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Elizabeth Goins: Executive Presence Starts With Communication

Meet Our Creative Executive Coaches

At the Creative Executive, we work with some pretty amazing people. We work with leaders and teams who strive to communicate and collaborate better to create more sustainable cultures and profitable outcomes. We couldn’t do any of this work without our incredible team of coaches, who work alongside these clients. With decades of experience and expertise behind them, they help fuel the magic we facilitate for companies, teams, and leaders every day.

Elizabeth Goins Phd - The Creative Executive

Elizabeth Goins walked a winding path to coaching. She credits her early appreciation for strategic change to her parents. Her father, an entrepreneur, and her mother, a teacher and high-school vice-principal, were always striving to achieve meaningful change in their respective careers. Growing up in Washington, DC, it’s not surprising that Elizabeth went to work in public affairs and lobbying. While she found the work interesting and challenging, Elizabeth eventually longed for a change of pace.

On a whim, Elizabeth applied to a Ph.D. program in Austin, and it was during her lean years as a graduate student that she started training and coaching to pay the bills. When she recognized that she woke up energized every day and went to bed fulfilled knowing that she helped someone, and that’s when Elizabeth knew she’d found her calling.

Having executive presence is not enough; you must communicate it, too

Elizabeth’s leadership philosophy encompasses one word, COMMUNICATION. Today’s leaders must communicate to relay information, but perhaps more importantly, they must inspire and influence others.

"You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you can't communicate your ideas effectively, your leadership will be limited." Elizabeth Goins, Executive Communications Director

Working with teams, Elizabeth sees the communication thread woven through the most effective dynamics. By understanding when to listen and when to speak, teams can learn how to navigate productive conflict. Out of this conflict comes the best ideas. Communication is key to gaining influence and sparking progress, and the best creative teams know how to sell ideas up, down, across, and outside the organization. Perhaps most importantly, they know how to navigate interpersonal challenges so that those conflicts and speed bumps don’t slow the team down.

On the other end of the spectrum, Elizabeth finds that a lack of empathic listening is one of the critical barriers to effective creative leadership. Sometimes the most important aspect of communication is not what you say but sitting down to truly hear what others say.

Working on your communication skills is like going to the gym, Elizabeth contends, saying, “It takes time, dedication, and work. It also requires you to be vulnerable; you’re opening yourself up to feedback and making yourself accountable to another person.”

Being “okay” on camera is no longer optional

Last year threw our personal and work lives into disarray, but Elizabeth believes that the challenges of moving to the virtual space also offers leaders incredible opportunities. We are tasked with embracing flexibility and extending grace to ourselves and others because everything from our environments to our priorities is harder to control. “As leaders,” Elizabeth says, “we’ve received a gift when it comes to relating to our people differently.” The virtual space has offered everyone a window into the context of people’s lives, including your own. Kids, pets, spouses, and our homes have become part of our work personas.

The rules have changed. Along with adjusting our expectations, leaders must hone their ability to communicate effectively on screen, whether it’s live, scripted, or recorded.

New rules for virtual meetings. The Creative Executive

Read more about some trends and the new rules for communicating with and leading virtual teams.

Much of being a coach means facilitating a foundation for the people they work with to open themselves to inspiration. Inspiration can manifest through revelations about how they work and insights into how to move forward. Her clients appreciate Elizabeth’s passion for communication, her compassion, and her contagious energy. Organizations and teams can benefit from her unique feedback style, which is direct and kind and showcases her passion for this kind of work. 

So what inspires Elizabeth? “The fact that my clients trust me to go on this journey with them is an incredible honor.” she says, “Their commitment to becoming better leaders (and humans) inspires me every day.” Wise from her decade of coaching and training, Elizabeth knows that sometimes the biggest revelations come from seemingly small or insignificant changes. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars or hours of daily time to make incremental progress in the right direction. Outside of work, Elizabeth is a whiz in the kitchen. She looks forward to Austin’s short cool season to indulge her love of soup. You can also find her moving her body to a beat in spin or dance class and watching irreverent comedies like Fleabag.

Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn or Learn More Here.