While I joined the MRG team just a few years ago, MRG itself has been working with coaches around the world for nearly 35 years, developing a network that’s not only broad, but is also incredibly close-knit. One of the benefits of having so many close relationships has been hearing from friends around the world as we navigate the current crisis. We’ve received detailed updates from colleagues in China, Italy, France, and locales around the world, learning not only about how their professional worlds have been impacted, but their personal worlds as well.
These updates have given us a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of a global community, and how many aspects of this struggle are universal. While for the first time in memory we have gone many months without seeing our clients in person, in some ways we feel closer than ever.
For some, this period has provided some time for reflection and education. A series of spring webinars included our most well-attended online events ever, indicating that the coaching world is eager to expand their understanding and stay engaged with the latest research.
This made me curious: what topics are coaches digging into during this period? What kind of research do they think might help them as they approach their work – both in the thick of this period, and as we emerge from it?
To find out, I took a look at some analytics in the MRG Knowledge Base, a resource hub available to MRG clients.
Over the past four months, three research topics stood out as the most read in the database:
Dealing with Complexity and Ambiguity
This best practice study identifies the behaviors that are most important for being seen as effective in dealing with a VUCA environment. Several familiar behaviors make an appearance – Management Focus and Strategic, for example, are commonly associated with effectiveness across the board – however there are a few surprises. For example, demonstrating a high level of restraint and control over their emotions is also associated with greater leader effectiveness in a VUCA environment.
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Recognizing Tomorrow’s Leaders: 5 Behavioral Themes that Distinguish High Potential Leaders
Content on high potentials – both selecting them and developing them – is a perpetually popular topic. I was slightly surprised to see it trending now, but I think it signals optimism for the future. It also has practical implications as well; one of the many benefits of identifying high potential internal talent is that it can offer significant cost savings over sourcing, training and developing an external higher.
This particular study identifies five behavioral themes that are common among high potential leaders, and also looks at a few variations on the HiPo profile, including the Millennial HiPo.
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I wasn’t surprised to see this topic on the rise, since the webinar we held on the subject earlier this year was our most popular ever. No matter where you are in the world – but perhaps particularly in the U.S., where MRG is headquartered – it seems that compassion is both urgently needed and frighteningly scarce. Perhaps it’s helpful to look at this study, then, and to be reminded that compassion is not a limited resource. It’s a practice, and with the right development, any leader – any person – can work to behave with more compassion toward others. This study explores the behavioral differences between leaders who are empathetic and those who are compassionate (putting their empathy into action). It also makes clear how that compassion offers not only interpersonal benefits, but correlates with higher effectiveness as well.
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Are there other topics you’re eager to see new research on? Let us know! Comment or drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what’s on your mind. And if you’re an MRG client, take time to browse the Knowledge Base to discover what else we have in the MRG vault, and give feedback on what you find.