With the New Year comes a renewed sense of hope… a time when you pack away the old and look forward to a refreshing new start. This clean slate often brings new possibilities for the future and hope for what is to come. But the reality is that inspiring hope in ourselves and others takes work and planning so we can establish realistic commitments and actions that will successfully guide our paths forward.

Our newsletter this month is focused on hope because hope takes us beyond optimism and wishful thinking. In fact, hope involves a core belief that the future will be better than the present AND it requires you to step forward with the confidence to make something different happen for yourself. It’s an active process that merges beliefs and actions.

Hope Theory is a line of research driven by positive psychology. It describes hope as having three distinct components:

  1. Goals: This doesn’t have to be a New Year’s resolution type goal, but you do need to have a sense of what you want in the future. It can be concrete like, “I want a new position in the company, ” or more informal, like “I want to ensure a sense of balance and wellbeing”.
  2. Agency: Agency is about personal control. You must have the will and ability to make your goals happen. If not, your hope will be merely a wish or desire.
  3. Pathways of possibility: People with hope find a way. They are ingenious and creative about finding solutions, even when the roadblocks seem insurmountable. They have perseverance and stamina.

So, why should leaders care about hope?

I often say, “Leadership is not for the faint of heart”. Leaders make critical and difficult decisions for themselves and others that have a significant impact. This holds a weight that can be offset by a “knowing” (a hope) that situations always have a way forward. Hope helps us make sense of difficult choices, it brings energy and enthusiasm to our lives, and it gives us something to move towards. Even when things are going well, we “hope” it continues. This is not an ideal act of resting on our laurels. It is a willful way of understanding what made us successful (or unsuccessful), making conscious shifts, and continuing to improve.

Hope is becoming an advanced leadership competency, and we know that high-hope leaders have better outcomes. Hope leads to higher employee engagement (you are more inspirational and motivational), higher levels of resilience, and better productivity. There are also personal benefits that have been documented, such as better physical and mental health, stronger relationships, and a greater sense of purpose. (You can read more about how to help hope flourish in my 2022 article in Fast Company, The high-functioning leader’s new favorite four-letter word).

As you explore hope in your organization, know that it is never in isolation from other skills and emotions. It aligns with optimism, gratitude, and action planning. It also rises from despair, fear, and desperation. Hope ebbs and flows in our lives, and, like a rising phoenix, it can emerge from unexpected places. I have always loved this quote from the movie, “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”. “Everything will be alright in the end, so if it’s not alright, it’s not yet the end.” Hope is what allows us to keep sculpting the ending.

At Innovative Connections, our mission is to “give voice and action to an emerging future”. Embedded in this purpose is our commitment to help inspire hope. We are privileged to partner with you as you seek out new opportunities and work to bring them to life. We will walk with you as you make difficult decisions, share your excitement as you achieve milestones, and share disappointments and sorrows along the journey. We will do this with you all while continuing to believe in and inspire a sense of unending hope for the future.

Please enjoy the Conversation Guide included in this newsletter as you seek to build hope between yourself and your teams.







It has long been known that professional coaching can help individuals navigate challenges, gain clarity, increase engagement, and achieve goals, but teams can benefit from coaching as well. Some of the benefits of team coaching include a shared purpose, increased trust, greater productivity, better collaboration, and enhanced communication. 

Team coaching consists of understanding and influencing teams towards cohesion and higher performance. To understand teams and their formation we begin with the fundamental understanding that teams are groups of people who come together around a common goal or purpose. They are highly interdependent and therefore are expected to collaborate, share responsibilities, and bring forth their unique skills to further an organizational purpose, goals, or agenda. Teams have a collective responsibility for a specific output. Organizations expect more from team performance and therefore, they must function such that they can leverage one another’s skills and knowledge. When teams are effective, they can make better, more timely decisions, utilize resources more efficiently, and achieve goals more seamlessly. Successful teams collaborate well, motivate each other, and enhance creativity.

Ineffective teams demonstrate varying degrees of “the opposite”. Without a common purpose, they risk pursuing competing goals, communication suffers, healthy conflict is challenging and resources (time and money) can be wasted. 

Innovative Connections offers a team coaching approach that seeks to help teams, not only identify where they could enhance their effectiveness but also work collaboratively to build relationships that support higher performance. 

The philosophy of team coaching mirrors that of coaching in general with the main expectation that the focus is on the relationship between and within the system (team members, stakeholders, and wider organizational context). Team coaching relies on the team members to bring forth issues and concerns, feelings and perspectives, and problem-solving and solutions. The coach acts as a facilitator, observer, accountability partner, and guide to move strategies forward and the team is responsible for “making things happen”.

If you’d like to learn more, CLICK HERE for an obligation-free consultation, or call: 970-279-3330.






The way we view our circumstances shapes how well we can navigate the challenges life presents us. Embracing a growth mindset can widen our lens to new perspectives, and enable us to develop new skills and initiate change for ourselves. WATCH GROWTH MINDSET








Outcomes change for the better when our employees and teams embrace hopeful perspectives. As part of our “Inspiring Conversations” collection, our booklet on HOPE provides insights and powerful questions to ignite deep, meaningful conversations. This free downloadable resource is intended to lead you in conversations that will widen your lens with additional perspective and propel your growth as an individual, leader, and/or leadership team. DOWNLOAD HOPE




5 Ways Empathy Will Affect Your Leadership 








Coaching in the workplace offers big dividends. Consider this:

A study conducted by The International Coach Federation (ICF) found that 86% of companies not only made their investment back but also saw increased returns. In fact, 19% reported a return of over 50%!

Another study conducted by a Fortune 500 company illustrated an impressive return on investment (ROI) of Executive Coaching. The study found:

  • 77% of participants reported that coaching made a significant impact on at least one key business metric.
  • There was an upward trend in overall productivity, employee satisfaction, engagement, and quality, making a compelling case for the far-reaching effects of coaching.
  • Executive Coaching yielded an astounding 788% ROI, demonstrating exceptional value for organizations.

Additional Resources:
Coaching in the Workplace: Statistics on Employee Performance Improvement 
Harvard Business Report, Coaching Your Team as a Collective Makes It Stronger






Our organizational effectiveness consultants have helped clients from diverse industries work through tough challenges and walk the path to greater personal and organizational success.

We’d love to help you too! CLICK HERE for an obligation-free consultation, or call: 970-279-3330.













We believe every voice holds value and everyone should be empowered to bring their full and authentic self to work. We celebrate diversity and feel a deep responsibility to move organizations from good intentions to meaningful action around equity and inclusion. We approach this work with intentional awareness, curiosity, and respect. As consultants and coaches, we recognize our ability to influence individual behavior and organizational culture, and we aim to always create safe and inclusive environments that encourage our clients to learn, grow, connect, and innovate.


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