organizational effectiveness
  • Improving employee and team relationships including employee engagement
  • Building stronger organizational cultures
  • Heightened creativity
  • Increased risk-taking and exploring
  • Shift in mindsets
  • Improved interpersonal skills

 As you consider how you are feeling and functioning in this unprecedented year, an executive coach can often be the catalyst into a more desirable future.