I can never place enough emphasis on how important it is for an employee in an organization to keep growing professionally and personally, especially when the employee has a leadership position. As a matter of fact, in their professional life leaders often get stuck fulfilling their responsibilities within the organization that they no longer find the time to work on their strengths and prepare for larger roles.
One way to make this possible is through one to one executive coaching. This involves establishing a professional relationship with a coach that helps them sort through challenges they are facing in their leadership role and finding solutions to help them move their teams and the organization forward. Executive coaching helps shed light on the strengths that they can still amplify, identify blind spots that they can work on, and basically reach their full potential as leaders.
What exactly happens when an employee starts working with an executive coach? What’s in it for her/him? Let’s break down the dynamics of executive coaching and discover what the benefits are.
It is often the organization that initiates the relationship with an executive coach by referring their employees to the coach. In such circumstances, the chosen employees may feel hesitant when it is suggested they attend one to one sessions with a coach. One might think that there’s something wrong with them, or that they are not worthy of being in their position. The truth is, it’s the exact opposite.
One to one executive coaching is a benefit which is often offered to high-potential employees. This is a rare opportunity for the selected employees to gain the necessary skills to fully develop in their positions. After all, coaching will allow them to enhance their decision making, critical thinking and management skills.
An organization will often ask their employees to work with a coach in order to manage and prepare for greater roles ahead. As a consequence, the employees are encouraged to elaborate on their strengths and at the same time to address and reflect on how they can tackle their weaknesses. Developing their soft skills is often one of the key goals of their coaching engagement.
Working with an executive coach also helps those in leadership positions to increase their chances of succeeding in larger leadership roles. It will help them become more effective managers to their teams when they work with a coach who can help them evaluate and enhance their leadership skills. Whatever needs adjusting in their behavior will be addressed, and whatever needs to be highlighted in the ways they relate to their teams will be evaluated in complete confidentiality.
There is a process before the appointed employees begin working with an executive coach on a one to one basis. It’s important that they are matched with a coach who understands what they need to get out of the coaching relationship. The coach will be responsible for holding them accountable as they work to achieve their goals; therefore, choosing a coach they feel comfortable to work with is an important step of the process. After all, every coach has their own unique style.
Next, they work on establishing the rules for the coaching engagement and on identifying with the coach their objectives. This will help ensure that their progress is nurtured and their challenges are conquered session after session. A coach should be able to instill a growth mindset in them, so that they can stretch past their limiting beliefs and reach their full potential.
As the coaching engagement continues, the employees and the coach should be able to measure the progress made toward achieving the goals set in the initial phase of the coaching relationship. Employees should also be able to tackle strategic issues within their organization while working on their own professional development at the same time.
It’s important to understand that what an individual gets out of working with an executive coach also depends on what they put into it. That said, there are plenty of ways for the individual to make the most out of an executive coaching experience. It will work for them if they want it to, so they need to hold up their end of the engagement.
Coaching will prepare them for when they step up on the leadership ladder. It can help them anticipate the demands and responsibilities that will come with future roles. Every step up can be demanding and confusing, but when they prepare with a coach, they’ll be able to fulfill their new role with confidence.
Coaching will also show individuals their true strengths and how they can harness them as leaders within and outside their organization. Ultimately, coaching always requires individuals to embrace their gifts. By being more in tune with their strengths and accepting their weaknesses, they’ll be able to further develop the skills they already possess and use them to become a more effective leader.
Lastly, coaching will keep them focused on what they consider the unnegotiable priorities for their professional growth. It will somehow force them to be more disciplined, goal-oriented and more strategic. By adopting a growth mindset, individuals will be able to enhance their existing skills and develop new and complementary ones to achieve their next level of professional success.