When is a Coach a Good Idea?
Leaders often consider working with a coach when they are facing times of professional transitions, uncertainty and change. When is a coach a good idea and how can leaders see times of change as an important opportunity to foster career development?
When is a coach a good idea?
Any coach who passed their credentials exam is conditioned to parrot the phrase "any time is a good time for coaching" whenever anyone asks. Technically it is true that a coach is always a good idea, yet more than ten years in this profession has taught me there are some common professional circumstances that will motivate leaders to pursue in a coaching partnership - namely times of transition, uncertainty and change.
Rapid Growth and Expansion
Periods of rapid growth and expansion are commonly accompanied by rising expectations to perform., increased attention to organizational inefficiencies and challenges adjusting to a faster pace of work. Leaders often benefit from support as they attempt to elevate their skills to meet increasing demands while also navigating self-defeating attitudes and counter-productive stress responses. A coach provides leaders with a valuable ally to embrace adaptive strategies, manage the impact of higher expectations and develop strategies to support growth within the organizations they lead.
Managing Ongoing Conflict
Leaders often feel compelled to explore coaching partnerships when their organizations suffer from unsuccessfully managed conflict. While healthy conflict and respectful professional friction can be a benefit to organizations with solid foundations of trust, many leaders are at a loss for the best methods to transition from negative experiences of conflict to those that serve as powerful motivations for change. Coaching provides a platform for leaders to understand intrinsic responses to conflict, develop effective conflict-mitigation skills and facilitate opportunities for healthy conflict to positively impact organizational culture.
Disappointment, Declining Results and Negative Feedback
Often, leaders explore a coaching partnership when organizational conditions represent a symptom of a larger systemic problem. From unanticipated employee departures to disappointing performance indicators', unfavorable conditions can serve as the impetus for exploration and recognition of the larger problems these issues reveal. A coaching partnership can provide a valuable opportunity for leaders to conduct root cause analyses and collaborate on the design of strategies to ensure long-term organizational health.
Stress and Burnout
Unmanaged stress produces strong physiological reactions and behaviors that run counter to our professional goals and produce a dichotomy between how we see ourselves and how others experience our leadership. Coaching partnerships help leaders to identify stress responses, replace counterproductive behaviors with more adaptive strategies and explore innovative solutions to address ongoing causes of stress within organizations.
Getting Too Comfortable
Leadership is a constant process of grown and expansion where we embrace the learning that comes from the challenges we face. Some leaders may find themselves in a place where they have difficulty cultivating their professional potential because they have asked the questions, faced the challenges and embraced the lessons their current professional environments can produce. In these situations, leaders benefit from working with a coach to answer questions about what comes next. Coaches are the perfect partners to facilitate a process of professional goal setting where leaders are challenged to explore possibilities and develop strategies to achieve higher levels of leadership effectiveness.
Regardless of the professional circumstances that motivate leaders to explore the benefits of a coaching partnership, the impulse to gain insight, develop skills and adapt to the changing needs of an organization should never be ignored. When presented with powerful opportunities to elevate performance, strong leaders respond to the desire to learn from those who are experts at facilitating a process of self-discovery. Professional coaches are uniquely trained to support leaders through times of transition and serve as effective partners to design the strategies that lead to positive outcomes.
If you recognize yourself in any aspect of this description and you are ready to explore the benefits of a coaching partnership in your professional life, click here to connect.