Growing Your Potential with an Executive Coach

Growing Your Potential with an Executive Coach, by Jamie Hansen

When I talk to my clients about executive coaching, some of them look at me like I'm speaking Greek. "I don't need a coach," they say. "There's nothing wrong with my performance." To them, executive coaches are fixers, called in to deal with challenging or stagnant employees. It's an outdated attitude that has all but disappeared from today’s corporate culture.

The truth is, coaching is one of the most proactive gifts you can give yourself or a developing employee. Consider it in another context - you wouldn't hire a coach for your son or daughter because they were struggling to shoot a basketball, you hire the coach because you want to develop their natural talent. The executive coaching business has grown rapidly in recent years, and the market now exceeds $1 billion in the US alone.

An executive coach can help you cultivate your own talent by challenging you to grow and offering tools to get you there. A good coach offers an impartial viewpoint on your circumstances, helping you see things from a new perspective. A great professional coach will administer assessments to identify strengths and opportunities for growth, and then recommend strategies to leverage those strengths and help you to develop as desired. Ultimately, the best coaches will help you better evaluate your circumstances and a path forward, rather than telling you how you should proceed.

I like to use the GROW model for my coaching clients:

G – What are your goals? What do you want to accomplish or achieve? It's important to identify these early on so that all downstream efforts are aligned with the pursuit of the end goals. Why start a race if you have not identified the finish line?

R – What resources do you have that can help you achieve your goals? These resources can be varied - perhaps it's a peer or colleague who can offer assistance, a training program to build skills, an assessment to measure your strengths, or a budget to purchase new resources that you don't already possess. Think of this as packing for the journey ahead.

O – What obstacles might be keeping you from reaching your goals? It seems like this step is the easiest, unfortunately, because it comes so naturally. So, don't use this step to dwell on upcoming challenges or to discourage yourself from working toward your goal. Rather, focus on identifying the potential roadblocks and think about what you will have to do to overcome them. When the forecast calls for rain, bring an umbrella.

W – What are you willing to commit to do? At the end of the day, it is up to you to put in the work to accomplish your goals. A coach can offer perspective and provide helpful resources, but you're the one running this race. So, if something will get done, what are you going to do to make it happen?

I find that these elements paint an especially clear picture for how my clients will achieve their goals. While many of us can identify our goals or the obstacles around us, it can be much more difficult to recognize available resources or to push ourselves to commit to action steps. This is the role and ultimate benefit of an executive coach.

So what are your goals for 2019? Are you equipped to take yourself there? You might be surprised to learn what an executive coach can do for you!

Looking for more on executive coaching and corporate training options? Visit the Alloy Solutions website for additional resources and contact information.

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