In the last article I explored how leaders can sometimes feel alone due to the nature of the decisions they make. Now I will look at a simple way to improve the quality of decisions.
I know that sounds odd. But it is often true. Leading any organization is not a popularity contest and sometimes leaders need to do things that really make them realize how alone they are. I feel this myself as a leader of our company.
Most people come to work and want to be successful. If they are struggling with a part of their role or they are unable to progress, the reasons are usually complex. As coaches, we help people leverage their strengths, and identify self-limiting beliefs, blind spots or skill deficits.
Leadership is tough no matter where you work. Let’s face it, work is a complex place and getting more complex every day. Expectations of leaders are high. Management literature has ensured that.
When we think about the skills of an effective coach, many things come to mind: asking powerful questions, challenging, etc. These skills are honed through training and experience.
Great coaches help people meet their objectives, move forward and grow. People often think coaching is “psychology” or “getting into your head”. While having some ability in psychology is an asset, coaches are usually not trained psychologists.
Recent statistics on executive coaching point to the fact that in the United States alone, organizations spend more than $1 billion per year on coaching services. What’s more, coaching is no longer seen as a reactive tactic to correcting bad workplace behaviour.
Sometimes I get asked to attend a “meet and greet” before a coaching engagement, hosted by an organization, to see if the coachees “like” me. Many companies introduce several coaches to every potential coachee. When I talk to coachees, they report finding it hard to choose between the coaches they are presented with.