Your success as a leader depends on you continually growing and developing yourself. As people climb the career ladder, it becomes more difficult to find appropriate leadership development opportunities. Experience can be gained on the job by taking on new responsibilities or challenges. Skills can be developed by attending training courses. Knowledge can be increased in a number of ways ranging from podcasts to taking some form of advanced level education such as an MBA.
Developing the personal attributes and behaviours that are so vital to your success as a leader is much more challenging and this is where leadership coaching can help. So what are the 5 benefits of leadership coaching?
Benefit 1: Tailored to your needs
One of the major benefits of leadership coaching is that the programme is tailored to focus on the areas that are most important to you. We all have probably attended events where as much as 25% of the time was spent on areas where you were already highly competent or skilled. As a result, you don’t get all of the benefit you could from other areas because you become disconnected from the course.
Benefit 2: Ongoing programme
Traditional one or two day programmes are excellent in terms of increasing your knowledge and competence but you only get one chance to grab the benefit. Imagine for example you are already a good presenter but want to take your skills to the next level. You could go on a traditional training and maybe get the benefits. Alternatively, you could work with a coach who specialises in presentations over a period of time to really make the improvement you desire without the pressure of having one chance to get it right.
Benefit 3: Focus is on more than just work
A good coach will work with you to look beyond doing the job as being your route to success. For example, you know that being at your best relies on healthy eating, taking exercise and having enough sleep. A coach will help you to make powerful choices on lifestyle issues so that you achieve success as a leader.
Benefit 4: Increased self awareness
Success as a leader requires you to be self aware. You need to know where you perform best, where you need to develop, how you impact on others, how you get others to buy into your ideas and vision to name just a few. Your coach will help you to increase your self awareness so that your performance and the results that you achieve are even better than you are currently getting.
Benefit 5: Understanding your values
We all have values that are important to us. The trouble is most of us have never taken the time to determine our values, write them down and use them as a basis for decisions. As a leader you will have to take many decisions and by having clarity on your values, it becomes much easier to take decisions as you can use your values as a reference point. Coaches are highly skilled at helping people to identify and articulate their values
Benefit 6: Return on investment
The key question people often have about coaching is the return they will get from working with a coach. Extensive research has been undertaken in this area and it is estimated that the return on investment from coaching is 500 to 700%. This might seem like a huge percentage, but let us consider an example to illustrate. Imagine you are a Senior Manager in your organisation and you want to move up to the next level which is a Director. The salary increase is £15-20,000 per year and you expect to be in that post for the next 3 years. Your extra earnings are £45-60,000 over that period. Even if you paid £1,000 a month for coaching for a year you still would have a return on your investment of 400 to 500%.
Coaching is not for everyone but for those who are committed to long term leadership success, it can make a huge impact.
By John Benson