Written by Karen van der Meulen (Pearce) – Executive Coach.


I have been following, with interest, the post COVID pandemic phenomenon that is being referred to as “the great resignation”. According to McKinsey, almost two thirds of employees in the United States claim that the covid experience has driven deep reflection on their purpose in life. Employees are looking to companies and to the leadership team to help them connect to and live their purpose through their work in the organisation.

I have noticed this in my coaching of executives over the past years. However, mostly it has been a reason to resign from a current career in order to find something more aligned to ones personal sense of purpose, meaning and contribution. Demanding this from one’s workplace is a new trend, post the pandemic. Leaders who have not connected deeply to their own purpose and values, are not equipped to make these connections for their teams. The result of this shift has created a demand for leadership coaching that is deeply personal, reflective and transformational. It is not about acquiring a new skill or moving from point A to point B. It requires reflection on long held belief systems and values, surfacing of unconscious biases and confronting areas which may keep one stuck. It requires the courage to be vulnerable.

The ability to help employees find a deeper connection to purpose and meaning in their workplace, requires leaders to also have a heightened level of interpersonal skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence. All of these elements of relationships are increasing requested topics for leadership coaching and again require coaches equipped for coaching with a psychological edge.

Another frequently requested topic for coaching is how to drive a performance culture when there is so much uncertainty around. Creating a culture that not only thrives despite change but which thrives on change, is counter to the way we as humans are wired. Yet change in organisations, if done skillfully, can bring about renewed focus, resilience and accountability. Through coaching, leaders are able to explore their own relationship with change and uncertainty in order to be able to lead the organisation effectively through it.

These are just two trends which have emerged post the pandemic which have heightened the demand for coaches that are qualified for and equipped to hold a safe space for leaders to reflect on personal issues which deeply affect their “way of being” as leaders, rather than the “what or the how” of how they lead.

Published by Joint Prosperity

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