Sports teams save their coaching timeouts for the most critical times of the game. During those key moments the team’s leaders huddle with their coach. They review the plan together to ensure everybody is on the same page. If we called a timeout right now, I would ask several questions, including:
- what, if anything, might the team be doing reactively, in the moment that will not be sustainable in the future?
- where, if anywhere, might the team relax the pace of activity / meetings just a bit, to create some space?
- what is the least impactful work you are currently doing and how might we pause or re-assign it?
- what is one thing you need for you to find balance and create energy, so that you can be of greater service to others?
As you think about where you invest your external professional services budget in a time of financial restraint, I encourage you to think about the value an executive coach can bring your team in this moment.
An executive coach can provide an objective, third-party perspective.
A crisis situation creates incredible pressure, tension and anxiety, causing many leaders to operate from a reactive mindset. A coach provides an objective, third-party perspective when leaders are struggling to remain objective in decision-making due to their own anxiety or the impact on other people, perhaps including themselves.
An executive coach can help you re-set the plan.
When a coach is a true business partner, they will understand a lot about your business. This week I helped teams re-set their goals to adapt to the current environment. The growth-oriented objectives from a month ago, have given way to business continuity objectives as leaders navigate the current environment. A new plan, likely shorter-term in nature, can help you get the team re-aligned quickly.
An executive coach can help you avoid managing with reactive tendencies.
I use the Leadership Circle Profile (LCP) to help leaders understand their reactive tendencies on a deeper level, and how those tendencies undermine leadership effectiveness. This is even more important during a crisis. Once we have reset-set the plan and explored the source of your anxiety, we can help you manage reactive tendencies and maintain composure. A coach helps you lead with highly effective leadership traits, even in the face of tremendous pressure or dealing with anxiety.
An executive coach can help you manage anxiety.
As a certified coach and yoga instructor I understand a great deal about what causes anxiety and how we manage it. To manage anxiety, I first help my clients get to its true source. While this crisis is scary on a number of levels, it is important to get closer to the deepest source of the anxiety. Some people are deeply worried about their income or livelihood. Others are anxious about their health or the health of elderly parents. Understanding the most prominent source of anxiety helps us work on a strategy to address it.
An executive coach offers a structured approach.
We recommend that coaches use a structured approach, such as the SupportingLines High-Performance Framework™ to help leaders focus on aligning the team, cultivate collaboration and help people grow. We are in the midst of a crisis unlike anything we have experienced – and it is in times like these that leaders find out what they are made of. Our framework offers leaders a specific, yet tailored approach to build upon their strengths and be more effective when the team needs it most.