“Can you help me think like an executive and really understand what matters to them?”
Ever asked this question of yourself?
This is how Julie*, a smart and successful communications manager and Kademy member began our recent coaching call. Julie shared that her first meeting with the Business Unit leader “went great.” I asked her what she did in that meeting and played back what I’d heard and noticed.
“You showed a ‘can-do’ energy when you took charge of the leader’s request to meet with you.
You anticipated their needs when you prepared ahead of the meeting.
You stood in self-authority when you dared to say what was going well, and what wasn’t.
You had vision when you shared your ideas.
You recognised the need to understand their business challenges and asked questions…
Sounds a lot like thinking like an executive to me.”
“Oh.” said Julie, “I’m sweating! Nobody’s shared it that way with me before. Maybe I’m closer than I realise.”
Maybe you and your team are also closer than you realise.
Coaching is a critical part of Kademy membership and offers a deep level of personal and professional development. Below we share six ways it can bring you and your team closer to where they want to be.
1. A way to manage stress
Stress is a common challenge for us communicators. Too much pressure can cause a level of stress that impedes performance.
A coach is trained to maintain presence. That stability is contagious. When you arrive at a coaching session feeling stressed, angry, or upset, the coach’s presence itself can help you be more grounded. Being able to express strong emotions dissipates stress and helps us to return to work with a different perspective, able to make wiser choices.
2. Slow down to speed up – or be more creative, faster
How many times have you said, “I wish I had more time to think”?
We’re so busy rushing from one task to the next that we don’t know what we think or feel until we begin to say it or have silence to think it.
A coach is trained to listen intently to what you are saying – and not saying – with the goal that you are heard and understood. This is when some of your best ideas emerge, giving you a new momentum to act on the creative solution you just found in yourself.
As Nancy Klein says… “Real help consists of listening to people, of paying respectful attention to people so that they can access their own ideas first.”
3. Bring all your strengths (yes, even the ones outside of work) to your role
Many of us are taught that it’s ‘more professional’ to be different at work than we are at home or with friends. The trouble with compartmentalising ourselves is that some of our strengths stay hidden and we’re less free to follow our instincts. A coach sees you for all that you are, and can bring a new awareness that your talents can be valued equally at home and at work.
Imagine what that can open up for you and your team professionally!
Take Julie who we met earlier. She began to realise that she was already ‘thinking like an executive’ – her qualities were valuable anywhere, and being useful with senior leaders was the icing on the cake.
4. Become an even better leader
Kademy’s resources and learning programmes are highly rated by members, and coaching provides an even deeper level of growth and development. The 1:1 environment brings trust and safety (both key to learning), while group coaching creates space for teams to think strategically about priorities, challenges and next steps.
Powerful questions help you think differently, rather than default to the way you’ve always done things ‘just because it’s expected in my role’ or because you’ve never stopped to question your own beliefs – often because you’ve never been asked a different question.
Ellen Langer distinguishes between ‘mindfulness’ and ‘mindlessness’. Becoming more mindful helps you take risks, trust your creativity, challenge with respect – grow into your leadership.
5. Gain more success and happiness (really)
A familiar complaint for us communicators is we don’t allow time to celebrate success, quickly moving on to the next deliverable!
Consider Julie. She had almost forgotten about her “great meeting,” searching instead for the next way to ‘improve’ before truly pausing to celebrate the positive impact she created with her new leader.
A coach encourages you to acknowledge what you’ve done well which helps you be more positive about life in general, seeing more options for your own success and happiness.
As Ann Betz, expert in the Neuroscience of Human Consciousness and Coaching says, “When a client is exploring new and challenging changes, they need more support, championing and celebration. It can take a coach standing outside to notice, reflect and help the client celebrate their progress and successes.”
6. Speak with people who get you
Kademy coaches have been in senior communications roles. We know what it feels like for fellow communicators. As coaches accredited with CTI (Coaching Training Institute) or ICF (International Coaching Federation) we abide by the ICF Code of Ethics, which includes keeping confidentiality and making distinctions between coaching, consulting, and mentoring.
Curious about what coaching can bring you and your team? Contact Kademy for more information.
Thanks to Julie* for saying “yes” to sharing part of your coaching experience and thanks too to Ann Betz, expert in the Neuroscience of Human Consciousness and Coaching, for her work on ‘the Neuroscience of the ICF Coaching Competencies’.
An accredited leadership coach, Justine Williams has more than 20 years of senior communications experience in the US and UK. She brings empathy, insight, and challenge to the coaching relationship with Kademy members.
*We changed Julie’s name and they kindly gave permission to use some of their story.