A google search with the term ‘Executive coaching’ returns 282 million hits, so the coaching industry is as strong as it has ever been. Executive Coaching is as commonplace in organisations now as corporate yoga sessions, workplace massage therapists, employee engagement surveys, chillout rooms, and gift vouchers for ‘living’ the values. While all of these initiatives sound great, they are often met with scepticism around the return on investment, and the truth is, when times are tough they are the first to go. If you’re curious about executive coaching and what it might be able to offer you or your organisation, then read on as I’d like to provide you with the opportunity to understand why every leader needs a coach.
There is no shortage of evidence to suggest that coaching has a profound positive impact on individuals, teams and organisations. We know that effective coaching has a positive and observable impact on employee performance, engagement, wellbeing, self-regulation, goal attainment, and transformational leadership (Burt & Talati, 2017; Theebom et, at, 2014; Jones, et.al, 2016; O’Connor & Cavanagh, 2014). In other words, it works and if you’re smart, you’ll seek out coaching for yourself, your team, and even make it accessible to the wider organisation.
I would like to clarify that not all coaches are equal and have areas of specialisation that they work within. Just like you might go to a specialist for advice on a medical issue, there are different coaches that can help you with specific challenges. However, regardless of their specialisation, a great coach will ensure they are challenging your beliefs, enhancing your relationships, and providing you with objective feedback on your behaviour. These are fundamental elements to becoming a better leader.
We all need to be challenged– As described in the folk tale ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, there is a tendency for all of us to understand the popular opinion and align with it. As a CEO or senior leader, you are at a much higher risk of being surrounded by people that fear challenging you. This is where having an executive coach will help you see things more clearly, understand the ‘True Perspective’ that people have enabling you to make better decisions, and take appropriate action.
We all need to build better relationships – As social beings, positive and powerful relationships make everything better. This is reinforced in every aspect of our lives. We can have all the success in the world, but if there is nobody to share that success with, it feels empty. Knowing how to create and nurture positive relationships in your world is well worth the investment and something every worthy coach will help you achieve. A great coach however, will establish a powerful relationship for you to experiment within.
We all need objective feedback – A great coach will observe and provide objective feedback on your behaviour. As we get more skilled, the best way for us to improve is to have somebody providing us with feedback. As leaders, much of our behaviour is automatic or instinctual. In other words, we become unconscious of how we are leading or have blind spots in our leadership. A great coach highlights these blindspots to bring them back in to your awareness, allowing you to lead more consciously.
As a final thought, A great executive coach will be able to elevate your leadership that has far-reaching positive outcomes. The average executive team has between 4 and 12 people in it. Each of these Executives has a team of between 4 and 12. Each of these leaders has colleagues, families and friends. The ripple effect of behaviour change runs deep and exponentially generalises to individual wellbeing, employee engagement, company culture, and bottom-line results.
Whether you like it or not, as a leader people are watching you and you are creating a legacy. If you want to take control of your legacy and how people are going to remember you as a leader, it’s time to get a coach.
Written by Joe Hart.
Have you read?
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Hybrid and Remote Mentoring for Effective Integration of Junior Employees by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky.
Leadership Matters – Even in Outer Space written by Rick Williams.
How Linking Purpose and Strategy Benefits Employees by Ignacio Vaccaro.
5 Strategies for Solving Unsolvable Problems in Business by Jay Bousada.
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