As a leader, you are undoubtedly attracted to the idea of creating a business that delivers excellent results while, at the same time, being a great place to work. This is often easier said than done as the daily challenges of variable employee accountability, sub-optimal staff communication, workplace tension, and inconsistent service delivery can get in the way.
More and more business leaders are discovering that seeking out the services of a professional coach is a great way to get “unstuck,” overcome these challenges, and be more successful. However, if the word “coach” conjures up images of running laps, doing drills, and being yelled at by a jock wannabe with a whistle around his neck, you might be understandably hesitant to explore this relatively new approach to professional development.
The good news is that coaching is a proven learning strategy for delivering desired results such as enhanced communication, better collaboration, and increased employee satisfaction. In fact, one-on-one coaching was rated the most effective method for developing management and leadership skills according to a survey by the American Management Association.
So, ask yourself:
Do I want to improve some aspect of my life or work performance?
Am I open to feedback and willing to create positive change?
If both your answers are “yes,” hiring a coach may be a great option to help you achieve your goals and produce fulfilling results in your personal and professional life.
Let’s examine what it means to be coached in a business versus a sporting context and redefine coaching as it applies to learning and development in today’s workplace.
What is Coaching and What Do Coaches Do?
“Coaching” is often a catch-all word for skills training, instruction, and daily guidance. But it’s really none of these things. Similarly, coaching is not the same as traditional consulting. Consultants are hired for their expertise. They are teachers, not coaches, who teach their clients how to approach their business and personal issues.
Coaching is an art of discovery more than a science of delivery. The coach begins from a position of humility and curiosity, not authority and knowledge. He or she uses questions and conversation to help you come up with your own answers, which conveys respect for your expertise and a belief that real growth comes from within, not from any external source.
Coaching through inquiry helps you tap into your natural strengths and talents to make the desired changes. It helps you develop flexibility and adaptability, create awareness of your shortcomings, and build commitment to self-development and achievement. With coaching, you’ll set better goals, take more action, and make better decisions.
A coach is a confidante, sounding board, and trusted thinking partner. A good coach will:
Help you clarify challenges and discover aspirations
Encourage self-discovery and reflection
Challenge and encourage you to expand your horizons
Help you generate solutions and strategies
Make you accountable for your commitments.
The coaching process consists of a series of confidential meetings that focus on your specific agenda. You should consider hiring a coach if:
You’re a leader who wants to develop, articulate and create alignment around a vision for your team
You want to learn new, more effective ways of leading or managing
You’re transitioning into a new role at work (e.g., you’ve just been promoted or assigned a supervisory role)
You’re a technically competent team member but want to become more adept at influencing others and understanding team dynamics and organizational culture
You need more skill in a specific area (e.g., interpersonal communication or conflict management)
After attending a conference or workshop, you’re aware of changes you’d like to see in yourself or your workplace and want to take action.
In every case, coaching will provide the structure and accountability you need to make important changes or achieve specific goals. As a result of working with a coach, you will:
Gain clarity and a clear focus on what's really important to you
Develop greater self- and situational awareness
Experience accelerated personal and professional growth
Make measurable progress toward your goals by being more intentional
Reduce your stress and increase your happiness and fulfillment
So, do you need a coach?
If you want to grow personally and professionally, you need a coach! Who wouldn’t want someone on their side to discuss challenges, brainstorm creative solutions, and to help realize desired, sustainable change! Contact us to schedule a no obligation telephone consultation to review your learning agenda and goals for coaching. We’ll answer your questions about the coaching process and help you decide if a coaching engagement makes sense for you right now. We’ll also assist you in selecting a professionally trained, certified coach who is a good match for your specific development needs and personality.