Executive coaches have become prevalent over the past 30 years. Most people in corporations take for granted that being given the opportunity to work with a coach is a positive thing. But do you really know the real benefits you can gain from an executive coach?
When a client goes into a coaching engagement with an open mind and a real willingness to grow, you can plausibly expect to gather these benefits:
Create Accurate Self Awareness
Though it sounds simple, it is actually very vital. Researchers say that many people don’t see themselves very clearly and that it matters. Why? Accurate self-awareness in leaders is highly linked with the effectiveness of an organization and profitability. Employees favor going after leaders who see themselves clearly and are keen to share their insights.
As long as you make an appointment with a good coach, he or she will collect input about how others perceive you at the beginning of the engagement and will let you know.
If you engage with the best coaches, they will also pattern the feedback into key themes. It will further clarify the perceptions of others of your key areas of strength and growth. All through the coaching engagement, your coach will also let you know his or her perceptions. It will be based on observing you and your interactions with others.
Mainly, if you have an effective coach, he or she will assist you in building skills to see yourself more clearly. You will start to query your assumptions about yourself, get curious about where your strength lies and where you need to develop and learn.
Perceive Others More Clearly
It is often seen that leaders run into problems due to their imprecise assessments of those around them. Leaders often lose good employees as they are not able to recognize and support their capabilities. They also keep poor performers too long because they believe they are better than they actually are. Leaders also stumble politically as they overrate or underestimate a person’s capability to have an impact on their career success.
When you are with a good and insightful coach, he/she will often have more neutral and precise perceptions of those working with you. Your coach will share those perceptions with you particularly if he or she is involved in other work in your organization
Besides, skilled coaches help their coaching clients to become independent. Your coach can also help you apply the similar mental skills you learned for perceiving yourself more clearly so that you can grow to be more accurate in your assessment of others.
Learn New Ways to Respond
The book called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There written by Marshall Goldsmith, possibly the most renowned executive coach in the U.S. has the most brilliant title as the idea is so true. Everyone has a set of capabilities and responses that might work well as mid-level employees but that won’t aid us as more senior leaders.
There is an instance where a very smart and capable senior vice president in a media company was coached. The senior vice president was still mostly starting out and getting her work done. She was yet to bring her team as one and make sure they were all working in sync towards the highest priority goals. The coach made her see that her success now not only depended on the quality of her own work but also on her ability to motivate and direct others. The coach worked with her to learn the necessary skills and change her mindset. She ended up having new and more useful tools in her leadership toolkit.
Leverage the Strengths You Have
A coach who is effective and supportive can also help you see and leverage your existing strengths that you may be underestimating. A CEO might have a real gift for visualizing products and services that would appeal to customers in the future. But he/she may think it isn’t a big deal. A coach can help him/her see the uniqueness and value this capability. He/she can learn how to lean into it so as to use it more effectively for the benefit of his/her team and the organization.
Build More Fruitful Relationships
Leaders considerably limit their effectiveness when they are only willing or able to make strong relationships with certain kinds of people. Many times, they build relationships with people like themselves in the background, gender, race, beliefs or work style. If you have a good coach, he/she can assist you in recognizing that tendency in yourself. You can thus work against it as your coach helps you see and query the limiting assumptions you make about people who are different from you, and also by providing you with tools that will support you in understanding and creating strong and very important working relationships with a wider variety of people.
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