Partners in Thought® prioritizes serving public officials because we multiply our impact by helping those who help others (and we therefore offer substantial discounts to public agencies and elected officials).
Elected officials are a special breed of high achiever. They not only have the same needs and issues as non-elected leaders, such as CEOs and professionals, but also additional pressures and constraints, such as the tension between efficiency and bureaucratic rules or norms, balancing the public’s perceived desires with the public’s genuine interests, balancing interests of today with interests of tomorrow, working with difficult constituents and political leaders, maintaining the highest ethical standards in the face of countervailing pressure, and managing and leading subordinates of varying levels of competence and motivation.
Changing the public’s views or behavior may be challenging, but recent developments in behavioral economics offer effective tools for overcoming these challenges. Similarly, public officials and candidates can greatly benefit from garnering support from those of different parties, or otherwise inclined to oppose a particular endeavor or candidate, by applying recent research in social/moral psychology towards overcoming the political divide and improving cross-party communication. Surprisingly few public officials or candidates are leveraging these approaches.
Being a public official is a blessing and a curse: an opportunity for impact, achievement, and fulfillment, one one hand, and for stress, loneliness, and disappointment in oneself or others, on the other. Because everyone brings an agenda to their interactions with a public official, having an objective thought partner should be a resource available to every public official. Sometimes, a leader just needs someone without an agenda to elicit, listen to, and reflect the leader’s thoughts or mental problem-solving process. Other times, a coach can help a leader identify and clarify intentions and purpose; identify relevant information and examine how it fits with the leader’s values and intention; or identify and experiment with or test alternative solutions or opportunities. A coach can help a leader increase self-awareness so that the leader can consciously choose options rather than engage in blind or habitual responses.
Partners in Thought® tools and support for leadership and personal development can improve a public official’s effectiveness and quality of life, including in areas such as making tough decisions, solving problems or disputes, and crisis management, establishing and implementing a policy vision, guiding personal and bureaucratic transitions, enhancing management and leadership, organizational development, managing stress and time, peak performance, meeting and retreat facilitation, and, of course, enhancing whole-life satisfaction. Public officials tend to be high achievers and therefore benefit from Partners in Thought® coaching for high achievers. Each of the Partners in Thought® interactive workshops is appropriate for public officials and their senior staff.
Our head coach, Jeff Schneider, has been a trusted advisor for leaders for over a quarter century, with clients all over the globe, including Mayors of various major U.S. cities.