Coaching series 2: What can i really get out of leadership coaching?


in Coaching

What’s in it for me?

Coaching at an executive level has the power to transform the performance of the individual and the environment that person works whether they are a leader of one or many. At the very least, for leaders where time is a valuable commodity in their personal arsenals, dedicated and uninterrupted time with a coaching professional that is listening, and facilitating safe space to think was really powerful.

Having dispelled a few myths along the way of what it is actually like to be coached, it seems natural to ask and I have been asked – what will I get out of coaching?  Especially where a large majority of coaching is initiated by a sponsor, the third party in the trinity of coaching; coach, coachee and sponsor.

Speaking with those that have to lead and operate at a senior level and have had the experience of being coached these anecdotal findings show both expected and unexpected that in turn brought welcome consequences.

New learning Overridingly “new learning” was a phrase that came up time and time again.  This came from new “thinking” that was very present and immediate, sometimes within minutes of starting a session and took clients by surprise.  Through the coach’s expertise in the hundreds of coaching models, listening techniques and powerful questions they were able to gain different insights or understanding that future informed their thinking, actions and behaviour as a leader. 

Trust and safety Coachees should expect to experience both feelings of trust and psychological safety that in a work setting may well have been absent before. Being able to talk about the very thing a person is concerned about or consumed by, without judgement and the freedom to explore is very real and can be discombobulating.  Your coach should in each session explain their role, this is called contracting. You need to feel safe to explore ideas and whilst you do this, your coach will both support and challenge you.

Self Awareness also came up. Of you as a leader in work, which is so tied up with perception and confidence. Working through such techniques as Transactional Analysis understanding ours and others ego states (Parent, Adult and Child) are really impactful in understanding your work past, present and future.

Long term legacy for some was an unexpected impact where the small input of time and energy paid dividends time and time again with coaching having a long-lasting effect weeks, months and even years beyond closing the door of the coaching room behind you. Not just impacting their working life but naturally seeping into the creases of life in general be it health, wealth, relationships and beyond.

Return on investment In more literal terms people saw a return on the investment that in most cases a company was funding the coaching and that return was measured in cold hard cash. You can equate the cost of any coaching programme against the performance of that individual in their business area and ask what % of that financial result was attributable to the coaching.

Ripple effect We just mentioned performance and primarily in recent years coaching has been used as an intervention shifting from usually fixing toxicity in the workplace to performance enhancement.  Whilst I am sure that still takes place, the learnings that person takes into their roles not only affects them but also those that surround them and those beyond those direct relationships. Decision makers in organisations their coaching experience can fundamentally impact the whole environment. Like pebbles skimming across the water, bouncing far beyond its initial touch with the water leaving multiple ripples in its wake.

Curious? Motivated to learn to benefit yourself and others? Not afraid to be humble? Sounds like you are ideal to experience coaching.