4 Common Topics When Coaching in Turbulent Times

April 11, 2017 Terry Watkins

Coaching stress leadership turbulence white waterManaging during stressful times can be very challenging. Most managers will experience major change several times throughout their career. This may include a company merger, downsizing, a new senior leadership team, or new job responsibilities. Managers must cope with their own emotions and uncertainties along with those of their direct reports.

Wondering what people want to talk about most often during times of uncertainty? And how coaching can help? Below are a few common topics managers discuss with their coach when things get stressful.

Managing emotions. A coach creates a safe environment to encourage a manager to deeply self-reflect about his or her true thoughts and feelings. Discussions will center on what is causing the emotion and how to manage it. A coach will also help the manager identify resources and strategies to help control the emotion.

Executive presence. In order to minimize the uncertainty that comes with change, a manager’s attitude, poise, body language, agility, and patience are key. A coach will help a manager gain clarity on how they need to show up in order to lead effectively.

Communication. To build trust and lessen concerns during uncertain times, it is crucial for a manager to be as transparent as possible with information. Direct reports experience several levels of concern during change that a manager needs to address, such as “What is causing the change?” “How will the change impact me?” or “How do I manage all the details?” A coach will support a manager in creating a communication plan and being an effective listener.

Lack of control. A coach will help a manager gain clarity over what is and is not within his or her control. Discussions will center on how to be impactful, influential, and forward focused.  This allows a manager broaden his or her perspective and think differently managing in uncertainty. The coach will support the manager in being creative and finding ways to remain effective and be a guide, leader, and resource for direct reports and colleagues.

All of us deal with self-doubt and uncertainty when faced with turbulent times. A coach can often act as a calming influence and help us find alternatives and resources we might not be able to find for ourselves.

How about you? Have you tried to go it alone? For those who are open to it, a coach can provide an extra layer of individualized one-on-one support for leaders at every level.


About the Author

Terry Watkins

Terry Watkins is a Senior Coach for The Ken Blanchard Companies. She is a frequent contributor to Blanchard’s LeaderChat blog. Terry received her Certified Professional Career Coach certification from The Coaches Training Institute and her MBA with an emphasis in Leadership from Grand Canyon University.

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