We all require someone who can listen to us without judgement; someone who can believe in us, help us notice all that we can’t by ourselves, encourage us towards action and have faith in our potential. That someone is a business coach.
While any and everyone can enjoy the benefits of a coach – from a homemaker to a self-employed person – I believe it is very important for a team leader to have a coach, given the characteristics of their life.
Leaders have an impactful role at any organisation and each step forward they take creates an impact. A leader engages with people and communicates a vision to them, motivating them to work hard. Such a leader finds great support in the company of a coach as it enables him/her to look at life objectively, be understood, heard, and find encouragement.
Here are 4 benefits for a leader to have a business coach:
We are all human and even a great leader is not perfect. Just as we need a mirror to look at our physical selves, leaders need coaches to understand themselves better.
In my experience, leaders have the quality of deep self-awareness. They have a deep understanding, which is then reflected through their behaviour.
For instance, if they reflect on weakness, they are mindful of their actions so that the weakness doesn’t affect their behaviour. Sometimes, they reflect by themselves and sometimes, they need the support of others.
Having a coach can help leaders observe their own minds, emotions, behaviours for a deeper understanding of their own selves.
A leader’s life is like two sides of a coin. On one side, they experience the big joys of leadership. On the flip side, leaders are lonely. The higher up they are in position, the lonelier they are.
Leaders see what others don’t see, so their actions are often not understood by others.
For example, a leader may have to make tough decisions that cause unhappiness to people. They may not be in a position to share what they feel, even with subordinates or colleagues.
Time with a coach, under strict non-disclosure confidentiality protection, will give leaders a non-judgmental space. A leader can say anything here.
A coach will never judge the client – they just listen, support, observe, share. This is a sacred, protected place for the leader to talk.
An organisation grows as much as its leader grows. The deeper, more futuristic strategies leaders have, the more potential an organisation has.
Great leaders know they cannot make those strategies alone. They rely on the team but they also want to indulge in an intellectual exercise of putting their thoughts in voice before they can be shared with team members. This is where a coach comes in. A leader can use their coach as a brainstorming partner.
With the help of the coach, a leader can generate out-of-the-box thinking instead of their usual way of thinking. A coach can challenge a leader’s preconceived ideas so that they can think differently than usual.
Sometimes, the space and freedom with the coach enable the leaders to talk about everything they have in mind and they discover answers in this process of expression; being heard goes a long way for leaders too.
Accountability and structure
Leaders are busy people. Their schedule is fully packed. Since they lead business, there is always something that needs to be dealt with urgently.
Between all that work, it’s not easy for leaders to secure their own thinking time for long-term vision, strategy, direction, which may not seem urgent for today.
A coaching session automatically urges leaders to secure that time and be productive in it. When they know there is a session, they feel accountable and take ownership.
Having structured, regular coaching sessions can enhance and speed up the leader’s output.