Executive coaching provides a significant competitive advantage enjoyed by many leading edge companies. In a recent study on the benefits of executive coaching companies reported improvements in:
Coaching is a relatively new profession. It is described as “a powerful alliance designed to forward and enhance the lifelong process of human learning, effectiveness, and fulfillment” (Coaches Training Institute). Coaches help people:
Absolutely not! Having a coach means the exact opposite. Coaching is about learning to become even better than you already are.
Constant self improvement is the way we evolve as human beings. This explains why coaching is one of the top executive perks being offered today.
It's one way a corporation can keep its top performers. It's also the reason why top athletes have coaches – to continually seek improvement. To accelerate and be a better leader than you were last week. To be a better father or mother than you were yesterday. To be a better human being (as opposed to a human DOING).
Imagine a basketball team with a team doctor that tends to sprains, broken bones, muscle spasms and other physical ailments. The team doctor is like a trained therapist and psychologist.
Coaches are like the team coaches in basketball, except we coach a game call LIFE! We don't work on "issues" or get into the past or deal much with understanding human behaviour. We leave that up to the client to know and figure out while we help them move forward, setting personal and professional goals that will give them the life they really want.
Consulting brings expertise to you. Coaching brings expertise out of you. It allows you to make the best decision because coaches stretch more options out of you.
Mentoring is moving you toward being more like me; coaching is moving you toward being more like you and the essence of who you are.
Many people are tired of doing what they "should" do and are ready to do something special and meaningful for the rest of their lives. The problem is, many can't see it, or if they can, they can't see a way to reorient their life around it. Usually, it revolves around a fear – fear of not having enough money while they are in transition; fear of failure; and/or fear of success. These are just a few examples of what gets in the way. A coach can help clients identify and then move through these barriers.
People are realizing how simple it can be to accomplish something that several years ago might have felt out of reach or like a pipedream. A coach is not a miracle worker (OK, sometimes they are) and a coach does have a large toolkit to help the big idea become a reality. Fortunately, people now have time and resources to invest in themselves and in this kind of growth.
This question really stirs my core as I believe this same question can be asked of leaders. I think the answer in both cases is that it depends on what your purpose is in this lifetime. If your purpose in this life is to lead, you will be given the kind of gifts and experiences that will sharpen your leadership skills. There will be many opportunities for you to develop those gifts further.
Of course, you always have a choice about whether you want to learn and develop your gifts or not.
I wonder if the calling of coaching is similar. As coaches, the more we become authentic and transparent, the greater the effect we will have on our clients. – so much so, in fact, that our mere presence will impact people. This reminds me of the last four lines of Marianne Williamson's famous quote (which is often mistakenly attributed to Nelson Mandela), "A Challenging Perspective," in the book A Return to Love:
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically
This echoes what Dr. John Demartini says – that the further you go on the inside, the further your impact is on the outside. Then again, we also have a choice not to do this inner work as well.
I would love to hear your perspectives on this…