Coaching Works

"Tell me about leadership coaching."  A simple request and a post is inspired.

Leadership coaching is one of the best professional decisions I made for myself. I started working with a leadership coach while a member of an executive team strategically preparing for company growth. I continued the coaching relationship after changing employers and focused on my leadership. For me, coaching has been invaluable.

Why are coaches used?

Harvard Business Review authors Diane Coutu and Carol Kauffman offer their answer to that question. An executive summary of their article is right here. The coaching industry is on the rise. " Ten years ago, most companies engaged a coach to fix toxic behavior at the top. Today, most coaching is about developing the capability of high potential performers." When the authors asked coaches to explain the healthy growth of their industry, the coaches said that "clients keep coming back because 'coaching works.' " The top 3 reasons coaches are engaged are "to develop high potentials or facilitate transition (48%); act as a sounding board (26%); and address derailing behavior (12%)."

What can a coach do for you? 

I am committed to my learning and growth. I was able to achieve a certain level of success and career satisfaction on my own. I felt I had more to offer and needed someone to not only push me but to hold me accountable. A coach can do that for you.

I think - a lot. I think about communication, setting expectations, staff development, team cohesion, and more. I wanted someone with my best interests in mind, to process ideas with, to challenge my thinking, and to offer alternatives. A coach can do that for you.

Try as I might, I tend to get in my own way. We are hard-wired to respond certain ways to certain situations without even realizing it. My coach is able to help me identify when I am doing so and offer me different perspectives, perceptions and ways to respond. The phrase, "can't see the forest for the trees" comes to mind as does, "Oh, I am the problem!"  A coach can do that for you.

What makes a successful coaching relationship?  

A successful coaching relationship, as defined in the HBR article, is one where the executive is highly motivated to change; the executive has good chemistry with, and trusts, the coach; and there is a strong commitment from top management in developing the executive.

I started working with a coach in a business context but continued on my own. Regardless, the same elements are necessary for success: motivation to change, good chemistry, and personal commitment. 

Are you still unsure if coaching is right about you? Think about this, choosing to work with a coach is a choice to grow (strong).