by Sherri Hilton – MAL, CEC, PCC
As we transition into summer, we find ourselves still immersed in a pandemic and an economic crisis. There is a growing collective acknowledgment that our world has shifted and changed forever and that we will continue to see more unprecedented changes in the coming months. This crisis has and will continue to impact our lives in every way and how we live and work will be changed forever.
A crisis situation is not new to most of us. The Greek root of the word “crisis” means “to sift”, as in to shake out what is excess and leave only what’s important. While there is stress associated with a crisis, there is also opportunity. We are invited, and rarely on our terms or timeline, to shake up, to sort and sift, and then to hold onto what really matters most, while the rest of it falls away. It is the same for your leadership. A crisis can define and forever change who you are as a leader.
In this current climate of crisis and constant change, our communities, our organizations and our world, now more than ever, need courageous, thoughtful, grounded, egoless and compassionate leaders. When you look back on the past few months, what are you most proud of when you think about how you’ve “shown up” to lead your team or your company? A year from now, what would you want your team, your company and your clients or customers to remember and say about your leadership through this crisis? We don’t have to look too far right now to see examples of inspiring and purpose driven leaders and sadly, those who are the opposite. Many great leaders today have recognized the value of working with an exerienced coach. This is an investment in you and an acknowledgement that you want to learn and develop the skills to be the best leader possible. So what can working with a coach do for your leadership in this time of crisis and uncertainty?
- Coaching helps you cut through fear. We are surrounded by and continually bombarded with messages, news, social media, and conversations, with so much content focused on changes, loss, uncertainty, and endings. What will happen next? Will we be okay? Will my business be okay? How do we have to adapt to survive? Will we survive this? These questions can feel daunting, overwhelming and endless, with few, if any answers within our grasp. As humans we are wired for certainty and our brains do not respond well to ongoing uncertainty and relentless messages mired in fear. When we operate from a place of fear and anxiety, we also limit our cognitive capability and that impacts our thinking and the quality of our decisions. Ironically, at a time like this, our best thinking is what is required. Coaching can help you cut through the fog of fear and anxiety, resulting in a calmer, clearer and more focused you… a person who is able to discern, feel calmer and find clarity so you can focus on what matters most and do your best thinking.
- Coaching shifts your perspective. Most of us are wired for negativity versus a positivity bias. This means that we are drawn to and remember more negative messages or events versus positive ones. Unfortunately, the negative surrounds us and our current reality feels full of doom and gloom messages. This can cause us to create “stories” or narratives that lead to actions that are often reactive and based in fear. We can spin around in our negative “stories” making it harder for our brains to “see” alternative and positive options or opportunities. A skilled coach can help you to “disrupt” your thinking, your stories and actions that that are based in negativity and fear.
- Coaching generates real learning. What does it mean to really LEARN? We don’t learn by just looking at something. Or by reading something. Or by watching something. Those activities simply expose us to something new or different. Real learning takes place when we try out new ways of being or doing. When we reflect on what it felt like to try something different. When we discuss or talk through what that experience was like for us. And when we can examine and challenge our own thinking, beliefs and perceptions. When my son was growing up he played highly competitive hockey and he really hated losing a game, as most competitive athletes do. One of the things I used to say in those moments was “when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.” In this time of crisis and seemingly endless losses, coaching can help you help you distil the lessons in loss, make sense of them, and understand what you need to do differently. It’s only a loss if you learned nothing from it.
- Coaching is life changing. One of the comments I have heard the most from many of my clients over the years is that they not only value coaching for the “safe” and confidential space it offers to them, but also most importantly, how it helps them better understand who they really are, how they are “operating” and identify what really matters and what to focus on. How will your leadership be defined by this crisis? Coaching is a partnership that facilitates greater awareness, exploration, learning, intentional action, and ultimately growth. I believe all leaders should have a great coach in their corner.
Affordable. Confidential. Life Changeing. Curious to learn more about how coaching can support you or your team? Please feel free to reach out to me via Linkedin. Sherri Hilton Linkedin
About Sherri Hilton
Sherri Hilton is a leadership coach for a variety of companies in both the United States and Canada. She has more than 15 years of experience in individual and team coaching, leadership development and advanced facilitation. Her deep understanding of organizational systems and what it means to lead within them, has made her a valuable asset to leaders and organizations she has worked with in a wide range of industries and professions including energy, finance, legal, healthcare, entertainment, retail, education and construction to name a few. Her coaching has impacted leaders and teams in organizatiions such as Capital One, S&P Global, ATB Financial, E&Y, Warner Brothers Studios, Covenant Health, VISA, Standford University, GAP, Alberta Health as well as other smaller private companies.
Sherri has both a Masters degree in Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching from Royal Roads University and holds a PCC level of accreditation through the global International Coach Federation (ICF), in which she is an active member.
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