The Benefits of Coaching in Building Successful Leaders

January 06, 2022 by Amanda Reill

The Benefits of Coaching in Building Successful Leaders

Leaders have a profound impact on many areas in our lives - we encounter them in the workplace, community organizations, and even in the home. By the time we reach adulthood, we’ve each experienced the impacts of effective leadership. Perhaps we’ve even served in a leadership capacity or hope to one day. The best leaders in our lives are inspiring and uplifting, a guiding light that makes us feel like we can accomplish anything. On the flip side, a poor leader can uproot whole movements, businesses, and endeavors. 

As the world changes (especially so much in recent years), we continue to learn more about what it means to lead effectively. Executive leadership coaches are one way that innovation in the field can be harnessed and implemented in the workplace. Coaching equips senior leaders of all kinds with better tactics to deal with a rapidly changing world. 

Leadership Coaching: An Emerging Need

It used to be that leaders were the unquestionable experts in their field. Your manager would manage you because they had gained education and experience that put them at the top of the food chain. But in the digital age, no one expects leaders to be the smartest ones in the room because everything changes too fast. No one is an expert for very long. Now, success depends more on your ability to facilitate a team.

There are as many leadership styles as there are leaders. But as the professional landscape changes, leaders who rely on commanding, conquering, and competing don’t last long or get nearly as much done. And leaders who struggle to communicate well or motivate their followers quickly lose steam. Instead, today’s world needs leaders who recognize that they can’t see the whole picture on their own, lead through humility, and see themselves as mentors and guides instead of the unquestioned authority figure. 

Just about anyone can possess the leadership skills to step up and motivate a team, as long as they're willing to cultivate them. Coaching can help do just that, by bringing you into the future of effective leadership. You can break old habits and build new perspectives on a solid foundation with leadership coaching. 

What Does Leadership Coaching Focus On?

Future-focused leaders need a skillset based on the principles of Emotional Intelligence: communication, collaboration, and coaching. 

These skills change the former leadership paradigm. Instead of being the authority–tough shoes to fill, no matter who you are!--leaders are encouraged to dig deep into their limitations. Understanding yourself is the key to growth. 

When a leader decides to receive professional executive coaching–and learn how to be a coach themselves–the process will focus on a few challenging and necessary principles: 

  1. Know Thyself. You can’t encourage a rich inner life in those around you unless you have one, yourself. Being aware of your personality and compulsions–flaws and all–is the first step to being an effective leader. Owning your faults can go a long way to making you a better manager. And the more you can understand yourself, the more aware you’ll be of the inner lives of others. It’s a vital muscle to exercise! 
  2. Speak Well, Listen Better. We all know that “good communication” is essential, but future leaders need to understand the balance between speaking effectively and listening empathetically. In coaching, a leader will gain the skills necessary to express themselves well and listen to hear the feedback they receive from others. 
  3. Mindset Is Key. There’s a reason “growth mindset” took the professional world by storm when it emerged in the last few decades. As a leader, your mindset will set the tone for those around you, whether you want it to or not. Leaders need to learn how to stay open and receptive to personal and professional growth; otherwise, their business has the potential to stagnate.    
  4. Psychological Safety. A recent two-year study at Google found that their most effective teams had one clear thing in common: they were all able to make mistakes without fear of punishment. This concept, now termed Psychological Safety, bolsters creativity, ingenuity, and innovation on teams. It helps enhance productivity and ultimately leads to more breakthroughs. Leaders who lean into mistakes and see them as learning opportunities are more likely to have highly effective and creative teams. 
  5. What Do You Bring? The logical flipside to the first principle on this list: knowing yourself reveals not only your unique weaknesses and vulnerabilities but also your strengths! Good leaders understand what they bring to the table and celebrate these characteristics. And from their example, they teach others to do the same, building better teams and more robust professional ecosystems. 

In being coached, leaders learn how to coach in return. By exploring a leader’s inner world, coaching skills can be cultivated and developed, deepening their understanding of themselves so that they can understand others. Before you can drive and inspire others, you need to understand what inspires you and your goals. It’s difficult work, but the rewards far outweigh the difficulties. Leadership development is truly the cutting-edge of success in modern business. 

The Benefits of Leadership Coaching 

For most leaders, being more intuitive and supportive of their teams is self-rewarding. But the stakes couldn’t be higher, according to recent stats

When leaders take on the role of a coach and mentor, the benefits are astounding. Teams led by managers who understand coaching principles report the following:

  • Greater satisfaction in life and business
  • A sense of feeling equipped, confident, and less anxious
  • More creativity and receptivity to inspiration
  • Higher performance levels

This focus on coaching is especially crucial now, in an age when COVID-19 has changed the emotional landscape of the workforce. Employees are more stressed than ever, and they need to know that their managers and supervisors are looking out for them and care about their wellbeing.  

It should go without saying that learning to be a good leader isn’t just about improving performance. A good leader needs to care about the bottom line, of course, but they should also be aware of the needs of their employees and teams. Learning how to balance those needs with the needs of the business is difficult work, but in the long run, it will increase your savvy. It will probably make you a more well-rounded human being, too. 

A New Way To Lead

The world needs leaders who are passionate about care, support, and team-building. This is an exciting time! It’s a brave new world of ever-changing information about effective leadership, and leadership coaching is one way this information can transcend industries and impact more employees. A leader who has been coached has the opportunity to learn how to identify their blind spots, transform company culture — and maybe even the bottom line.

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