Research shows that effective coaching and leadership development programs can significantly improve a leader’s performance, decision-making skills, and ability to inspire and motivate their team. Dr. Jennifer E. Dougherty, a certified leadership coach and organizational consultant, has been dedicated to helping leaders become the best version of themselves for over a decade through her holistic coaching approach and diverse services. Her journey to becoming a change agent began at an early age, and in this interview, she shares how her experiences shaped her career path and what drives her to empower leaders.
Forging a Path to Success
Dr. Dougherty’s interest in organizational psychology and leadership development started at an early age, influenced by her father’s employment situation and her personal experiences with employment. She obtained her Bachelor’s in Psychology and Sociology and had plans to open her practice at some point, but life took her down a different path. Eventually, she found her way to her current profession through her Doctor of Education program, specializing in organizational leadership studies. During her studies, she met Dr. Lynda Goldman, an organizational and leadership development consultant and coach, and their work together led her to explore coaching as a career.
Empowering Leaders Through Holistic Coaching
Entrepreneurship had always been a long-standing aspiration for Dr. Dougherty, who fulfilled this dream by founding Dougherty Coaching and Consulting. Dr. Dougherty obtained her coaching certification from the prestigious Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), where she honed her coaching skills and established her own business. Today, Dougherty Coaching and Consulting provides a variety of services, including organizational consulting, leadership development, and executive coaching, with diverse methods such as one-on-one coaching and group and team coaching. Their services include the use of tools like The Denison Culture Survey and Leadership 360s for organizational consulting, training services that follow management methodologies, and iPEC programming, such as the Energy Leadership Index, the Law of Being programs, and the COR.E energy programs.
Dr. Dougherty’s coaching philosophy centers around a holistic approach, recognizing the individual as a whole being rather than just their leadership position. By understanding an individual’s struggles in this context, her coaching enhances overall well-being. Dr. Dougherty acknowledges that an individual’s challenges can impact all aspects of their life, requiring a comprehensive approach to problem-solving. Her diverse background encompasses internal and external coaching, professional development training, facilitation, consulting, and research roles.
Fostering Psychological Safety through Emotional Intelligence
Dr. Dougherty acknowledges that change can be challenging for some clients, but sees it as an opportunity for exploration, recognizing that individuals will move forward when prepared to do so at their own pace. In promoting psychological safety, Dr. Dougherty emphasizes emotional intelligence as a critical component of effective leadership. By cultivating self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management skills, leaders can create a safe space where employees feel empowered to voice their opinions and contribute to the organization’s success. Dr. Dougherty emphasizes the importance of compassion, active listening, respect, and resilience while establishing ground rules for discussion and seeking input and feedback. She stated, “When we relate to one another as humans, we build psychological safety and partner together to have followers, leaders, and organizations be better versions of themselves.”
Adapting to Remote Work as Leaders
With remote work becoming the norm, leaders must adapt to this new work structure while ensuring their employees are comfortable. Dr. Dougherty, a certified leadership coach and organizational consultant, believes in acknowledging and working through the individual’s thoughts and feelings around remote work. She advised leaders to dive into their emotional intelligence and use it to cultivate psychological safety with their employees. Dr. Dougherty suggests various methods, such as one-on-one conversations, group discussions, or surveys to partner with employees and generate sustainable solutions. Furthermore, she emphasizes that leaders should check back with their employees frequently because even if a plan of action has been implemented, things can still evolve and require adjustments.
Expert Advice for Women Entrepreneurs
Dr. Dougherty understands firsthand the challenges women face in entrepreneurship. As the founder and CEO of Dougherty Coaching and Consulting, she has experienced the obstacles and biases that can impede a woman’s success. She advised women to focus on developing a strong foundation for their business, including having a clear vision and understanding the value of their services. She encourages women to seek out supportive networks and mentors who can provide guidance and advice as they navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. By sharing her own experience and advice, Dr. Dougherty hopes to empower more women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams and succeed in the business world.
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