Mentorship Isn’t Enough — Leaders Need Executive Coaching, Too. Here’s Why.
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It’s no secret that everyone wants a boss. Research has shown that the number one thing employees want from their boss is coaching. 1 thing employees want from their manager is coaching. People want to work with someone who brings out their best. This was demonstrated at Google in 2008 and by Gallup in 2020.
In today’s workplace, employees are more demanding than ever. Manager capabilities have not changed. As employees climb the ranks, they find their way into management without necessarily learning the skills and techniques required to lead. Many new managers look to an experienced mentor to help them succeed. Mentoring is voluntary and is based upon personal experience.
Unlike mentors, executive coaches are tasked with improving the performance and capabilities of their clients as their day job. There is a common misconception that executive coaches are only for managers who have done wrong. They are often not able to communicate well or work together. Although an executive coach can help a difficult employee become a better teammate, it is not true that they are able to support them. Instead, an executive coach can be a proactive perk that can help managers follow their career goals.
Here’s six ways that an executive coach can help your organization.
1. Give the people what they want
Working for a great mentor is up to chance, but having an executive coach is a guaranteed return. Executive coaches help managers feel fulfilled and grow, which keeps them happy and engaged at work. It’s a time- and effort-intensive investment that will pay off in the long-term. They will also be able to take on greater responsibilities and help them grow and develop from their deep potential. Coaches hold employees accountable and help them reach their desired potential.
2. Get leaders out of their own heads
A person at any level can get lost in the weeds, but when a leader loses sight of the big picture, it quickly demotivates a team. Leaders who work with coaches have the opportunity to discuss their problems with an outsider. Coaches help leaders to see the simplicity in their problems and lift them out of their fog by having higher-level conversations.
Coaches are not experts. They ask the right questions to raise awareness and help managers see their problems with fresh eyes. Leaders can empower their teams with clarity of purpose and help them achieve their goals. Employees will be united by a shared vision, reducing spin and increasing efficiency.
3. Uncover the truth
The more senior a leader becomes, the more at risk they are of losing touch with reality. The ability to challenge ideas is less common in teams and feedback becomes more limited. An executive coach is an impartial third party who will not hide the truth. Executive coaches are highly skilled in giving feedback and having difficult discussions, and it is their job to do this.
Keeping leaders honest is crucial for creating a positive workplace culture and getting the best performance out of people.
4. Steady the waters
With mass layoff announcements on linkedin appearing by the day, CEOs are turning over and stepping down before they get a chance to make a real impact. The C-suite are the most important recipients of executive coaching as their attitudes, efforts, and vision affect the outcomes of the entire organization. Even the great Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page turned to trillion-dollar coach Bill Campbell to shape their leadership style and drive effectiveness. Often acknowledged as the most isolating role in business, CEOs need a coach to get out of their own echo chamber and help them steer the ship.
5. Reduce churn
People will stay at a job when they are learning and feel valued. A coach can help them achieve both by challenging them and helping with career growth. You might wonder why you would invest in someone who is going to leave. First, doing this makes them less likely to leave but if they exit, Henry Ford said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay. “
6. Create a cycle of improvement
Giving managers the opportunity to be coached sends a message that leadership is invested in making more leaders. It is a way to give back to those managers who have given their time and energy for the benefit of the company. A coach can help a manager become a coach, which is the most valuable trait that a leader can have. Managers who are trained create a cycle of improvement and raise up and train the next generation of leaders, rather than just promoting them.