5 Ways A Professional Coach Re-Energizes Your Leadership
The life of an executive is exhausting. You’re expected to deftly manage people and products, strategize organizational growth, and resolve conflicts…all while maintaining the composure and level-headedness of a seasoned leader. As an executive, you have to adopt a nimble mindset that considers both the forest (your company’s big picture goals), as well as the trees (day-to-day operations). This type of mental gymnastics, coupled with a high level of responsibility and expectation, can weigh on executives’ minds and moods, causing them to feel utterly zapped of energy.
While a few days away from the office or a tropical vacation may alleviate some of the stress and burnout in the short term, these temporary getaways do little to solve the everyday strain of executive leadership. For that, it’s a good idea to enlist the support and guidance of an executive coach.
There’s a reason U.S. corporations are spending approximately 1.5 billion dollars each year on executive coaching. It works. As a coach, I’ve worked with executives who have undergone substantial transformations and have recaptured their former energy, simply by attending regular coaching sessions and applying the agreed-upon action steps. It’s incredible what a little empathetic listening, strategic brainstorming, and long-term planning can do for a person’s career.
How could professional coach help you re-energize your leadership? Here are five ways:
- Coaching boosts productivity
There’s hardly anything quite as frustrating as the feeling that you’re working nonstop…and getting nowhere. A coach can help you gain a better understanding of yourself and dig into your strengths and sticking points. Self-awareness can help you understand where you are getting hung up or derailed, when you should delegate work to someone else, or how you can create an effective daily plan that fits with your (and your company’s) long-term goals.
- Coaching enhances communication skills
As an executive, you have to relay information to a wide variety of people—boards, shareholders, customers, managers, support staff. Clear communication is essential to ensure that everyone is on the same page and understands what is being conveyed. Without clear communication, you can bump up against misunderstandings, unnecessary tension or conflict. A coach can assist you in identifying your own communication preferences and advise you on ways to engage with others, deliver tough news, or address a team.
- Coaching helps you improve delegation and stay focused
If you’re like many executives I’ve coached, a lot of your energy is expended on putting out little fires. You might have to solve interpersonal conflict, address customer concerns, deal with employee or technical errors, or any number of small annoyances that distract you from big-picture goals. Isn’t it better to roll out a fire-resistant liner before there’s even a whiff of smoke?
A professional coach can help you determine how best to build up and empower your support team so that others can participate in solving workplace issues without involving you. Effective delegation includes identifying others’ strengths and trusting that they can problem-solve without your supervision, and an executive coach can guide you in your approach.
- Coaching helps identify strengths and blind spots
As a coach, I’ve found that one of the things that drains my clients’ energy is spending too much of their focus on areas that they either A) do not enjoy or B) fall outside of their realm of expertise. Rather than slog through tasks that are not within your sweet spot, it’s better to capitalize on your strengths and leverage them to your advantage.
Coaches utilize assessment tools that help open our clients’ self-awareness and allow them to clearly identify areas of both strength and weakness. This insight into one’s tendencies, behaviors, emotions, and ways of processing information can be useful for everything from goal-setting to improving communication. It can also identify the potential support or assistance the executive needs to be an effective leader.
- A Professional Coach gives you emotional support, empathy, and encouragement
As many executives can attest, it can be lonely at the top! A coach provides a safe, secure, and appropriate channel for the leader to vent their frustrations or discuss sensitive issues. Not every problem can be talked about openly in the workplace and a coach can provide the necessary support, empathy, or encouragement an executive might need.
There’s a reason executives such as Bill Gates or Google’s former CEO, Eric Schmidt, advocate utilizing a professional coach. Coaches help alleviate stress, increase effectiveness, and tap into your strengths. Being a leader can be exhausting, but an effective coach can help you recapture your energy and clarify your path.