I get asked about the benefits of coaching all of the time, and the answer is as varied as the types of coaching professionals out there. 10 years ago, the main reason for hiring a coach within your organisation was to stop toxic behaviour or to tackle under performance. Coaching is of course, very effective in these areas, but now we see more coaches being employed to support talent and leaders perform even better.
Now the main reasons for hiring a coach are:
I have been recruited for all of those reasons, and although the client maybe skeptical initially, after just a few sessions, all of my clients have stated that “everyone needs a coach”. It is no small statement. Of course the client needs to be engaged and ready for coaching, but once they are, the space created for clients to look at their behaviour, thoughts and performance becomes essential.
Nowhere else are they able to take time to talk and explore their current situation, task or problem, objectively, without prejudice. Nothing they say is right or wrong, and everything can be used to move forward with clarity and focus. This process accelerates learning and development so quickly, that 86% of organisations state that they get a return on investment.
Do leaders really need a coach?
Yes, if the environment is right.
Just as my clients stating that everyone needs a coach, there is no question that future leaders will need continual coaching. We already see the business environment becoming more complex, and the roles of leaders evolving and changing, and they will increasingly turn to coaches for help in understanding how to act.
As a coach working with clients, we do more than influence behaviors; We support an essential part of the leader’s learning process, helping to unlock knowledge, judgment in critical areas, and find pathways and resources to open and widen the leadership experience.
Coaching is about opening, seeing from different perspectives, unlocking new ways of thinking and being, and creating new pathways.
In a complex world where relationships and human connection is fundamental to gaining a competitive advantage, textbook models and processes are still relevant, but become less impactful in leadership development. As a coach, I work on the basis that clients are creative, resourceful and whole. I don’t need to know the business problem at hand, or to have worked in the same industry, I trust that the client already knows the answer, and can creatively find solutions and take action. I act as a vessel for the client to discover how to be, what to do and which resources they bring, or need to perform.
Yes, leaders need a coach; The right one for them, when they are ready.