We have spent time in recent weeks looking at the benefits of leadership development. We have briefly looked at topics including emotional intelligence, expanding our leadership knowledge, and Ubuntu. This week, we will review the benefits of coaching as an opportunity to enhance our leadership impact. In our work to improve our organizations' positive environmental and social effects, increasing our ability to be stronger leaders is of utmost importance.
"Coaching is unlocking a person's potential to maximize their own performance. It's helping them to learn rather than teaching them." - Tim Gallwey
A leader can benefit from working with an executive coach. The work to significantly transform an organization begins with changing ourselves as leaders. Working with a coach can help to keep a proper focus on further developing critical skills for leadership that include:
• Ability to gain additional perspective from an outsider
• Better listening skills
• Confidence from support in the refinement of organizational plans before launch
• Creation of an optimal work culture
• Deeper self-awareness
• Development of clear and effective communication
• Enhanced job and life satisfaction
• Guidance in goal setting and personal development
• Improvement of speaking and presentation skills
• Increased effectiveness through more robust time management
• More strategic risk-taking
• Support in developing personal empowerment
• Teaching and mentoring
• Team building and talent management
The work to enhance leadership performance can be accelerated when a leader engages with a well-matched coach. Developing a growth mindset allows the leader to see obstacles that may currently prevent personal improvement. Empathy for the challenges others face in their development can emerge. The leader can better leverage individual strengths. Ultimately, the expectation of self-improvement becomes the norm for the balance of the organization's members.
There are a wide variety of coaching options available. However, a typical process consists of four primary stages in the coach-executive working relationship:
• Awareness – The coach meets with the client to understand the goals and the desired outcomes. The client will share relevant background information, including work experience and education. The coach will assess the level of commitment of the client to work through the coaching process. If there is buy-in, an interview will begin with an understanding of the client's strengths, opportunities for improvement, and motivations.
• Analysis – During this stage, the client will likely take one or more assessments and participate in a 360-degree review. Once that information is available, a meeting will be set up to discuss the results. Finally, a meeting objective will be developing an action plan to build on the client's strengths and address development needs.
• Action – The coach will work with the client to execute the action plan. The client will typically begin to work on behavioral changes, develop new skills, attend training programs, and other similar improvement initiatives.
• Achievement – The client's progress may include surveys of stakeholders to gain feedback on the progress of the action plan. The coach will review this information with the client. As the coaching work continues, the coach will work to develop a "phase-out" plan where the client transitions to working on further development without the coach.
A well-matched coach and client will allow the executive to realize tremendous leadership success. In addition, a leader willing to do so has the potential to help others in the organization increase their opportunity to reach more of their potential.
A global study by the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership (IECL) found five well-being benefits for individuals receiving coaching:
• A 9.5% increase in the optimism about the future
• Improvement of 18.5% in the ability to relax
• A 12.7% increase in better problem resolution
• The power of 10.9% in clearer thinking
• A 16.7% improvement in healthier and stronger relationships
An example of success by IECL is their work with GlaxoSmithKline. Over five years, there was a 2,900% increase in coaching services with the organization with a return on investment of $66 million (US dollars).
Coaching is an essential element in enhancing our ability to strengthen our leadership capabilities. The benefits are wide-ranging in both our personal and professional lives. Further development of leadership skills is essential in our work to positively impact our organizations' environmental and social impacts. Growing evidence shows that it also favorably improves the financial bottom line.
Individuals interested in exploring securing executive coaching would benefit from using a guide to select one that is best for their needs. While there is much to be gained by working with an efficient and effective coach, it is essential to do some appropriate upfront work to ensure the selection of the right one. The guide outlines some good recommendations for doing so.
I look back and realize I have been fortunate to have individuals who have been wonderful coaches. The first was my high school sports coaches, who, in hindsight set the stage for future success that I did not realize at the time. I have had a few others along the way in both my work experience and education pursuits. I am grateful to all that have positively impacted my life. However, I also realize I need to practice what I preach and need to explore getting my own coach.
Next week's blog will look at the need for leaders to understand the benefits of strengthening the leadership team to support the adoption of the humanist manufacturing framework.
To learn more about our work or read more blog posts, visit emmanuelstratgicsustainability.com.
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