Performance
August 12, 2013

The benefits of an executive coach

Last week, Rick Conlow and Doug Watsabaugh wrote in Businessweek that 50 to 60 percent of managers fail in what they set out to do. They suggest that what causes these failures is a lack of understanding of how soft skills can affect a workplace. Unsurprisingly, leaders who behave in a brusque and controlling manner toward their employees have a negative impact on productivity and morale.

The best leaders, according to them, maintain an open line of communication with their employees, keep tabs on the progress of company projects without being overbearing, and acknowledge and celebrate employees’ achievements. Most important, leaders who succeed are the ones who understand that they must always strive to improve themselves and continue to build on their skills base. These individuals are, more often than not, operating under the tutelage of a leadership coach.

But according to a blog post by Businessweek, the majority of leaders do not seek help from leadership coaches. Generally speaking, coaches are not seen as a tool to enhance performance; they are instead seen as a resource one turns to after experiencing failure.

So why should executives consider coaching? There are several reasons:

• Coaches are objective parties who can offer feedback in the moment. They can help an individual work on his or her weaknesses while also building his or her strengths.
• By teaching leaders emotional intelligence, they also benefit the organization as a whole. Employees who trust and communicate with their managers are more productive.
• Coaches can help employees prepare for greater roles within their organizations, negating the need to hire people from outside the company.
• Their objectivity allows them to provide fresh ideas and solutions to problems.
• They can provide an outlet for leaders to discuss their frustrations.

Have you ever had a leadership coach? How did it work out for you? Let us know in the comments.

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