When talking to people outside of our company, I find there are misconceptions about who should participate in Executive Coaching programs. Often, people think coaching programs are specifically designed for those who are under performing. While it is true that some coaching programs are used to build the skills of those that are not yet performing at their highest level, our programs are designed to build on the employee’s strengths and instill more self-awareness, they are not intended for employees who need to “shape up or ship out” so to speak.
To help end the confusion, we have identified five instances when coaching would be beneficial for an employee.
To Facilitate Awareness, Build Skills and Advance Behavioral Change
Talented employees who are valuable to the organization don’t necessarily have all of the skills needed to take on more responsibility. Coaching programs can build the important skills of communication, delegation, and management. For example, if a star employee is moved to a highly visible position where they are now responsible for managing a group of people despite not having managed before, a coach can guide them through this change.
Strengthen High Potentials for Increased Responsibility
High Potentials are employees recognized for having an aptitude for leadership.
Employees, especially millennials, want structure and the ability to visualize a clear path forward. Coaching programs are a great way for an organization to show commitment and invest in the management and leadership skills of an individual. Not all people want to go from being an individual producer to a manager of people. The skills and knowledge to be successful as a manager are enormously different. Many people fear moving into the unknown area of management because they don’t have experience doing it. Coaches can develop managers and in the process provide internal promotional opportunities.
Enhance Leadership Engagement and Retention
It’s lonely at the top, we know. Leaders in an organization do not have the freedom to share all their problems and concerns with other employees including the executive team. In order to develop plans and alleviate tension and ambiguity a total independent set of ears and objective wisdom can make a big difference in working out organizational difficulties. This is why a coach can be so helpful. They can act as a mentor, lending an ear to organizational problems. Since a coach’s most important skill is active listening, they will hear intuitively and offer practical solutions without the pressure of what is in it for them.
Build Organizational Bench Strength
Some people would say, “Leaders aren’t born, they’re made,” or at least effective leaders don’t get to that level overnight. If you take your responsibility seriously having an effective succession plan is critical. You have to build the strengths and knowledge of your future leaders today. You should provide stretch opportunities for them to prove they are ready to take on bigger roles and you need to assess their capacity to grow into roles requiring greater responsibility. MRG’’s coaching process can help you identify your future leaders and give “rising stars” a reason to remain loyal.
Create a Competitive Talent Advantage
We all know there is a war for talent going on that is only going to get fiercer due to exiting baby boomers from the work force and those in leadership positions. Investing in people is not an expense but a necessary business practice if you want to compete. Technology is forcing companies to rethink their business models and make the necessary changes to survive. A company that is not investing in and developing new approaches through talent acquisition and retention is risking their future. Make no mistake; management and leadership are necessary moving forward so it makes sense to sharpen all of your tools.
Written by Dan Portes, Chairman/CEO
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