Executive coaching represents a truly unique professional relationship. More hands-on than consulting, and less emotionally-oriented than therapy, executive coaching simply helps you fulfill your potential as a leader. It’s forward-looking and guides you along the specific path that you, with assistance from your executive coach, map out.
Working with an experienced, well-regarded executive coach will involve both businesslike discussions and more confidential and personal discussions. Executive coaching also may include individualized training and practice where you learn, try, and fine tune new skills. It may indeed feel similar to working with an athletic coach at times.
While executive coaching is sometimes, despite all evidence to the contrary, regarded as somehow “remedial,” world-renowned business leaders like Google’s former CEO Eric Schmidt and Bill Gates have passionately made the case for it at the highest levels of leadership. Olympic-caliber athletes have coaches, as do top opera singers and chess grandmasters. Why wouldn’t an executive coach determined to fulfill his or her potential benefit from having a coach? Here are 4 awesome things that happen to you and your organization when you work with the right executive coach.
1. Both Organizational Culture and Business Results Improve
The fact that you are working with an executive coach demonstrates your commitment to continuous improvement. This attitude helps you serve as a role model as you continually work toward improving your corporate culture, and it equips you with tools that will help your team develop their own commitment to continuous improvement. The ultimate result is that you become a better leader and make your own positive stamp on corporate culture. You can expect a more focused team that is committed to critical organizational goals, plus greater efficiency and improved revenues.
2. Your Leadership Vision Is Communicated More Fully
Many extremely intelligent people have outstanding ideas, but may need to improve their ability to communicate them. Executive coaching can be an excellent way to approach this opportunity. Experienced executive coaches know which techniques to use (such as active listening) and in what context to use them so that you can improve your ability to articulate your vision, making it clear to both yourself and your team. If nobody understands your vision and goals as a leader, progress made toward that vision is incidental at best. Executive coaching changes this for the better.
3. You Gain Insight into Obstacles Your Team Faces
Think about the best coaches, in whatever sphere they operate. Yes, they can explain to their protégé why their swing is faulty or what they must do in order to “stick the landing,” but perhaps more importantly, they can sense and explain when there is something psychological holding a person back. The attitudes and beliefs we internalize can be remarkably persistent, even if they don’t have much relation to reality. Executive coaches can recognize these cognitive and psychological “blind spots” that needlessly keep us from taking advantage of opportunities to improve ourselves.
4. You Build and Fine Tune Your Skill Set
Finally, executive coaching can be a powerful method for developing specific skill sets that make you a better leader. Suppose you have difficulty delegating and tend to take on too many tasks yourself that would be better left to team members. The right executive coach knows how to help you learn to delegate and develop the habit of doing so when it’s appropriate. Through explaining, training, and other techniques like role-playing, they help you get used to doing things differently and recognizing the benefits of doing so.
Executive Coaching Isn’t Just a “Nice to Have” Extra
The tide is turning to where more organizations realize the very real benefits of executive coaching. It is no longer seen as just a high-level perk, but as a tool that can turn good leaders into outstanding leaders. However naturally gifted a person is as a leader, they still have skills that could stand improvement, and ordinary leadership training can only do so much. Coaching makes it so leaders not only have their own powerful leadership tools, but know when and how to use them.
And finally, whether or not you partake of executive coaching, your business will develop a culture – for good or ill. Working with an experienced executive coach helps you and your colleagues shape that culture in a positive manner as it emerges. It will also help you articulate your vision, keep your team on track, and improve the bottom line. I encourage you to learn more about my executive and leadership coaching services and the positive results they have had all over the world.