6 Reasons Why should You work with a Leadership Coach?
We all know that Leadership is a journey and never a destination. Leaders keep evolving in this journey, by sharpening their skills and knowledge. Leaders constantly invest in Executive education, Leadership development programs, books, podcasts, articles, TED talks, etc. These are invaluable parts of a leader’s journey. However, something that is very invaluable but seldom focused by many leaders are their behaviours.
Let me give you some examples that will help you understand how behaviours are an integral part of leadership
- Being present in a meeting, without any distractions and listening to the other person with an intent to understand
- Inviting team members to come out with innovative ideas and newer ways to solve problems
- Encouraging learning at every stage of work thereby making work meaningful for everyone
- Being open for feedback and criticism
- Inspiring people to bring in ownership and accountability.
All the above are behaviours. Some Leaders naturally pick them up as they progress, some identify them when they receive critical feedback, some don’t even know what behaviours are helping them and what they should let go off and some despite being aware are not able to bring in the change.
Behaviour change is not easy, they are deep rooted and associated with certain beliefs, values, needs, wants etc. Change can only happen when there is a shift in the things which are much deeper. In addition to this, the leader needs to practise and implement change continuously. This is where a leadership coach becomes an invaluable partner.
Below are some ways in which a leadership coach can help
1. Non-Judgemental and Confidential space:
Leadership coaches do not bring any baggage into the room, they are no advisors or mentors, they provide the space for leaders to talk through things that need to be addressed by them and whatever spoken is kept confidential. They listen deeply and enable leaders to get clarity and take effective decisions. Here’s an article I have written about 5 listening types every leader should know. This could help you in reflecting and exploring how you are listening. If leadership is about inspiring people, how would you do it without listening to people?
2. Solicit Feedback objectively:
As a leadership coach, something that I insist on all my clients is for a 360-degree feedforward. This is an important way to solicit feedback, look for patterns and identify supporting and derailing behaviours. This is done anonymously with people who are recipients of the leader’s behaviour. The leaders get deeper insights about themselves and more importantly throw light on the blind spots.
3. Create awareness:
As partners, coaches create new insights and awareness, this is done by exploring what is stated and unstated through questions that will help the leader reflect deeper and move forward. Also, the awareness is expanded to other aspects of life. In one of my blog, I have penned down on the importance of Self Awareness in the workplace and, how can you Improve Self Awareness in the Workplace.
The coach does not shy away from challenging the leader on things being stated. However, the challenge happens from the space of here and now and not with any previous knowledge. This helps the leader to verify and validate the thoughts and actions. This empowers the leader.
5. Co-Create Action Plans:
Every coaching conversation ends with clear action plans, that are SMART (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound). The leadership coach ensures the leader to foresee any stumbling block and support that they may require externally to achieve the set goal.
6. Accountability and Support:
A good accountability partner ensures that they check progress and help the partner stay on track. It is easy that the leader can get lost in the world where they belong, a leadership coach periodically checks in with the leader to see the progress made. Indeed, to make sure that the actions are being implemented as agreed.
Coaching is to maximise both personal and professional Potential, as stated by ICF (International Coach Federation) definition.
Do not shy away from making your investment on a Leadership Coach.