In 2004 the Harvard Business Review, reported that Executive Coaching is a $1 billion industry. In certain countries as much as 88% of companies use coaching. A few years later, it seems that it’s not slowing down any time soon. So what’s driving this growth?
Results. Plain and Simple.
The case for executive coaching is that it’s working. Understanding why it works and learning how to use it, is helping executives be better at their jobs and it’s saving companies a ton of money.
At the core, what an executive coach does is simple: asks questions, a lot of them. The type of questions that drive a process of self discovery and awareness of yourself as an executive and as a human being.
Why Would You Need Coaching?
My answer is that you don’t necessarily need coaching; but you probably know that there’s always room for improvement, we all have blind spots that need to be looked at. Understanding yourself and the effects you have on other people may give you opportunities for growth and development.
There’s something else you may find of worth, in many workplaces today having a coach means that you’re valued by your company; enough for them to provide you a coach that will make sure you shine.
But Why Coaching and Not Something Else?
Coaching is not an easy process. But it is an effective process. You must be open to trust and into looking deeper into the way you do things.
At the heart of change lies the notion that we grow by asking questions. A deeper understanding requires a different way of thinking, one that calls for awareness of everything you do.
Executive Coaching aims at producing measurable results and to improve the process for achieving these results.
It works because you are driving the growth; you are paving the way to your vision. Coaching provides avenues to getting to where you want, by exploring other perspectives and challenging you to think differently.
Your executive coach is there to make you look good and because the coach is committed to your growth, it’s a safe place to test out the waters.
Don’t take my word for it; I know that results are what matters, this is where the rubber meets the road. So consider what your expectations are:
- Increase your Performance by 10-20-50%
- Develop your leadership skills, confidence and awareness
- Accomplish specific goals
- Improve your communication skills
Whatever you want to work on, talk it out with your coach and lay out a plan.
Coaching Starts With YOU
It’s a present-centered awareness of what you want to achieve, how you’re going to achieve it, when you’re going to achieve it and moving towards getting it. It’s an everyday thing.
Let’s make an experiment to examine what it might take for you to benefit from an executive coaching process:
1. You have to be willing to change. There are no shortcuts, if you are not committed to make the effort it won’t work out; it frequently means that you’re not ready. Look for another solution, coaching may not be right for you.
2. Be open to candor. Feedback is a cornerstone of improvement; it’s pretty hard to see outside yourself so you need the perceptions of other people that you interact with (give it a shot, I guarantee that you may not like what you see but the insight has the best ROI you’ll get).
3. Measure yourself accordingly. Guess what? These measures most likely should come from the people that work for you, again, you’re looking for honest feedback to be able to assess where you stand.
4. Here’s the hard truth, seldom do we listen. There may be a reason why we were given two ears and just one mouth; keep quiet and listen to feedback, really listen; no talking, take the road less travelled and experiment with listening. And then ask for ideas on how you can change.
5. Enjoy the process, coaching is about establishing a dialogue, there’s no judgment, no right or wrong. Step into the water it’s really fine! Allow yourself this freedom.
Coaching is about changing your reality; not working around it. It requires that you ask yourself deep questions about who you are. This takes time and it all depends on how willing you are to change. You do get better by honestly following through.
Does this all sound too mushy, mushy, up in the sky nonsense?
Today’s companies are people companies. Executives are in need of new tools to develop and tap into the power of collective human behavior. Look at it this way, if the results you’re getting are not those you expected maybe it’s time to ask yourself some important questions.
Many high profile executives such as Jack Welch and Michael Dell have realized that people need coaching. Why? Because it takes courage to change.
Galileo said, “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
My question to you is: how soon are you willing to do something?
Keep In Mind…
- Executive Coaching is not for everyone, don’t hit yourself on the head if it doesn’t work out. Focus on getting a good fit with your coach. You’re going to be doing a lot of work on yourself so it’s important to have someone you trust.
- Coaching is still a relatively new field; there are a lot of coaches out there, of course many of them just call themselves coaches. Look for experience and qualifications.
- Standardized measurements of the value of coaching are somewhat scarce. I believe that a lot depends on what you are measuring; the impact is more qualitative in nature. An executive’s increase in confidence for example, that is directly attributed to the coaching received, is hard to measure.
Remember it is a process, let it work. Measure the results and decide if it’s for you.
©2001-2009 What-IS-Coaching. All Rights Reserved.
Article written by Jean Paul Cortes.
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