Janet M. Harvey

Leadership Coach

Janet M. Harvey

Janet M. Harvey, Best Selling Author of the award-winning leadership and coaching book, Invite Change – Lessons from 2020, The Year of No Return is CEO of inviteCHANGE, a human development organization specializing in generative learning and coaching for enterprises that shapes a world where people love their life’s work. Janet has educated and coached leaders at Fortune 500 companies, across 6 continents, for nearly 30 years. An early adopter for creating a coach-centered workplace, she has worked with global organizations and teams of leaders to transform and establish a resilient, and high-performance culture that sustains performance excellence through a generative coaching approach. Janet has experienced that the secret to having your biggest breakthrough is reconnecting with your authentic self, the essential qualities, traits, and values that form the uniqueness of each person. When that happens, transparency that connects, generates psychological safety, and invites the unlimited potential of each human being is liberated. Janet Harvey uses her executive and entrepreneurial experience to cultivate leaders in sustainable excellence through Generative Wholeness™, their signature generative coaching and learning process for people, processes, and systems. In 2020 Janet fulfilled a vision to invite changemakers to a global leaders conference focused on the exchange of practices, processes, and potentials for social progress with racial equity, climate change, healthy communities, and human trafficking. More than 50 leaders shared their wealth of experience with hundreds of souls who are now in the world inviting change. More than 2500 hours of pro-bono coaching services have been delivered to a dozen non-profit organizations as a result, bringing the learning and expertise directly to the populations they serve. The network of leaders connected through this conference are spreading regenerative acts daily with remarkable results, including the launch of the Climate Coaching Alliance, and gather for learning through the Vanguard Conversation Series to pay forward learning, and wisdom that sustains our world. As a visionary leader in the global professional coaching industry, Janet Harvey is an International Coaching Federation Master Certified Coach and accredited educator who has engaged adults, teams, and global enterprises for nearly 30 years to invite change that sustains well-being and excellence. Being better humans together requires claiming a true self first and then choosing to live inside out as we transform, evolve and regenerate with resiliency. As Janet shares, “coaching in its many forms has at its root the effect of awakening consciousness and doing so in a highly accelerated fashion that improves productivity and financial outcomes while also generating a healthier workplace climate.” Her colleagues, audiences and clients regard her as a bold, curious, provocative, articulate, and compassionate human being. Janet served as a board director and Treasurer for the ICF Thought Leadership Institute (2020-2021), as a board director for the ICF Global Enterprise Board (2009- 2013 and again 2021) and was ICF Global Past President (2012), and ICF Foundation Chair (2011-2014). In addition to her executive role at inviteCHANGE, Janet is an ICF Master Certified Coach, a Certified Mentor Coach, and an Accredited Coaching Supervisor. https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetharvey/ janet.harvey@invitechange.com +1 3606329092

Antidote to Restlessness

Relationship becomes a higher priority the more ambiguous, complex, and uncertain the atmosphere.” JM Harvey, CEO inviteCHANGE

Do you find it hard to read the pulse, the honest feelings and perspective that people you engage – associates, peers, advisors, suppliers, customers – experience in our post-pandemic (almost?) period? Your attempts to return to a normal workday, workplace, and workflow don’t land as envisioned. Agreeing on a definition of what’s normal for professional life seems elusive. Restlessness with uncertainty and the pace of increasing complexity because of (fill in the blank) generates a lot of thorny problems that do not seem to have easy-to-identify solutions. Whether your enterprise operates on multiple continents or from your hometown and connects to the world electronically, simultaneous, cascading crises occurring everywhere bombard your awareness. It is genuinely more than humans can absorb all at once. Yet, what do you choose to deflect, defer or delay giving your attention, and how do you sustain an internal harmony that can persevere and focus on achieving desired outcomes?

On the surface, the antidote to restlessness may appear counterintuitive: choose courageous disruption. Courageous disruption of bias toward restoring a familiar and comfortable past experience offers an opportunity to invite change. Change that supports becoming fit for the future that already stares you as a CEO right in the eye. I’ll share some valuable data that reveals the impact of the change underway. Choose to reflect carefully and notice which of these items is the reality you observe in your business and perhaps in yourself.

  • 32% of employees are highly engaged at mid-year 2023, down from 36% pre-Covid, which is unsatisfactory because 68% are not engaged.
  • 1 in 4 American workers dread going to work, and estimates are that US companies have lost $223 billion due to culture-caused turnover.
  • 42% of people have experienced a decline in mental health, with the National Institute of Health reporting a cost of workplace stress globally at $688 Billion.
  • 67% of people are experiencing increases in stress while 57% have increased anxiety, and 54% are emotionally exhausted.
  • 53% of people are sad, 50% are irritable, 28% are having trouble concentrating, 20% are taking longer to finish tasks, 15% have difficulty thinking, and 12% feel challenged to juggle their responsibilities.
  • In August of 2022, research showed this slide had reached the C-suite:
  • Overall work satisfaction scores dropped 15% for executives.
  • Work-life balance scores were 20% worse.
  • Work-related stress and anxiety scores were 40% higher.

Coaching is my preferred modality to adopt courageous disruption. Professional coaching conversations devote attention to evoking awareness to notice your internal experience. Listening within illuminates what motivates your choices that occur more from habit than deliberate choice. Briefly pausing to check assumptions and beliefs opens up your mindset used to make decisions, interact with others, and show up with others to get stuff done. In this way, pause gives you more time than it takes to eliminate missteps when you don’t see the complete picture of what’s occurring because you rely on history to guide your choices. Instead, disrupting your habits and preferences has the potential to highlight creative and ingenious alternatives that take the current and changed environment into account.

Most CEOs today report that being a coach for their team occurs at least 30% and for some 40% of their time at work. That likely means you are using three essential skills:

  1. Moving from telling toward asking. 
  2. Moving from assumptions toward revealing reality. 
  3. Moving from mitigating weakness toward maximizing strengths.

If this is not true for you, then this is an excellent place to start to create your antidote to restlessness. These three skills build a new foundation for creating relationships that focus on co-learning and co-creating your path forward based on reality and using the best strengths of each person and process in your business system. For the global technology company Microsoft, sales leaders engaged with coaches to adopt these skills into every conversation. It was not a new thing to do. Instead, adopting coaching skills became a new way to do everything by disrupting communication habits and preferences that no longer produced desired outcomes. Their leaders adopted a new way to simultaneously create relationships of care and increased productivity, delivering improvements in just 90 days.

All good things come these days with a warning label, and this antidote does too. Rather than think your way to asking instead of telling, first, you must shift your mindset to prioritize openness, humility, learning orientation, curiosity, and deep trust in your workforce. With this mindset, here are a few more ideas to adopt a coaching mindset for all activities beyond one-on-one interactions that support you to be a role model for the benefits of courageous disruption.

  • Inspire and model pause for reflection to inform fresh thinking.
  • Request a cleaning off of leadership lenses based on bias and habit to re-design the fundamentals that align with current market conditions.
  • Offer a variety of ways to listen to conversations, vet ideas, and champion new designs.
  • Look beyond hesitation and act and keep acting.
  • Observe results and acknowledge courageous disruption that produces thriving relationships and results ~it’s the reward team members value most.
At the end of each day, ask yourself, did I awaken, catalyze, and energize people in every conversation? Each day you can say “yes” to some, most, or all of your interactions; you are on the path to courageous disruption as the antidote to paralyzing restlessness.

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