Is coaching a good thing or a bad thing? If you think that’s a silly question, picture someone whose first experience with being coached happened as part of a performance improvement plan. That person may still hold the opinion that coaching is used as a method of punishment.
But for most people, coaching can be seen as a welcome opportunity for positive change and growth. For example, a manager working at a high level of responsibility is provided with a coach because both the manager and her employer want her to perform as well as possible. Think about top athletes—even the best performers work side by side with expert coaches. The same goes for business leaders.
Organizations in every industry contract with corporate coaching services to help their leaders—from managers to top executives—get better at handling stress, communicating effectively, leading people, understanding emotion and motivation, and much more. Providing one-on-one coaching for influential individuals in an organization can only lead to better business results for both the organization and the individual.
What are the Benefits of Coaching?
Individuals who are coachable and willing can work with a skilled leadership coach to improve their skills, change problematic behaviors, gain better emotional intelligence, and make progress in many other respects. Here are eight primary areas that can be improved when an organization provides professional coaching for their leaders:
- Refining and Achieving Goals
Executive coaches can help leaders define goals, make a plan for achieving them, and stay on task. In dialogue, leaders figure out what goals are realistic and coaches provide the support and resources the leaders need to succeed.
- Evaluating Employees
Team leaders learn to see their employees, team members, and peers more clearly through their coach’s objective viewpoint as well as their own improving evaluation skills. This can help them better deploy their employees’ strengths and partner with peers who are the best fit.
- Evaluating Oneself
Executive coaching helps leaders understand their own strengths and weaknesses and become more self-aware. They learn to emphasize their strengths for even greater performance and correct weaknesses that may be holding them back.
- Regulating Emotions and Reactions
Organizational leaders at every level benefit greatly when coached in the art of self-reflection. They learn the cause of their own emotions and how certain reactions are triggered. As the coach helps them understand both positive and negative feelings, leaders are able to control their external reactions and achieve more through self-motivation.
- Empathizing with Others’ Emotions
As leaders gain skills in understanding their own emotions, their empathy for others will also improve. Understanding the emotions of others is essential to healthy relationships, both personal and professional. People are more likely to trust an empathetic leader, value their advice, and be more willing to follow them.
- Thinking Flexibly
Coaches work with managers and leaders to help them better understand others’ thoughts and points of view. Leaders who add other peoples’ perspectives to their toolbox of critical thinking skills are better at managing teams and getting the most out of others. Flexible thinking allows leaders to evaluate events and ideas from new angles.
- Relating to Others Successfully
An executive coach helps managers and leaders practice specific social and relationship skills. This can make them better at communication, negotiation, teamwork, and cooperation with different kinds of people.
Ultimately, the improvements listed above will help executive team members and managers become stronger leaders. A coach can also help them practice the specific skills and mindsets—problem solving, confidence, creating community, etc.—that are proven to enhance their leadership approach.
Remember, you can contribute more to an organization’s results and build more successful teams using a coaching service—but only if these two ingredients are present:
- An outstanding company: Get recommendations and read reviews of different coaching service organizations until you find the one that is the best fit for you.
- Individual commitment: People being coached need to be open to new ideas, committed to working with a coach, and willing to change.
It can feel difficult to act and think in new ways, but committing to sticking with a coach for a certain period of time and giving it your best effort can have an exceedingly positive outcome. You’re almost guaranteed to achieve unexpected, valuable results for yourself and your organization.