Women In Business

The power of coaching for leaders

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When you’re in a leadership position, you’re in charge of helping people grow and thrive within their professional roles. But who in an organisation helps leaders grow and thrive? Leaders are often left to their own devices with limited, if any, guidance and support. Being a leader can sometimes be likened to being the angel on top of the Christmas tree, the closer you get to the top the more uncomfortable it gets!

Executive coaching can help leaders meet their highest potential as key members of an organisation and therefore drive company success. Coaching gives leaders the opportunity to learn new skills and put them into practice effectively.

What is an executive coach?

Executive coaching involves a professional, confidential relationship between a coach and a key member of an organisation which facilitates individual development and performance growth. As opposed to a mentor, who offers professional advice and guidance, a coach is someone that professional leaders can lean on for support. Coaches help leaders to think about things differently, they challenge an individual’s beliefs and help them to reflect on any limiting assumptions they’re making; coaches hold leaders to account and support them as they move beyond their comfort zone.

So why is coaching such a powerful business tool?

Great coaching can be the difference between success and struggle in a business. Capability doesn’t always translate into high performance and self motivation. Our behaviour and natural tendencies can impact others performance and a professionally trained coach can “hold a mirror up” to the leader so they can gain valuable insights into which of their behaviours may be negatively impacting performance.  Coaching can help you as a leader to reach your highest potential so that you can drive success among other individuals within your organisation.

Coaching is one of the most valuable tools a business can utilise in order to achieve success. Here are just some the ways coaching can help you as a leader.

Improve performance

When you’re caught up in your day-to-day tasks, it can be difficult to take a step back and really observe your organisation’s successes and failures objectively. Coaching can give you the opportunity to view organisational success from a new perspective. It can help you reach your peak potential by providing insights on how you may be contributing to the successes (and failures) in the business. While our natural tendency may be to play to our strengths, coaching provides the opportunity to reflect on what happens when we overuse our strengths.

Ask incisive questions

Executive coaching can give you the tools needed to communicate collaboratively and productively within your organisation. Rather than telling you what to do, a great coach will listen intently on what you have to say. They ask open ended and incisive questions; such as “What assumptions might you be making in this situation?” “What’s another approach?” “What are the unintended consequences of this?”

These communicative strategies can help you to communicate better and allow you to access the potential brain power in your team to solve problems and ignite performance of the business.

Build your personal brand

Your personal brand is your reputation; it’s the thoughts and feelings evoked when people think of you and your abilities. Coaching is a cost effective way of upskilling yourself as a high performer and improving that reputation inside and outside of your company. Through coaching, you have the opportunity to explore your leadership style, your values and your authentic self. You gain the confidence to develop yourself as a leader, and define the type of personal brand you want to be known for.

Meet your business goals

Achieving outstanding results through others is one of the most challenging aspects of being a leader.  Through learning new skills that help you facilitate improved performance, and by modelling leadership behaviours that foster an environment where accountability and open and honest dialogue is the norm, adopting a coaching mindset can help you to support your team to deliver the organisations business goals. With a great executive coach supporting you, you can gain the skills to reach your highest potential.

About David Leahy

davidl@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

David Leahy is the Director of Directions Unlimited, a specialist consultancy providing people solutions of every shape and size – from JobFit assessment testing, behavioural interviews and outstanding managerial tools, to executive coaching services and mentoring programs. Prior to founding Directions Unlimited, David built a 25 year career developing high performing teams in Europe and Australia. David is a qualified Organisational Coach through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership, Australia. He has coached at CEO, Partner, Director and Senior Executive level in the USA, South America, Europe and Australia. www.directionsunlimited.com.au

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