Can an executive coach make a difference for you or your organisation? While hiring a coach is not a panacea for all business problems, executive coaching is an effective tool for dealing with many organisational issues. Here we will show you the most common benefits of working with a good coach.
What is Executive Coaching?
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF) coaching is a partnership “in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires [clients] to maximise their personal and professional potential.”
Executive Coaching, also known as Executive Career Coaching or Executive Leadership Coaching is a one-to-one relationship that supports a business leader in developing self awareness, tools and skills to take his or her career or organisation to a higher level. The coaching relationship is private and the focus is on developing and reaching clear goals.
Coaching is not the same as therapy, but an executive coach can help you overcome inner obstacles that may interfere with you professional effectiveness. For example, a coach can help you see the way others perceive you and can help you learn more effective communication skills.
The Benefits of Executive Coaching
How important is self-awareness? To many, it seems like a frivolous pursuit. But how well you know yourself is a key factor in leadership. All of us have subconscious patterns that operate much of our thinking and behaviour. This is why we sometimes overreact or miss key information. Your executive coach will show you where you may be defeating yourself with buried beliefs or ineffective thought patterns.
Clarifying and Prioritising
Perhaps the coach’s greatest function is to support you in gaining clarity about where you want to go and figuring out the steps you need to take to get there. This is true whether your obstacles are out in the world of if they reside in your mind.
Although you probably started your job or your business with clear objectives, it is far too easy to lose sight of them in the day-to-day grind. Your coach will listen deeply, find the underlying personal and professional objectives and bring them into the light of day.
Capitalising on Strengths
A coach will help you identify and capitalise on your strengths. Many coaches use a survey tool to help you see what you are best at and what you should delegate. This information and support can help you streamline your workflow and support your team in functioning smoothly.
Management Style and Workplace Culture
A coach can help you understand your particular management style and how it affects the workflow in your organisation. Your coach can also help you understand the needs of those who report to you, and how to tailor your leadership to elicit the best work from them. A good coach will point out how your thoughts and behaviour impact the culture of your workplace.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a hot topic in business. A coach can help you better identify and understand the emotional energy that is running in you and in your organisation. And with your coach you will develop new skills in dealing effectively with emotions—yours and your team’s. Strong emotional intelligence allows a leader to minimise time lost to personal upset, and maximise productivity in the team.
Mindfulness refers to being able to stay present in the moment and to being able to calmly process emotions without overreacting. So much of our ineffective thinking and behaviour arises out of past regrets and future fears. When we are thinking (even subconsciously) of past regrets or future fears our bodies go into fight/flight/freeze mode. This channels our circulation towards the large muscles of flight and away from our higher thinking centres.
To be mindful at work is to bring our full attention and intelligence to the matter at hand. Your coach can discuss some tools to increase mindfulness and support you in sticking with your mindfulness practice goals.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
How much productive time is lost in miscommunication? Journalist William H Whyte, in an article in Fortune Magazine in 1950 said, “The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it,” A good Executive Coach will help you sharpen your listening skills and support you in becoming more masterful in effective, assertive communication.
All managers and C-suite executives labour under stress. It is common knowledge that stress is a causal factor in heart disease, depression and infectious diseases. New research shows that stress may be an underlying factor of many more physical issues.
Working with a coach gives a busy executive a confidential place to find support. A good coach understands the stresses of your job and will teach you stress-management techniques. He or she will also support you in creating and achieving your work/life balance goals.
As you deal effectively deal with the stress of the job, you gain resilience–the ability to bounce back after a setback. Surprises and setbacks are part of the executive’s job, and a part of life. Your ability to cope with them and recover quickly will inspire confidence in your team. More importantly, effective stress management and resilience will safeguard your health. Your executive coach will help you develop these important skills.
It is so easy, as a manager or business executive, to find yourself constantly putting out fires and focusing on the problems. A coach will remind you of your vision and your specific goals every time you meet. She or he will keep you connected with all the things you can do, all the achievements you have already made, and will help you keep your passion ignited for where you can go.
Encouragement and Support
Your executive coach will listen when you need to unload, and will also point out the wins that you may not have noticed. Your coach is an honest, respectful and confidential ear for you as you become the person who has met your objectives. He or she will encourage you and celebrate with you. Hiring an executive coach may be the best decision you can make for your organisation and yourself.