There is the general perception that an executive should already have the proven skills to ensure the successful running of an organization. So, why would an executive need a coach at any point in his/her professional career?
The following benefits should be considered:
1. An executive’s job is a very challenging one and there is too much at stake to not take all the help one can get to achieve the organizational goals.
2. Nobody is perfect and we all have those quirks or flaws or Achilles heels that everybody has which in some way hamper or sabotage us in the fulfilment of our intentions. For example: how many executives can articulate the company’s vision to their staff or how many executives don’t listen to their managers? A coach can use his skills to make a blind spot visible to the executive which he is genuinely unaware of or chooses to ignore.
3. There is the assumption that we are asleep to some reality or another. The conclusions reached tend to dictate our actions and reactions. A coach will be able to help the executive see what he/she don’t see and shake them gently to wake up the reality.
4. An executive once told a coach that he did not believe in consultants. During the conversation, the executive got an “aha” moment and realized why he never hired consultants. It was because he thought that he was in his job because the board believed that he already knew everything he needed to know, and that hiring a consultant is a concession that, in fact, he did not. The executive ended up engaging a consultant and his company realized phenomenal results.
5. Sometimes having a trusted confidant is worth its weight in gold. A successful coach is a good listener, a mirror, an adviser, a mentor, a non-judgmental confidant, a provocateur and a person who is clear that the purpose of their work with the client is the client’s success (as defined by the executive). Trust is everything, openness and straight talk is essential.
The major benefit of executive coaching is that at the end of the coaching engagement, the executive should have leveraged existing strengths and converted targeted development needs to strengths—thereby making the executive more valuable and productive. An executive coaching investment would be well worth the money spent.
Published in the Trinidad Guardian Newspaper: Sun 1 Apr 2012