Thinking allowed: why coaching might help

Leaders face many pressures and demands. Having a coach can help you perform better and feel better.

Are you a manager or leader, perhaps a CEO? In my experience most people in leadership roles have their heads down doing most of the time. As a result other things get lost – such as where you’re going, for example. How many of the following statements apply to you?

  1. You wish you had more time to think about what will need to happen in the future, or anything one might describe as important rather than urgent.
  2. You don’t spend much time reflecting on what you do and how you do it. If you’re making mistakes you don’t have time to think about them or correct them. If you could do more of something you do well you don’t stop to think about what it is.
  3. You feel you lose touch with what motivated you to carry out the role in the first place, with your sense of calling, or purpose or vocation.
  4. There are a number of problems that are in the “too hard” category which you tell yourself you’ll get around to sometime.
  5. Many of the individuals you manage don’t take as much responsibility as you think they should – but it would take too much time to change it. It’s easier to do it yourself.
  6. There isn’t really anyone you can talk to – that is, all the people in your life are either colleagues with whom it’s all too sensitive or family/friends who don’t have much understanding of the situation.

These are all things that hinder personal and organisational effectiveness and put you under serious stress. If any or all of them are true for you I’m sure you think you would be wise to act to change the situation. But getting the space, the perspective is difficult. One very good way (the best way perhaps?) of getting past this hurdle and to give the important things the right level of attention is to find a coach. (You might prefer a work consultant or mentor – these are all terms for essentially similar if distinct approaches). A coach helps you by providing a structured process for thinking about the things which will be critical for you and your organisation. Having a coach will commit you to making the time required. A coach will provide an informed but external listening ear. A coach will ask the questions which you need to consider to make progress. A coach will help you to uncover previously hidden truths. A coach is on your side – dedicated to your success and to helping you take the steps required to achieve it.

In my experience people who make use of coaches make an invaluable investment in their own future and the success of their organisation. They make better decisions. They regain and maintain perspective. They are less likely to burn out. And you’re never too old, too experienced or too successful to have a coach. After all, Roger Federer has one.

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