Leadership Coach: Take Your Team To The Next Level
Leadership or "executive" coaches have become far more common over the past 30 years. A service that once was rare in business is now an expectation in many industries. But what exactly is executive coaching? What do leadership coaches do, and how can you benefit from working with one?
In short, a good leadership coach will help you develop core leadership skills that you can use to move your career or company in the right direction. Whatever your position is in your organization or industry, coaching can teach you the skills necessary to excel.
Of course, to reap the full measure of benefits, you must implement what you learn from your coach. Below, Poised shares some practical information and advice to help you get the most from your leadership coaching.
What Does a Leadership Coach Do?
As with any type of coaching, leadership coaching covers a wide range of topics and skills.
Let’s discuss the primary improvements you can expect when working with a leadership coach:
Professional Coaching Teaches You Key Leadership Skills
The overarching benefit of working with an executive coach is that it helps you to develop essential leadership skills that will help you in all areas of your career.
There’s much more to integrity than truthfulness and honesty. Those are key aspects of integrity, sure. But it also refers to establishing and sticking to strong values. Displaying integrity often requires you to make ethical decisions, which is the right thing to do and keeps your team and organization in a positive light. No matter what industry you’re in, employers and consumers look to people with solid integrity.
Leading with integrity means that you practice truthfulness and fairness at every turn. It’s an excellent way to set an example for people to follow. Don’t be surprised if you inspire reliability, professionalism, honesty, and diplomacy in others!
Leaders often have to make decisions on the spot. As an effective leader, you can do so with limited information. Time and experience are the best teachers for decisiveness, but a leadership coach can also help you learn various tactics for fast decision-making.
For example, learning how to research, evaluate circumstances, solve problems, and establish goals will help you make quick decisions. Decisiveness is valuable because it allows you to boost efficiency among your team and maintain progress through challenges. Decisive leaders also show great initiative despite the obstacles before them and can clearly communicate expectations to others.
It’s likely not news to you that great leaders know how to solve problems. The success of every organization depends on its ability to solve problems for its clients or customers, as well as those that arise within the organization.
When faced with a problem, it’s essential to balance quick decision-making with reason. Sometimes, you must take a moment to find a step-by-step solution instead of acting irrationally and exacerbating the problem. As you work with your executive coach and put your lessons into practice, you will learn to approach problems systematically and make faster decisions.
Focus on critical thinking, analytical, and research skills. Then, you’ll be on the right track to becoming a respected problem-solver.
Leaders are only as powerful as their followers. A significant portion of growing in leadership involves building and maintaining relationships. You must be able to operate a collaborative team of individuals with unique backgrounds and personalities and pursue a common goal.
A leader must exercise incredible communication skills and conflict resolution to excel in relationship development. When you and your team members understand each other, it will make evaluating each individual’s strengths and delegating tasks much simpler.
And as a result, you will accomplish your goals more efficiently and satisfactorily. Management, interpersonal, collaboration, and active listening skills will go a long way in helping you build relationships.
How Do You Steer Your Company Towards Success?
It’s easy to see how improving in integrity, decisiveness, problem-solving, and relationship-building can turn you into an exceptional leader. Every area in which you grow will ultimately benefit your team and organization.
If your team is facing problems that seem insurmountable now, working with an executive coach could equip you to move them in the right direction. The more experience and practice you get under your belt, the faster and more effectively you will be able to overcome (or side-step) obstacles. Furthermore, acting with integrity and learning to foster healthy relationships among team members will go a long way in positioning your company to flourish.
How Can You Reach Your Full Potential?
As a business leader, you may have ambitions to climb as high on the corporate ladder as possible. You may celebrate for a few minutes each time you make it to the next rung but quickly get back to the grindstone to see how you can stay on track to become CEO. Or, perhaps you’re a business owner looking to expand into new markets and increase your salary.
Wherever you are right now on your career path, business coaching can bring out the best in you. Even if you are an employee with no desire for a leadership promotion, coaching can enable you to lead well and make you an indispensable asset to your organization and industry.
In other words, pursue a leadership coaching program if you want to realize your potential. You may even exceed your wildest imaginations!
The Key Aspects of Leadership Coaching
We’ve discussed some of the specific skills that you can learn by working with an executive coach.
But what are some of the primary outcomes that follow leadership development?
Learning Effective Communication Skills
Many young leaders underestimate the importance of communication as a skill set. But at some point, every leader meets the harsh reality that being able to effectively communicate with team members, clients, and other parties is critical to their success (and that of the company’s).
A leadership coach can teach you all the key communication skills and help you optimize your natural communication style. Even better, you can learn various styles so that you always have a strategy when facing a new problem.
Whether it’s an interpersonal conflict in your team or a major organizational change, leadership training can prepare you to handle it effectively and gracefully. Through professional coaching, you can learn to establish clear expectations, provide constructive feedback, improve your nonverbal communication, and more.
You can apply all these skills to office and virtual environments alike.
Conflicts arise in even the healthiest organizations. But the only way for a diverse team to overcome challenges is for someone to step up and lead in a way that fosters good communication and conflict resolution. Each team member must feel heard, whether it’s when they are pleased or disappointed.
As a great leader, you can promote inclusion within your team. You can use the melting pot of backgrounds, opinions, and work styles to create a structure of efficiency. You can do it all while helping employees work through problems. As your team learns to solve problems and accomplish goals together, you will see employee morale and satisfaction rise.
Emphasize Each Team Member’s Unique Strengths
Each individual in an organization has unique strengths and weaknesses. While many leaders put a lot of emphasis on weaknesses, it’s essential to give strengths attention as well.
Learning to identify an employee’s weaknesses and gracefully bring them to their attention enables you to lead that employee to improve. At the same time, identifying their strengths means you can teach them how to leverage those strengths, which will benefit both the company and the employee’s career.
This logic applies to leaders themselves too. Skilled coaching can help you develop self-awareness, helping you identify your weaknesses and leverage your strengths. Maybe you will learn that you should experiment with different leadership styles. Perhaps you might learn how to use your years of experience to your advantage.
Many leaders who lack self-awareness feel like they are doing either better or worse than they actually are. Learning to sort through the negative (and positive) automatic thoughts and draw objective conclusions about your performance will take your leadership and organizational prowess to the next level.
How To Implement What You Learn From
The new skills you learn from your leadership coach are not going to play out on their own. To reap the benefits, you must put them into practice in your daily work life.
Pay Attention To Your Communication Habits
You know that communication is essential in leadership. But we live in a new normal that requires leaders to be more versatile. Not too long ago, leaders only had to focus on the basic communication skills for in-person meetings and phone conferences.
Now, virtual meetings are the norm. Virtual meetings require you to adjust how you speak, listen, and engage with team members.
As a leader, people will watch how you present your thoughts and respond to others’ thoughts. Prioritize any areas in your communication that need improvement so that virtual meetings don’t hold you or your team back. One option is to invest in a communication coach like Poised, which will track your habits and provide insights into how you can improve your performance.
Poised can help you keep track of communication techniques like overuse of filler words, your speak-to-listen ratio, and how quickly you are talking. Since AI like Poised can accurately tell you how confident you appear, you will never have to worry about how others perceive you.
Frequent Check-Ins With Mentors
Every good leader has at least one mentor they can turn to when the going gets tough. But don’t limit yourself to those times; regularly seek advice even in times of prosperity and excitement for your company.
Effective mentoring can lead people through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and professional life. Maintaining a good relationship with someone who has years of experience can equip and encourage you to tackle problems and sustain success.
Make Use of Employee Satisfaction Surveys
We mentioned how feedback is an excellent tool for improving as a leader. Besides talking directly to your team members, one of the best ways to gauge your leadership performance is to send out employee satisfaction surveys.
Satisfaction vs. Engagement
Generally speaking, employee satisfaction refers to the level of happiness and fulfillment workers have in their job. On the other hand, employee engagement is the degree to which employees are committed to their roles in helping the organization realize its goals. In other words, high-performance workers are not necessarily excited about their job, and happy employees may not always perform well.
When sending out employee satisfaction surveys, be sure to distinguish between satisfaction and engagement. The latter is worth measuring, but it should be done separately.
The Value in Surveys
Some employees may not be entirely honest if you ask them directly how happy they are to work for your company. Most, if not all, will give honest answers on an anonymous survey.
By utilizing surveys, you can close the gap between your perception of the employee experience and your workers’ actual feelings. This information can help you identify the necessary workplace changes and grow as a leader.
Driving Factors in Employee Satisfaction
When arranging and reviewing surveys, measure all the key drivers of employee satisfaction.
While employee satisfaction is complex, asking these questions will cover the bases:
- Do they feel appreciated?
- Do they have a work-life balance?
- Do they have adequate career growth opportunities?
- Do they have healthy relationships with management?
Moreover, you can gauge how your employees feel about the company’s culture and work environment. Ideally, your employees will imply that they love coming to work and collaborating with their coworkers and managers. If they have uneasiness in the workplace, you will know it’s time to step up as a leader and make some changes.
Pass On What You Learn To Team Members
All those new leadership skills and habits you develop in the coming months and years — don’t keep them to yourself! The world’s best leaders are generous with their knowledge and eager to help those who ask for it. Take every opportunity to teach your team members any helpful strategies, tricks, and mindsets you learn.
Lead and Succeed
There are as many leadership journeys as there are leaders. Each of us has a distinct personality and skill set, but we are capable of becoming influential leaders.
Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or employee, hiring a leadership coach could be the ideal way to grow your skills and influence. You could be moving your company toward growth and solidifying your reputation in the industry in no time!