March 25, 2014

The top 5 benefits of working with an executive coach

A decade ago it was still relatively rare for corporate senior team each to have an executive coach; that’s not the case now. Human resource professionals have long championed the concept of keeping their key leaders clear, confident and collaborative by supplying them with regular external coaching conversations.

Executives themselves are now sharp to the fact that they perform better and are generally happier when they have an independent, confidential place to work things out.

In over 12 years of delivering executive coaching in media, retail, medical, technology and energy industries here are the top 5 benefits I’ve noticed in executives who have regular conversation with their executive coach:

1. They are more productive

Someone who thinks clearly can filter out the distractions faster, communicate with purpose and target the most important next steps first time round. Also, a director with clear goals can monitor their progress and get other team members and stake holders to buy in to the effective delivery of those goals.

2. They make decisions faster & with more confidence

When a leader plans things in their mind, or even talks them out with their fellow directors, there can still be a blinkered, corporate approach to the ‘route to success’. When a strategy is discussed with an independent person from outside the company (and confidentiality is guaranteed), assumptions are challenged, new angles are explored, great ideas are affirmed. All these elements contribute to the forward motion of a project as you’ll realise ‘I am clear’; ‘I do know the answers’; ‘this is a great product/service and we need to let people know that’.

3. They communicate clearly and with awareness

Communication is key to getting any sort of high level business results. Whether that’s with your team, your peers, your CEO or with customers, clients, readers or viewers – they have got to be clear why engaging with you is a good idea day after week after month. So tailoring the same message a new way so that it’s equally as inspiring is a skill worth developing. Talking through who to influence, when and how is something all great executive coaches will ask their clients to be clear on.

4. They see opportunities ahead of time

You’ll have seen certain people spot a niche, a trend or an idea way before the rest of the pack are any where near, right? Well when a mind is primed for patterns of activity, or it spots a common question being asked by the company, the customers and the market generally, it’s going to form those commonalities into an action plan more quickly than someone who’s still focussed on last year’s activity. Investing 30 minutes every fortnight with an executive coach keeps you sharp, aware and open minded – the return on that investment can be off the scale.

5. They are happier

It’s a funny thing to measure happiness. Does someone laugh more, do they get more things right, do they lift the mood of a room just by being there? Who knows. What 12 years of coaching executives has shown me though is that a single conversation asking the right type of questions and allowing the right sort of information to come forth can change a person’s life for ever. A huge statement I know, however I see leaders, CEOs, MDs and senior directors who appear to the outsides world to be already successful (because most often they are!), take their personal and professional lives to a whole new level. They listen better, ask more constructive questions and acknowledge the changes and the progress in a way that makes their corporate and home life altogether lighter.

Executive coaches are not for the faint hearted. They are for corpporate pioneers, games changers and  team champions. If you’re a leader in business and are considering what ‘more’ could look like – the right executive coach will open up new ways of thinking, new choices and new life results.

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