Three decades ago, coaches were a rare commodity for businesses. But not anymore.
Today, they have become so common that many people assume that being sent to work with one is normal – like a cog that has always been installed in an intricate piece of clockwork.
While it wasn’t originally the case, this is now part of the new normal because entrepreneurs have seen that coaching could make careers (and, ultimately, their lives) better.
Whether it’s skills or leadership training, you shouldn’t shrug off the power of reliable coaching. Besides improving weaknesses and helping people capitalize on strengths (their own and others’), coaching has the power to turn even the worst of situations around.
Don’t believe it? Here, you’ll learn about seven things that can be improved because of coaching.
1- Emotional Intelligence-
Emotional intelligence or EQ is the greatest tool for success that every great leader has. With it, they can recognize emotions – both their own and that of others – and what they mean. It is also the innate instinct and awareness of what emotions and actions affect other people and situations.
When you have high EQ, you become more keenly in-tune with the way people feel and how you can build deeper interpersonal relationships with them. You will also become more aware of yourself – and self-awareness is where growth begins.
With coaching, you can help build your mindfulness. This will then make you more conscious of your reaction to situations and those around you, as well as how it affects both you and your followers.
When you’re more self-aware, you see yourself more clearly in the perspective of a fair witness. This means you can also adjust your actions and reactions in such a way that would positively affect the organization you are leading.
Remember that employees prefer to follow leaders who don’t hide behind false pretenses that are made to fool even themselves. Only when you see yourself clearly and become willing to share people’s perceptions of you can you truly become a good leader.
A good coach can help you achieve all that by gathering input on how people see you and opening your eyes to what you need to improve. More importantly, your coach will help you learn how to question your own assumptions about yourself, become curious about your strengths and weaknesses, and learn to be objective when it comes to your own mistakes.
Another thing that coaching can help improve is communication. With a good coach, you will learn to understand the importance of active and reflexive listening. This will help you concentrate on what other people are saying, while still being able to articulate your philosophies, beliefs, positions, visions, and other concepts in a way that people will understand.
The desire to become a better leader is one of the primary reasons for seeking out coaching.
Besides teaching you how to become more self-aware, a good coach will also help you make wise judgments and understand why you make certain decisions in the first place. Depending on the approach they will use, you may also learn how to improve yourself and your team through delegation and maximizing your team members’ talents and strengths.
Ultimately, coaching also hones your ability to drive the company in the direction you want while enhancing your team’s career as well as your own.
4- Industry Performance
Once you become an effective leader, your company’s success is bound to follow suit. After all, the direction of an organization depends on how well its leader can drive.
With each leadership coaching session that a CEO or business owner attends comes not just individual improvement, but organizational growth as well. You learn how to set both short- and long-term goals and develop new strategies that could propel your company to greater success. And with that, you’ll also get happier employees and more profitable business.
5- Employee Performance
Coaching also helps employees, from their onboarding and retention to their performance and skills improvement. Besides this, coaching is also an effective way for a leader to transfer knowledge and reinforce learning.
As the leader of a team, a manager must implement a coaching leadership style that helps them guide employees towards the right path rather than bossing them around. Either you learn how to do that, or get reliable professional coaching services for you and your entire team.
You must also remember that even the best coaches don’t have a one-size-fits-all formula for each of their clients. Instead, they adjust their coaching style for each individual and adapt to the situation at hand.
A good coach would determine the level at which the employee is in when it comes to his performance. After that, he would adjust his style to ensure that coaching is appropriate and effective.
For example, employees who are in the beginner or “novice” level need plenty of instructions and constructive correction during this learning stage. Coaching a novice-level employee means you’ll be “telling” her a lot of things.
Once she moves on to the “doer” level, you should be able to tell that she already has a certain level of input to the work and the team, although she will still need some instruction.
From there, she can move up to the “performer” level, which means she can already do real work and carry a full share of the workload. At this point, she can do all the tasks the way they should be done without the need to get told what to do as much as in the first two levels.
Still, there will still be a bit of talk, but this time, it will come in the form of feedback focused on acknowledging accomplishments and taking note of areas with not-so-good results.
6- Use of Time and Resources
Besides human resources, coaching also helps you deal with time and other company resources more wisely. With executive coaching, you can learn how to identify your priorities and determine where and how you should be spending your time. Similarly, it can also make it easier to allocate resources and assess distribution based on the company’s needs and goals.
Believe it or not, you limit your effectiveness by building solid relationships with only several kinds of people. Often, this is limited to people who are quite similar to you in terms of background, gender, race, beliefs, or work style.
But unless you are willing or can establish rapport with everyone regardless of these things, you won’t be able to expand your effectiveness and remove assumptions about yourself and other people.
With the help of a good coach, you can recognize this tendency and work out a way to break out of this socially unhealthy habit. This can be through seeing and questioning the limiting assumptions you have on people who aren’t like you, or by providing tools that can help you fully grasp the benefits of being in a solid working relationship with more kinds of people.
Like the coach of a soccer team, leadership coaches also aim to ensure that your team makes it to the big leagues. Once you find someone whom you believe can bring out the best in you, follow their guidance, and you should be able to score a goal.
Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF), a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.