Meet our Creative Executive Coaches
At the Creative Executive, we work with some pretty amazing people. We work with teams who, as a collective, strive to communicate and collaborate better. We help our organizational clients improve how the work gets done throughout the organization, with an eye towards a more sustainable culture and profitable outcomes. We couldn’t do any of this work without our incredible team of coaches who work alongside these clients. In this ongoing series, we’ll be profiling all of our coaches. With decades of experience and expertise behind them, they help fuel the magic we facilitate for companies, teams, and leaders every day.
A multifaceted facilitator and coach, Melinda Rothouse is also a musician, a photographer, and an author. She recently published a book on how leaders can create cultures of innovation through mindfulness-based creativity and collaboration. The book, A Mindful Approach to Team Creativity and Collaborations in Organizations, reached #1 Bestseller in New Releases in several categories on Amazon on launch day. People appreciate learning about the research on mindfulness and creativity and the practical tools they can put to use with their teams.
“With mindfulness, we can find ways to slow down, open up to creative possibilities, and focus on what’s important.”
It couldn’t be a more timely topic. Working remotely and managing virtual teams is uniquely challenging. They leave people feeling isolated and drained from so much screen time. The book’s exercises can help people adopt a more mindful approach when working virtually, including everything from staying connected to their bodies to communicating more effectively with their teams and finding new ways to collaborate in the virtual space.
Mindfulness an antidote to stress + uncertainty
Melinda’s foundation and guiding philosophy is mindfulness. “Life is messy, fast, and filled with endless demands on our time and energy,” she says. “It’s a struggle for all of us. With mindfulness, we can find ways to slow down, open up to creative possibilities, and focus on what’s important.”
Research supports using mindfulness to reduce stress in the workplace. Creating an environment that proactively addresses this strain on our people is even more vital now with the level of uncertainty we are all experiencing. Melinda’s book reviews this research and shows how embracing mindfulness can benefit individuals working within our current reality and support teams collaborating in this environment to address the complex problems our society faces.
Working with teams and organizations, Melinda focuses on being present and listening with an empathetic ear. A researcher at heart, her keen observational skills enable her to identify and articulate challenges so that leaders can identify in their own wisdom and strengths. “The most effective leaders I know empower their teams to continually grow in terms of their skills, their careers, and their leadership. These leaders truly listen to what their teams are asking for and do everything they can to facilitate cultures of innovation.” Melinda says, “They embrace new ways of doing things rather than micromanaging and sticking stubbornly to the tried and true (but may no longer be the best way).”
Start from where you are
When we’re working day-to-day, it’s not easy to step back and get a sense of where your organization or team is. Knowing where you are, helps you take small steps in the direction of where you want to go. Sometimes, there are existing structures and systems that stifle creativity versus encourage it. For many teams, overwhelm due to the pace of the work overpowers the fundamental need to strategize and create a vision. This general busyness can lead to a lack of self-awareness for leaders and their team members. Things like unexamined assumptions and reactivity amongst your team can render even the most creative people ineffective, and worse, miserable. Melinda helps leaders adopt a more mindful approach, beginning with their own mindsets, behaviors, and communication styles.
With all this focus on helping others unleash the power of their creativity, how does Melinda tap into inspiration? By nurturing her passions through art, music, and writing, she stays connected to her creative energy and life force. Exploring her many passions is an understatement. In addition to her research and writing, she is a singer/songwriter and bass player and released a full-length album of original music this year. She also practices and teaches contemplative photography, showcasing her work at the East Austin Studio Tour (EAST).
You could say her whole academic life has been leading up to her current career as a leadership and creativity coach. With a B.A. in Biopsychology, Masters in both Religious and Performance studies, and a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Creativity Studies, Melinda intimately understands how to facilitate meaning for individuals, teams, and organizations.
Melinda enjoys being a coach because she loves helping creative and high-functioning leaders to manifest the full potential of their vision, presence, communication, and leadership. Possessing a unique understanding of the creative process and how to cultivate it, she is a boon for organizations and teams of any size and shape.
Check out A Mindful Approach to Team Creativity and Collaboration in Organizations: Creating a Culture of Innovation by Melinda Rothouse.