Coaching themes for 2022

In December, I took some time out with a group of other coaches, to reflect on the year past and the year ahead. It struck me that so much can be learned from creating space to think, reflect and identify some of the key coaching themes that emerged. In this blog I share some of the key themes that I notice may emerge for 2022.

Embrace the messiness

Embracing the messiness is about recognising the path to happiness and success is not linear. There doesn’t seem to be one formula we can apply to achieve this, as we are all unique and what success is to one person, is not to another. In addition, we layer on the constant change and transformation going on in the world around us, in organisations or in ourselves. It can be easy to become overwhelmed and feel lost. This year is about finding strategies to move with, rather than against the change and opportunities provided to us. Part of this is recognising that the path is constantly changing and may at times feel messy. Having strategies in place to be resilient in the face of messiness is one way to consider how you adapt well.

How do you manage the messiness?

Individual Decision making 

It is true that life has become even more complex with the recent pandemic. Decisions that we took for granted, such as working out of an office or meeting people socially, have had to be altered depending on our feelings towards the level of risk attached to it. Being conscious about your set of criteria for decision making can make it easier to objectively apply those decisions. Often decisions can be based on our own set of values or beliefs, as well as other metrics such as level of risk vs level of gain. 

What’s your decision-making approach?

Lines are blurring and new routines are forming

Do you remember the days when home and work were separate? I recall people talking of their desire to keep the two very distinct and yet over the last few years, many have described both the trials and tribulations of the lines blurring. There will be an ongoing need for us to effectively manage home and work in a way that creates enough space for ourselves, our work and others. This will also involve creating new routines – for example teams meeting in the office regularly on certain days, as well as individual routines, such as introducing exercise as well as boundaries around starting and stopping work. There is an opportunity to create a new normal that works well for us individually. 

Create even more connection online 

Virtual working is now the norm – moving forward how will we ensure we create human connection as well as work connections? I regularly work with groups online via Zoom, and I notice that human connection is formed not by the need to always be face to face. It seems to be about the environment we create online and the vulnerability to share our thoughts with others, to be heard. For leaders, the year ahead is full of opportunities to make online connections more human. It is a similar principle to the idea that we can be lonely in a room of people – it is about the environment we create rather than the vehicle itself of Zoom. I think of it as we are human beings first and human doings last. 

What could you do to create more human connection with others?

What do you need to pay attention to, for your own mental wellbeing?

We have come a long way in talking openly about mental health and yet there is still a way to go before every organisation creates an environment where it is not judged. Organisations can continue to create opportunities for mental health to be discussed, however one of the best ways to make it okay is for leaders to role model it from the top. Consider not only initiatives – consider how every leader in your organisation creates a safe environment of open dialogue. So that all can learn from one another about how we all continue to nourish our own mental wellbeing. 

Straightforward Conversations

You could also call this having more courageous conversations more often. I prefer this term than the word “feedback”. I have seen a growing desire for leaders to learn the skills of being honest in their conversations with others. These conversations are about sharing what we see in service of the other person’s development. It is also about acknowledging in clear unambiguous language what you value about the person, so that they can continue to build on their strengths. 

How would you enhance the quality of your conversations?

It’s okay to fail 

If we want to create a culture of high performance, then the starting point is to fail fast and be okay with it. Whilst organisations have gone some way this year in communicating this as a desire, I would love to see this in action in 2022. Examples might include having regular moments where the team talk about the learnings, where the leader actively acknowledges someone for trying something out and it not working, or for the leader themselves to share some of their failures and learnings. 

What are some of your greatest learnings from your own failures? 

I’d love to hear what coaching themes have emerged for you and in your organisations, as you consider the year ahead. In coaching sessions, we work on learnings from the year and how you take this forward for 2022. If you would like to know more about how coaching can support you or your team then please get in touch to arrange a no obligation consultation.

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