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Episode 60

The Power of Myth and Archetypes to Transform in Coaching

As we move deeper into these unprecedented times during the COVID-19 lockdown, how can we best support our leaders as their needs change in response to the global situation?

In this conversation with executive leadership coach Erica Ariel Fox we explore how the pandemic is affecting leaders, how we can adapt our coaching accordingly, and Erica’s innovative mythological approach

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Coaching Leaders in Times of The Coronavirus

As we move deeper into these unprecedented times, how can we best support our leaders? Many are finding that their employees need a stable presence and that showing vulnerability at this time is actually not compassionate towards them. The question of how to show up as a leader in these times brings up complex issues.

First and foremost, leaders need a space to simply speak their truth – that they’re worried and stressed, and be witnessed in that. Ironically, pre-corona we were encouraging leaders to be authentic and vulnerable but in the current circumstances it seems more constructive to help them be a stable, holding presence for their people.

Key to this is helping them be very mindful of their inner reality so that they’re able to act with choice with their teams. To facilitate their bringing their “big Self” to work, rather than their “small self”.

There are many tools to assist our clients to access the “big Self” – Erika often uses music to help her clients drop into a different state of being, and then invites them to go for a walk holding the two questions, “What does life want for you?” and “What does life want from you?”.

A Mythology of Leadership

Using mythological references to assist leaders to grow can be remarkably simple and effective, because it relies on global archetypes that all of us resonate with. We can then speak about aspects of self as characters from myths or archetypes. The four key archetypes Erika works with are:

  • Dreamer: visioning, imagination, creativity
  • Thinker: logic, facts, clarity, perspective, problem-solving
  • Lover: emotional intelligence, collaboration, trust, relationships
  • Warrior: taking action, courage, boundaries, performance

Each of them has a key skill associated with it; the Dreamer has intuition, the Thinker has rationality, the Lover has emotion and the Warrior has willpower. Working with clients we can use these archetypes to explain what kind of energy needs to be balanced within to help them be more effective.

Songs referenced:
  1. (31:07 – 37:50) – May I Suggest by Red Molly (Spotify | Youtube)
  2. (43:07 – 47:13) – How Could Anyone bb Shaina Noll (Spotify | Youtube)
  3. (1:25:25 – 1:34:05) – How Can I Tell You by Cat Stevens (Spotify | Youtube)

Resources Mentioned:
Carl Gustav Jung
Joseph Campbell
Erica’s newsletters

About Erica

Erica Ariel Fox

Erica Ariel Fox is the co-founder of Mobius Executive Leadership and the creator of the Winning from Within® methodology. She advises the most senior leaders in influential companies around the world to achieve their highest aspirations. Her book, Winning From Within, was a New York Times bestseller and her writing has been published in Forbes, Bloomberg, the Harvard Business Review among others. Erica also teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School and is a sought-after speaker to offer keynotes at global gatherings and corporate events, as well as to lead top team off-sites.


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