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The Benefits of Creativity in Executive Coaching

Dog under a rainbow on the beach

When was the last time you could say, "I love my life?" Or if you are like most people who spend approximately a third of their lifetime working, when was the last time you said, "I love my work?" As an executive coach with expertise in creativity and growth, I help my clients do both.

Executive coaching recognizes that when professionals are in their career-building phase of life, the statistic of spending one-third of your lifetime at work can escalate to two-thirds or more when adjusting for how you spend today's awake hours. And for many hard-driving leaders, work becomes life. So rather than abandoning work -- an unrealistic option for most -- what if work aligned with our inner purpose or what I like to call our "joy meter?" Over the past year, I've worked with executives, entrepreneurs, technologists, small businesses, and coaches to see how creativity might move the needle away from the "drain" benchmark and closer to "joy." Here are three high-performing benefits and take-aways.

Joy sign to represent executive coaching joy meter
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Map out your core values and purpose after major disruptions or changes.

Disruption precedes change. And that is true for individuals as well. We've been through two years of disruption on every front and many have found what has importance has shifted. Core values are not a "one and done" exercise. As we mature, gain expertise, experience trauma and/or life changes, our priorities shift. It's natural. It's also common that we often need help to recognize those changes. In the professional domain that is where an executive coach can help. Executive coaches are trained to listen for impact. I love the "aha" moment when I repeat back phrases that my clients share and by doing so, I help them recognize the synergies or opportunities that are within their reach. I use creativity to map what brings joy to my clients in their work life and their personal life. We use a joy and energy meter exercise over a one to two-week period. Then we incorporate the findings into a weekly dashboard with apps like ClickUp,, etc.

It takes more than changing jobs and/or professions to bring alignment.

Let's face it. There's been alot of disruption in the workplace as professionals leave positions that no longer serve them and seek more meaningful work. Granted the euphoria of the first 100 days of a new venture feeds the creativity and learning portions of our brains, but eventually every project, position, or company will present obstacles and challenges. Without the creative mindset to overcome those challenges and hack the position or situation to align to what makes you happy, you might find yourself in a familiar doldrum that led to the initial job search or career change in the first place. The closer the position fits with your core values, the easier it will be to either adapt your perspective or adapt your position to be in closer alignment. But understanding that the long-term solution is making sure that at least 80% of your experiences are in alignment with your values. That is what will move your individual needle closer to the "joy" benchmark. Some of my favorite creative hacks include fighting boredom, using the TAPE Survey and Framework to strengthen connections and actions, and overcoming the overwhelm mindset.

Emotional intelligence can turbo charge your purpose.

One of the reasons I became a certified Genos International Practitioner is that the skills that most executives are looking to master for themselves and their teams are the ability to connect, communicate, and collaborate on a level far above basic productivity. They recognize to reach their goals and to attract and retain the most creative workforce, they need to foster cultures that can be attuned to humanity. And the attribute that humans have that makes them unique are emotions. That's why emotional intelligence is the super skill that organizations and professionals are looking to enhance. In order to do so, it is important to understand the workplace behaviors and triggers that may stand in the way of creating both purposeful and meaningful work. If we were to balance the intellectual expertise we bring to work with emotional intelligence competencies, how would that help align behaviors toward meeting individual goals? Improving emotional intelligence is a necessary component of being able to say, "I love my life. I love my work." Or vice versa.

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I started 2023 with a period of rest and making restorative connections, followed by walking my dog Luka. He stopped in his tracks looking to the sky. He saw the rainbow before I did, proving that sometimes you need a trusted advisor to help you focus on what has changed. I stood there thinking about the possibilities of 2023, my clients, and my environment. And I was able to say, "I love my work. I love my life."

Break the Tape Leadership helps leaders unleash creativity and potential in themselves and the organizations they lead to generate meaningful momentum. (And we often hear our clients say, "I love my work. I love my life.")

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