Coming together as an Alumni for our Coaching Cafés every week is a highlight of our year. In addition, offering continuing coach education CCEU credits towards ICF credentials. Without a doubt, together we have coached through COVID and out the other side. At the same time, focussing on connection, community and stretching our coaching skills. Now it is time to look at the 5 top trends that will influence our coaching in 2021.
Highlight 1: Help clients not only adapt but set new habits
Without a doubt we all had to adapt in 2020 and this will continue. Moreover, we not just once, but several times. Our ability to adapt during difficult times defines us as a leader. This year will not only be about coaching clients to adapt to changing circumstances and the environment. But also, a chance to iron out wrinkles and set new habits.
There are many good things that came out of 2020 that can be reinforced as good strong new habits. And many wrinkles, or friction points that need to be resolved. That went ‘unspoken’ because of the nature of what was happening.
Coaching is not hard. It’s changing our habits that is hard.
Highlight 2: Leading change
A CEO of a major law firm once told me: anyone can lead an organisation through the good times. It’s the true leaders that step up during the difficult times. Without a doubt we step up. As coaches we have been there for our clients to enable them to lead change. And in doing so, we learn lessons about vulnerability, asking for help, and being authentic when leading change.
It goes without saying that this year the need to lead change, deal with change, work out what’s changing, what’s staying the same will continue. And we have to be there for our clients to coach them through.
Highlight 3: Focus on communication
Wow, I wonder what Albert Einstein would think now. Our communication was challenged in 2020. The need for a focus on communication and human interaction is so important. As is flexibility in our communication. To find the right balance was a definitely a highlight and a key lesson. That balance between connection and virtual meeting fatigue.
Leaders and managers will need to demonstrate their commitment to communication in 2021 and a lot of our coaching will be around that. Last year they might have gotten away with a few things and blamed COVID, but this year those excuses are going to wear thin.
Having different levels of conversation; continuing to give feedback when working from home and finding the time to communicate will continue to dominate conversations. Thinking about better ways to do performance conversations including getting the mindset right for performance conversations is also important. Particularly because a lot of performance conversations were put on hold in 2020. We can’t keep putting them off, so how to do this effectively, will be a key coaching topic.
I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.
Highlight 4: Focus on mental health
Open Door initiated mental health first aid training, long before COVID put a spotlight on mental health. In 2020 year, we trained hundreds of people in mental health awareness and spotting the signs of mental health issues. At the same time, raised funds for Black Dog Institute with our 900km walking challenge. Without a doubt, we make a difference in this area across the alumni. Consequently, we are better colleagues, friends and family members because of this commitment.
The focus on mental health will continue this year and that’s why it’s important for coaches to know: how to start a conversation about mental health with a colleague. In addition, recognising the signs of anxiety and depression in the workplace. Furthermore, resilience and what it means will also be a big topic of conversation.
What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation.