People face challenges every day. Some are minor in nature; some can be humongous. Some are short-lived; most are for a long-term period. Some can be resolved quickly; others need complex study. Some needs independent decision-making; others need team brainstorming.
Leaders often face the biggest problems as they have large shoes to fill in. However, there are instances when these problems are not problems to be solved but are tensions that require to be managed. Leaders should be able to delineate if it is a problem to be solved or a tension to be managed.
This dilemma might be quite new to some leaders. Often, these challenges are time-bounded. Some require a quick fix, a defined ending, and a simple resolution to the situation. Examples shown at coachingconnector include resolving a technical issue, apologizing to a client for a misunderstanding, delegating tasks to other responsible people to beat a deadline, and others.
Unfortunately, there are challenges that seem to have a moment of uncertainty and will not have an ending. These problems are tensions to be managed. These include cases like having personality conflicts with unlikable colleagues, the perennial problem of diminishing budgets, hitting the quota, and seeking new businesses, periods of uncertainty like will the deal be closed with the new prospect or if a person will obtain his well-deserved promotion. In addition to that, it also includes having a permanent illness or injury.
Having a leadership coach can enhance and assist leaders to be able to solve the biggest problems through managing these tensions. A leadership coach can help leaders overcome negative self-talk. Leaders sometimes are not exempted with questions like the what if or why is this happening to me and imagine all situations that are all negative. Leaders sometimes assume assumptions as truths. Leaders often are overwhelmed with the situation that results in a decreased focus on their priorities.
People are programmed to find solutions to problems. A leadership coach can assist in cases where there is not clear solution, but rather situations that are just tensions that need to be managed by walking through the following steps:
Identify and acknowledge the tension.
Identifying and acknowledging the tension prevents leaders from being emotional and to keep an objective and not subjective perspective on the situation. These speeches include: I have observed that I am hyper-focusing on the possibilities of going wrong. Or I think I am over analyzing the situation.
Redirect the focus.
Shift the focus on what are the things that are going correctly and replace with positive self-talk. Examples are : This delayed response of the client does not mean that he will not close the deal. I have done all the necessary requirements and it is time for me to shift and look at other priorities and not be consumed with things I cannot control. It is also possible that a person might have relationship issues. I am thankful that I have this challenging issue regarding relationships. It helps me to grow my leadership skills.
Focus on what can be controlled.
The only thing that leaders can have absolute control is their own attitude and perspective. It might be that a colleague has a relationship issue. A leader can have this self-talk: I will assume that this co-worker is under a lot of pressure nowadays and is not capable of being as kind as he should be. I will let go of this situation. Or, if the person is a subordinate, it can be like this: I will have a non-confrontational meeting with my worker and will talk with her about expectations and resources that she needs to go through the job. Indeed, a leadership coach can help leaders solve the biggest problems through these steps.