Why would a senior executive need a coach? After all, s/he got to the position by being the best. However, I would suggest that you really think about it. The top athletes in the world have coaches and excellent coaching is often what helps them to and keep them at the top of their game.
An exceptional Executive Coach is somebody who is objective, who is a non-judgemental partner in his client’s success. He helps the executive to move forward by focusing on answers to the easy or complex “how do we do it?” questions. He is the one who helps the client to achieve not just what the client desires but more than what the client thought possible.
However, there is a big difference between an advice received from a well-meaning friend and coaching. A coach is more objective in helping the client to move from here to where they want to be. Without any agenda or an angle a coach helps the client to solve his/her problems, hone her/his strength and address weaknesses in a practical manner.
To give you further insights, here are 4 reasons why every senior executive should work with a coach:
The Executive Coach Fulfils a Role No One Else Can
For a senior executive the CXOs or the board members can be great advisors, but these executives are reluctant to bring up a lot of uncertainties with them. Then there are executives who might understand the situation but then there is a lack of total candidness within the team. In such scenarios these executives turn to family and friends. Though that is not bad, however family and friends may not be able to – one understand the situation from your perspective and two may not be able to give you sound advice. An executive coach on the other hand brings in a unique perspective that can help you and your organisation move forward.
A therapist can help you heal the past and a cheerleader can be just that… it is the coach who can help you, the senior executive, by being your sounding board, by making you realise your hidden potential and make you achieve what seems not possible.
Perspective and Decision-making skills can Improve wit the help of an Executive Coach
Senior Executives, sitting at the top of the organisational chart, have a unique corporate perspective, which at times could be limited. An executive coach is one of the few people who is equipped to help a client understand various situations or recognise blind spots. If the coach is like me, he would mess with the clients thinking and bring about a valuable shift in the perspective. An added advantage of working with a coach is that he can be a sounding board for ideas at their earliest stages. Also because the coach has no agenda, he would put forth questions to the Senior executive that would help him make better decisions at every stage of the idea implementation.
Senior Executives with Coaches are less likely to become “Stuck”
There is no doubt that learning what works and then applying it to suit the situation is as good strategy. Many a senior executive has scaled the corporate ladder doing exactly that. However, there is danger in relying too heavily on what worked in the past to continue working in the future. Business environments change, marketplaces change, customers change, workforce change and if we continue with the strategy that worked for us earlier may be a recipe for disaster in the present situation. This is where an executive coach would come in and help the executive to find solutions to sail through and not get stuck. At times we are not able to find out solutions to situations, no matter how smart or brilliant we are. At such times, it is way better that a coach comes in and helps to get unstuck as compared to an unhappy boss or the board of directors who expect the executive to handle the situation.
Senior Executives benefit from improved “Soft Skills”
Soft skills are the skills that are going to be much more relevant, for a senior executive, in the next decade and beyond. There is no doubt that a senior executive needs to possess strong business acumen and have a proven track record of making sound decisions, however at this position soft skills matter much more that the hard skills. These soft skills are used in processes like conflict resolution and inspiring your team to stay motivated. A great coach would help you to work on further developing these skills. He would help you practice them… just like a great batting coach helps a star batsman to work on a variety of different strokes to improve on what already looks perfect.
We need to understand that nobody at the top of their game got there alone. They had help from various professionals and an extraordinary senior executive coach is one such professional who would not just help you in your decision making. He would, at various times and levels, question your decisions and make you question your decisions to help you see the whole picture from various angles which may force you to change your perspective. He would mess with your mind and your thinking so that you can make a decision that is best, not just for you or your organisation but also the people who are involved.
If you feel you want to experience coaching do get in touch with us