Leadership Development Consultant, Monique Breault Discusses How Maximizing Leadership Potential Improves Productivity and Profitability.

By Jeremy Baker

Monique works with leaders who want to maximize their leadership potential and impact.  She also helps leaders and organizations achieve higher levels of self-awareness, fulfillment, synergy, and performance so they achieve unprecedented results and have a positive impact on the world. Specialties include Executive coaching, leadership development, communication, collaboration, team effectiveness, group facilitation, change management (Prosci certified), organizational diagnosis, and conflict management.

I sit down with Monique and discuss how she helps her clients maximize their potential.

How do you help your clients get better results with leadership coaching?

There are two major services that I offer. The first is leadership coaching, and often it’s coaching executives. People typically come to me because they’re stuck. They’re stuck in terms of advancing their career or they’re stuck in terms of not feeling like they’re having the influence or impact that they would like to have in their work or their lives. Oftentimes there’s a sense of dissatisfaction or frustration. It’s a feeling that there’s got to be more to life than this. It’s an existential question and there is often some kind of suffering or pain that they’re experiencing. I find that we grow the most when we’re going through some kind of crisis in our lives. It can be a relationship at work that’s not working or feeling like they’re just not achieving everything that they could be in the workplace and they’d like to do more of that. Those are the key problems I help them solve. They’re wanting to generate more results, but they’re finding that they’re not able to do so. Most times, their challenge has to do with owning their impact and creating strong relationships. It also has to do with how they see themselves as a leader.

As a result of working on themselves and who they are as a leader, coaching helps leaders be more effective and have more impact and influence. Developing a really good relationship with their inner leader liberates them to have better relationships with others. My clients also say coaching provides them a greater sense of fulfillment and resilience to navigate the challenges of organizational life. In part, the reason they achieve this is because they have a broader perspective that’s related to critical leadership topics. Everybody’s different. There’s always going to be a different challenge that is present for people. I help them look at who they are while facing that challenge and then provide them with relevant tools. I help them look at their mindset. How are they looking at the challenge? How are they seeing others, how are they seeing themselves? And then I help them develop new mindsets and new skills, and they experiment to see what works and see what doesn’t.

I also help them achieve a clear sense of their vision as a leader and why they are put on the planet. We explore their purpose: the intersection of their unique contribution and what the world needs from them right now. I help them get clear on their values. Vision, purpose, and values are extremely grounding; they help us navigate the challenges that show up in our lives. I also help them achieve self-awareness of their perceived strengths and development areas. Higher-level leaders need to get feedback from a variety of sources. Self-perception is often not accurate, at least in terms of the big picture. Perception is reality and is seen differently by different people and so I make sure to collect data on the leader either through interviews or surveys which reveal strengths and areas to work on.

It also comes down to awareness of their inner resources and roadblocks because that is really what’s getting in the way of people achieving their potential. I believe leadership is an inside-out process I have them look at what they have available inside themselves to address whatever challenges are coming up because who we are is how we lead.

As we go through life, we’re going to hit-ups and downs. It’s important to develop resilience. It’s about how do I pick myself up off the ground when I’ve had a tumble, and how do I see the learning in difficult experiences? How do I still honor who I am and see myself as worthy when I’ve had a  challenging time in my life at work or home?

Developing that resilience is possible when a person develops a better relationship with their inner leader. The inner leader is a combination of three things: self-acceptance, self-compassion, and self-authority. I describe a leader as anyone responsible for their world. There’s the word “responsible” meaning responsible for achieving results, managing employees or leading an organization. There’s also another way of looking at the word responsible and that’s “response-able”, which means able to choose how to respond to a situation and instead of a knee jerk or a typical reaction. We all react to stress in different ways; I help people become aware of their reactive habits. 

There are usually three types of reactions to challenges or stressful situations. Some people push back and fight. Some people withdraw or freeze. Others become duty-oriented, appease and tend and befriend.  Once we know what our patterns are, we can look at what’s underneath that and then we can create a bigger space between the event that triggers us and our response to that event. I help people create more space so they have the exquisite moment of choice of how to respond. They can choose whether to follow their old habits or try out with different responses that can lead to better results and stronger relationships.

The second service I offer is a teambuilding service. I help teams develop trust, have productive conflict, set goals, be accountable, and achieve results.

What are some common myths and misconceptions you come across while working with clients? 

The biggest myth is that you should only develop high potential leaders. I see many organizations investing in the coaching and development of their senior executives, and people that are on some kind of a succession path, but they invest less in the people at other levels. Since everyone is a leader, developing everyone’s leadership potential – no matter their level – can benefit the organization. 

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Jeremy Baker

Jeremy Baker has a passion for helping his clients get recognition as the expert in their field. His approach to interviewing helps his clients tell their stories and talk about their unique set of experiences and background.