When a potential client asked recently how he would benefit from working with an executive coach, it was a good opportunity for me to reflect on the positive outcomes of coaching. It also made me realize that other people might also have this question but be hesitant to ask, since coaching has become such an accepted — even expected — practice at many companies.
If you, as the client, go into a coaching engagement with an open mind and a real willingness to grow, you can reasonably expect to reap these benefits:
1. See yourself more clearly. Research shows that most of us do not see ourselves very clearly - and it matters. Self-awareness in leaders is highly correlated with personal and organizational effectiveness and business profitability. Employees prefer to follow leaders who are transparent and see themselves clearly. When you engage with a good coach, they will gather input about how others see you at the beginning of the engagement and share it with you. They will work with you to clarify others' perceptions of your key strengths and growth areas. Your coach will help you build skills to see yourself more clearly; to question your assumptions and limiting beliefs about yourself and push you to get curious about where you're strong and where you need to grow.
2. See others more clearly. Sometimes leaders run into problems because of their inaccurate assessments of those around them. They may lose good employees because they don't recognize and support their capabilities, or keep poor performers too long because they think they're better than they are. A good and insightful coach can help you recognize limiting assumptions you make about people who aren't like you, and offer tools to support you in understanding and creating strong and vital working relationships with a wider variety of people. Because skilled coaches work to make their coaching clients independent , they will also help you apply the same mental skills you learned for seeing yourself more clearly so that you can become more accurate in your assessment of others.
3. Learn more ways to respond. We all have a set of capabilities and responses that may serve us well at our current level of leadership, but that won't help us as more senior leaders. An effective coach will work with you to shift your mindset and learn the necessary skills so that you have new, more useful tools in your leadership repertoire to reach the next level in your life and career.
4. Leverage your existing strengths. Having an effective and supportive coach can also help you see and leverage strengths that you already have but that you may be underestimating
5. Clarity of Goals and Dreams. This is the bottom line for an effective coaching engagement. A good coach can help you get clearer about your goals and dreams, and about what you're capable of doing in order to achieve them. They can be a powerfully useful support system on your journey: someone who knows you very well and wants the best for you — but is a neutral third party. Unlike your family or your employer/employees, your coach isn't dependent on you for their success. They can be honest with you about how you're doing, reminding you of what you've said you want to achieve and letting you know what you're doing that's supporting your intentions — or getting in your way. Finally, and most importantly, your coach can help you identify new ways of thinking and operating, that will allow you to better reach your goals and create the life and career you want.
If you are ready to do the hard work of self-reflecting and discovering how to be your best self, then Executive Coaching is for you. Your relationship with your coach is just that - a relationship. They participate in the conversation, asking questions and providing insights and resources to help you develop. Show up, be fully present and open, and you will find your coaching relationship can be a powerful catalyst to becoming the person you most want to be.