In the 1980’s the Army had a great slogan I often use when introducing a coaching program to an executive; “Be all you can be.” That’s the essence of an executive development program…if you want it. The problem is, many think of coaching as a punishment or a sign that management is not happy with their performance. Most times, it’s quite the opposite!
There Is Honor in Being Coached
There is a great “badge of honor” associated with a coaching program. Your management team is saying, “You’re important to our business. We are going to invest in you so that you become all you can be.”
Executives who worry about the above three labels are too worried about their image and not about growing in their leadership/management ability. What they should accept is that their manager is holding up a mirror so that the executive can get a good look at what’s working and what’s not. A coach will see behaviors in that mirror that perhaps the executive doesn’t want to admit are there and, instead of criticizing, will create a plan that helps eliminate them.
How to Succeed Through Coaching
To succeed though, requires TRUST:
- in yourself, that you don’t have all the answers;
- in your coach, that he/she wants only the best for you and will only stretch you in the places where they know you can stretch;
- in the process, IT’S THE JOURNEY, NOT THE ARRIVAL.
Coaching is an exciting inquiry into who you are NOW and IDEALLY who you want to become, because YOU said so. Think about how many executives never get the opportunity to put the mirror in front of them and assess their behavior to their teams, public or shareholders. There are many reasons for this but one is simply that their direct superior either doesn’t see your potential and/or doesn’t want to offer it to you.
I’d rather have someone see my potential and say; “I believe in you. I believe that you can evolve into a top flight executive. There a few behaviors that are preventing you from fully succeeding here and I’m going to invest in a program that will develop you.”
Listed below are a brief set of behaviors that can be addressed and rectified:
- Tuning people out when listening
- Holding to only your POV
- Not crediting people when they deserve it
- Being verbose, lecturing people
- Not tailoring your ideas & recommendations to your listeners
- Not fostering an open environment
- Not having or delivering the vision of your organization
- Inability to coach/develop people
- Lack of self confidence
Helen Keller once said; “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Take the daring adventure.
If you have reservations about working with a coach, or just want to learn more about what coaching can be for you, give me a call. – SG