Sometimes I think of all the mistakes I made early in my career. When I got my first job as a general manager, I had no guide. I also had very little knowledge about how to solve the problems that I faced.
I should have hired an executive coach.
What I’ve learned since is that professional coaches can play an essential role in the success of a manager
Good coaches provide advice and provide an objective analysis of problems managers face every day. As a result, you can move more deliberately and be more successful.
But, in addition to that, a coach can help guide you to longer-term strategies with your career
You will get straightforward advice from someone who has no agenda. You might be able to seek guidance from board members or even relatives, but it can also come with self-serving suggestions. Unbiased advice is what you need.
You need a coach so that you have someone who you can brainstorm ideas.
A good coach also holds you accountable. Too many times, we make promises to ourselves that we don’t keep. A good coach will make sure that you set reasonable goals and make progress towards them.
You will find that a good coach will help you achieve self-confidence in handling difficult situations and employees. I’ve seen managers become better leaders because they learn how to model successful behaviors.
But you also want to be careful about who you hire. Along the way, I’ve been contacted by individuals who have wanted to coach me, but when I’ve interviewed them, I’ve found a couple of odd things. Sometimes they have one approach for everyone. You need to find a coach who will understand your issues either because they are familiar with your field or the particular issues you face. You deserve more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach.
You want to make sure that they know more than you do.
Since I’ve begun my practice as an executive coach, I have helped people build their self-confidence as a leader, prepare for job interviews, and establish goals for them professionally and personally. We have used a “360-Feedback” process to get a better understanding of how they are perceived by colleagues and look for signs of improvement. I like to begin with an understanding of my client’s circumstance and issues as well as get a sense of how they approach problems and issues. Then, following a series of techniques and discussions, we narrow our focus and prioritize concerns. Then, I like to provide my clients with ideas to think about and try. We revisit those strategies over time and use feedback techniques to see if situations are improving or stagnating. As a coach, I become vested in the issues of my clients. Their problems are my problems until we can resolve them.
You want to make sure that whomever you hire as a coach, they have the ability to relate to your situation, and that is committed to your success.
As NFL football coach Pete Carroll puts it, “Each person holds so much power within themselves that needs to be let out. Sometimes they just need a little nudge, a little direction, a little support, a little coaching, and the greatest things can happen.”