When we want our kids to excel at sports or music what do we do? How about when we want to work on our golf game?
In both cases we often hire a personal trainer of some sort. We try to expose them (ourselves) to a different type of instruction. We make time for extra practice. We invest in resources outside the standard provisions to speed up and improve development.
Why do we seldom do this when it comes to our development as leaders?
As leaders we’re responsible for our development. Yes, we get some training at school and at work but that’s not enough.
We can read and research on our own but we learn best by studying with an expert and then practicing what we learned.
Adults need coaches too
Just as we want our kids to have an edge in sports, we too can get an edge in business with the help of a coach.
Business coaches push us to have breakthroughs. They can accelerate our growth and provide us the personalized training to achieve the results we’re seeking.
Here are seven benefits of a business coach:
1. You don’t have to stand alone
Many leaders will admit it can be lonely at the top. Coaches provide relief from this solitude and can be there as a sounding board for ideas and issues. When no one else will tell you “good job” a coach can provide that. Coaches can also give you a much-needed kick in the pants at just the right time.
2. Protection from your blind spots
As humans with egos we can’t see ourselves objectively all the time. It’s also helpful to have a second set of eyes when trying to see problems for what they really are. An experienced business coach can help you identify your blind spots and become more self aware. Self awareness is the first step to effective leadership development.
3. Improved focus and accountability
Every leader is susceptible to getting distracted and deviating from the plan. Coaches can help you remain focused on what you are supposed to be doing. They can help make sure you are using your time wisely, sticking to your plan, and achieving results that you want.
4. Catalyst for your best ideas
When we have 100 things going on at once, it can be difficult to find the answers to important problems, even if we know the answer deep down. A coach can ask thoughtful questions and help us take a fresh approach. Coaches can give advice, but the best coaches are experts at revealing what we already know, but temporarily can’t see.
5. Elevated creativity
Business is art. Those who have the most creative solutions and attractive packaging win. As leaders we’re always trying to think of a better solution. The next big idea. A coach with a diverse background will be able to draw on her experience and feed us seeds for new ideas. Success stories from other industries can be invaluable.
6. Access to a wider network of resources
Another benefit of a business coach with a diverse background is the network that comes with it. Coaches will often share their network with you if you need resources outside of what they provide. They can introduce you to customers or suppliers.
7. Get the most out of your talent
We all have a certain amount of talent. If we don’t work on sharpening our skills than we can never take full advantage of this talent. Coaches push us to be the best we can be. They challenge us to grow and can prevent us from becoming stagnant.
Leaders who get the most out of a coaching relationship use their coach as a sounding board, embrace challenging the status quo, and want to be held accountable to specific goals.
Just as in sports or music, we can do much more as leaders with a business coach than we can do alone.
Question: What are some other benefits of working with a coach?