Jill has been working in her role for a while now. She has progressed well and has had great success but she seems to have reached a plateau in her development. As Jill’s leader or HR Business Partner, you know it's time to take things to the next level, but you're not sure how to help Jill reach her full potential.
This is an ideal time to hire a leadership coach. Sometimes no matter how passionate a person is about their role, it takes an outsider's perspective to see what it is lacking and to identify areas for growth. These perspective shifts and “Aha!” moments could be the difference between a continued plateau and average results or seeing serious results and taking that next big step – particularly if they are equipped to get the most from a leadership coach.
The power of leadership coaching for leaders at all levels is significant. To have input on how something looks from the outside and ideas on how to make it even better is an accelerant of success. Good perspective saves time, effort, frustration and points a leader towards success.
What would a leadership coach offer your employees?
If you have candidates for leadership coaching that are hesitant about working with a leadership coach, it might help to share with them that many iconic leaders including CEOs, politicians, and other public figures have significantly benefitted from the feedback and guidance of leadership coaching. Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama have all spoken of the positive impact of using leadership coaches to advance in their careers. Ex-Google CEO and Alphabet Chairman, Eric Schmidt says his best advice to new CEOs is to get a coach, as one thing that no one is good at is seeing themselves as others see them.
Leadership coaching can assist with a range of important leadership topics, including managing difficult employees, overcoming workplace challenges, project management, team-building, collaboration, workplace politics, managing time and priorities, as well as the ability to provide relevant career advice and support to assist leaders to take that next step in their career development.
"One thing that no one is good at is seeing themselves as others see them" - Eric Schmidt (Alphabet Inc. Chairman, formerly Google CEO)
In addition to all the great professional development advice a leadership coach can provide, they can also provide your employees with the following:
- Objective feedback: Being objective about their own work and leadership style is almost impossible. Your leaders are so immersed in their day-to-day and familiar with the way things are, they’re unlikely to see ways that they could improve. A coach can offer a fresh take on strengths and weaknesses of your leaders and on their career more broadly.
- Access to a broader network: A good coach has the potential to connect you to other relevant people who can help your leaders to grow their capability as a leader. Coaches can also provide advice to your leaders on how to leverage and extend their existing network to grow their career.
- Fresh perspectives and ideas: Effective leadership coaches will have a wealth of experience in business and will have come across many of the challenges your leaders currently face; When a leader has plateaued, and isn’t sure what is missing, or is unsure how to overcome a certain challenge or where to next for their career, a leadership coach can help to identify opportunities for growth and change.
How to get the most from a coach/coachee relationship
A leadership coach will be of great benefit to your leaders and the broader business, but it requires a great deal of commitment and effort to see the best possible results and outcomes.
Empower your leaders to take their careers to the next level with this advice for using a leadership coach:
- Be proactive & take responsibility: A coach will offer guidance, but it's up to the coachee to implement the recommendations. Act on the coach’s guidance, and keep them updated on how their suggestions are progressing. Remind leaders that regular communication with the coach lets them know they are serious about achieving the relevant goals. Advise your leaders that coaching is a collaborative process and that they must put in the required work to see results.
- Honest & open communication:: Leaders should understand that open and honest feedback from the coach is essential to overcoming barriers and seeing results. Where open and honest feedback within an organisation may be in short supply, a coach can often be the one person that can give a leader this ‘outsiders’ perspective and should be able to do so honestly at all times.
- Ask questions:. Urge your leaders to take advantage of a coach’s wealth of industry experience. Questions to ask may include the industry associations that are relevant to join, what lessons they have learned in their own career, and how they achieved their greatest successes. This information will assist your leaders to understand how they might map out their own career path.
- The value of a coach: When utilised properly, a leadership coach can be a valuable asset to any leader. A coach can act as a sounding board for new ideas, offer a fresh and honest perspective, and motivate your leaders to take the next step in their career. But ultimately, the success of a leadership coaching program relies on an individual taking the responsibility to work with their coach, being 100% committed and taking full advantage of the leadership coach’s expertise.