How to Accelerate Leadership Performance through Coaching

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Who really needs a coach?  Even the most successful leaders are challenged with unpredictable shifts in market demand along with issues generated by constant change. These situations can create the need for leaders to benefit from the insights, feedback, and counsel of an experienced business coach.  Coaching; however, is not for the faint at heart.  It takes considerable humility to gain the self-awareness necessary to accelerate leadership performance through coaching.

As an external coach, I find that most of us are quite capable at articulating the shortcomings of others, but rarely do we recognize when other’s negative behavior is a reaction to our own challenging traits.  The coach’s role is to call attention to these blind spots which can prevent a leader from influencing others effectively.  The coach also facilitates the coaching process which is a collaborative effort for establishing goals, bringing obstacles into perspective, and maintaining accountability. Throughout the process, the coach serves as a sounding board so that the leader can hear his or her own thinking, and be better able to gain authenticity of perception and challenge their assumptions.

Coaching is useful for all levels of leadership ranging from the seasoned executive, the leader with developmental opportunities, or the high-potential emerging leader transitioning to a new position.  Through coaching, leaders discover how to shift their communication in ways in which the meaning and intention of their message becomes more transparent and relevant.  As leaders adapt their behaviors and listen more actively, they typically become more consistent in walking their talk. By learning to balance their ability to lead from the head and the heart, the leader’s approach tends to be more valued and trusted by others. This trust creates speed in execution because there is no need for resistance and self-protection behaviors.

Through the process of being coached, leaders learn the nuances of how to coach and engage others.  They learn the core competency of developing people to drive performance.  For more information about how coaching works, why it works, and how leaders can make the best use of the coaching process, click here to read Coaching For Leadership by Marshall Goldsmith, Laurence Lyons, and Sarah McArthur.