By: William Arruda
Originally Posted: Forbes.com Dec. 4, 2014
Do you have a coach?
If not, you could be limiting your career success. That’s because coaches help you identify and focus on what’s important, which accelerates your success. According to coaches.com, good coaches:
- Create a safe environment in which people see themselves more clearly;
- Identify gaps between where the client is and where the client needs or wants to be
- Ask for more intentional thought, action and behavior changes than the client would have asked of him or herself
- Guide the building of the structure, accountability, and support necessary to ensure sustained commitment
Successful athletes obviously understand the power of coaching. The United Kingdom Coaching Strategy describes the role of the sports coach as one that “enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours.” Innovative companies understand that coaching can help career-minded professionals increase their performance at work. They invest in coaching for their senior leaders and high potentials.
Coaching also has an impact on an organization’s financial performance; according to an ICF and HCI study, 60% of respondents from organizations with strong coaching cultures report their revenue to be above average, compared to their peer group.
When it comes to building your personal brand, a coach can be a powerful resource who can help you get out of your own way, stand out, and take action to achieve the things that are truly important to you. Your coach can help you:
- Get clear about your goals. Your company may be pulling you in one direction while your manager is giving you different advice based on other criteria. Your coach will help you determine what’s really important to you and help you stay focused on that.
- Identify blind spots. Coaches help you figure out what you don’t know, and they clue you into things you may not be able to see. They will be honest with you because they are not vested in any specific outcome.
- Be accountable. Coaches keep you on track and moving forward toward new levels of achievement. For many of us, having someone we answer to motivates us to act.
- Focus your development efforts. Coaches help you know the difference between weaknesses you need to fix and those that are best left as they are. This can help you invest time and energy only in the most fruitful opportunities.
- Gain a competitive advantage. A coach can help you get from point a to b faster than you could on your own, helping you differentiate yourself from the pack and advance your career at a quicker clip.
- Acquire leadership skills. Coaches model skills that are valuable for today’s leaders. After you work with a coach for a while, you can start to adopt those powerful questioning techniques, which helps you become a better listener. This is just one of the many ways you can integrate a coaching style into your own leadership approach.
- Increase engagement. A recent Gallup study revealed that just 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. Yet according to a study done by HCI and the ICF, coaching correlates with increased employee engagement; 65% of employees from companies with strong coaching cultures rated themselves as highly engaged.
- Feel happier. Because coaches help you identify and align your values, create a focus, cut through the clutter and clear tolerations, they help you increase your professional fulfillment.
Simply put, a coach will help you stoke your success. How much is that worth to you?
You may even be able to get your company to foot the bill. Talk to your manager and/or your talent development staff. They might be willing to invest in coaching for you if you make a good case for it. Also, some leadership development programs come with coaching components. So sign up for those if you can. It’s a great way to experience coaching.
And if your company chooses not to pay for your coaching, make the investment yourself. It will pay off in clarity, happiness, and increased success. Think of coaching as an investment, not an expense.
If you want to improve your career satisfaction and opportunities in 2016, let a coach lead the way.