Whether you are a student, recent graduate, new manager or a seasoned leader, a good coach can take you from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow. Coaching can help move anyone closer to their full potential. Despite the many benefits of coaching, most leaders do not have a good coach. But why?
Coaching comes with a cost, both in fees for the coach and in time. Plus, a good coach can be hard to find. Many practices struggle to find a coach that matches their culture, needs, and vision. And let’s face it, effective coaching can be uncomfortable at times, so many people avoid it altogether. Coaching, however, can be worth both the investment and the discomfort. Here’s why:
1 Blind spots
You are only able to see your actions and behaviors from your own perspective. That means you may be missing a great deal of information, data, and observations. A good coach challenges your perceptions. They allow you to shift how you see yourself and understand how others may see you.
2. It’s lonely in leadership
Sometimes being in a leadership role means you guard your words and actions a bit more than you would like. A coaching relationship allows you to have a confidential conversation and a safe place to vent. You can share your frustrations and a coach helps turn them into opportunities for growth. A good coach will help you move from complaining about the problem to solving it. You may not even notice it happening, but an effective coach will lead you through that process.
Perhaps one of the most valuable skill sets you can gain through coaching is becoming more consistent. As a leader, consistency builds trust, builds perceived competence, and allows for an environment of open and honest feedback from your team. A coach can help you look at your interactions and assess where your own behaviors might be inconsistent with the message you are trying to send in your organization.
4. Feedback is priceless
Feedback, even when delivered poorly, is priceless. Getting feedback from others allows you to stop and reflect on your own behaviors and intent. Sure, you might decide after reflection that the feedback was wrong, but it still causes you to stop and think. Far too often, practice leaders go through life doing what they always did or what they saw someone else do. Stopping to reflect on your own actions is what allows us to innovate, create, and change. A good coach becomes your vehicle for reflection and can offer a lot of feedback from their point of view. They can also help you learn to collect feedback from those around you.
Our practice only gets better if our leaders do. Investing in a good coach shows a deep level of commitment to the growth of the leaders. And this will have a lasting impact on the effectiveness of the leader, the engagement of the teams they lead, and the practice’s bottom line.
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