People who meet me around the country often ask me a curious question: “Why does someone hire an executive coach?”
It is an intelligent question, and the answer is complex. As it turns out, there are multiple benefits to working with an executive coach.
Reason #1: Objective Feedback and Data. When we work with an executive, we use a custom array of assessments. This process allows us to get quantitative and qualitative data. For example, we use a 360-degree assessment that is completed by 10 people, who provide feedback. These evaluators can be co-workers, bosses, vendors, and direct reports, and the reports contain a great deal of data. People provide numerical feedback and written commentary. Most executives never receive this kind of feedback, or this kind of in-depth analysis. They have also never worked with an expert who can interpret the data and be able to discuss strengths and areas for improvement.
Reason #2: Self-Awareness. One of the keys to being a great leader is self-awareness. You must be keenly aware of your strengths and liabilities, as well as how you impact others around you. We have found that many leaders lack self-awareness. An executive coach can provide self-awareness through thoughtful discussion, assessments, and using their observational skills. For example, several years ago I was working with an executive, and every time we talked about setting goals, she looked extremely uncomfortable. I asked her if she realized when I mentioned goals that her body language projected an elevated level of discomfort. She was not aware of it and that led to some very deep conversations. Her level of self-awareness was enhanced. She was never aware of her negative mindset around goal setting.
Reason #3: Growth. To be a better executive, you must constantly grow, because every business and industry is constantly changing. An executive coach will push you and lead you to new levels of growth that you might not be aware of at all. You may want to grow in some areas of development, and you may not know how. Once we know where an executive needs to grow, we provide valuable resources in the form of books, videos, articles, and podcasts. It is a matter of providing the right resources at the right time with the right leader. This leads to not only growth, but also accelerated growth.
Reason #4: Outside Objective Thinking. The huge advantage of hiring a coach is they have no other personal stake in the challenges an executive may be facing. In other words, their only objective is helping the client they are coaching. They aren’t an internal peer or boss with a hidden agenda, so they can’t be objective. I’ve observed when people work together as a group for a few years, they start to practice “group think” (they all start thinking alike) which is good for teamwork, team morale, and cohesiveness, but at the cost of losing objectivity at some point. A coach can get around that and bring objective thinking and question paradigms that may no longer be valid.
Reason #5: Knowledge. Often, we coach people in new roles who have never been in senior roles before. We have been in senior roles in big companies, and we have coached hundreds of executives and gained a great deal of knowledge in the process. An executive coach can transfer that knowledge to you and help you successfully navigate your new role and responsibilities.
Reason #6: It’s Motivating. An executive coach will help you, prod you, push you, and often tell you what you don’t want to hear, but what you need to hear. Our coaching clients often say, “You believed in me before I believed in myself.” They start to see the word differently and their potential differently.
As Bob Nardelli once said, “I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.”
Contact us today to learn more.