5 Ways Executive Coaching Helps Leaders | With Examples

Navigating the rollercoaster of leading a company is no small feat.

As a founder and boss, you’re constantly juggling a myriad of challenges and shifting priorities.

It’s a thrilling, yet daunting journey.

But fear not, there’s a guiding light: Executive Coaching.

Think of it as having a personal trainer, but for honing your leadership skills.

In this post, I’ll share how Executive Coaching can elevate your leadership.

Let’s dive into how coaching helps leaders.

1. Unbiased Feedback: Revealing Your Blind Spots

This aspect of coaching brings an invaluable external viewpoint.

Highlighting overlooked areas in your leadership and decision-making processes.

The real value:

As leaders, we’re prone to developing blind spots.

Especially in areas where we feel most comfortable or unchallenged.

These blind spots can be in our strategic thinking, interpersonal skills, or even in our approach to problem-solving.

A coach steps in as a neutral observer, providing a fresh and unbiased perspective that is often missing in the echo chambers of our own teams.

An example:

One of my clients is the CEO of a tech startup.

She often felt her ideas were not challenged enough by her team because they were, what we call “yes” people and thought challenging the CEO was taboo.

As her Executive Coach, I would play devil’s advocate (which I loved doing by the way) leading her to refine her strategies, resulting in a more resilient business plan.

2. Skill Enhancement: The Sharpening Stone

This aspect of coaching is akin to a craftsman’s sharpening stone.

Designed to meticulously hone specific leadership skills.

The core advantage:

Leaders often have a mix of well-developed skills and areas needing improvement.

A coach acts as a skilled artisan, identifying these areas and providing bespoke strategies, tools, and techniques.

This targeted approach helps to sharpen your abilities, ensuring you excel in all facets of leadership.

An example:

One of my clients, a highly competent executive, grappled with this challenge. His ideas were brilliant but not effectively communicated in public forums.

Through rigorous practice, constructive feedback, and confidence-building exercises, we worked on his public speaking skills.

Not only did he convey his message with clarity and conviction, but also received a rousing standing ovation.

This moment was not just about applause; it signified his transformation into a more confident and impactful leader.

3. Perspective Shift: The Mental Gymnastics

This element of coaching is all about mental gymnastics.

Offering innovative approaches to reframing and effectively addressing challenges.

The essence of its value:

Often, the hurdles we encounter in leadership demand more than just a straightforward solution.

They require a shift in our thinking.

Coaching plays a pivotal role in fostering this cognitive flexibility, enabling leaders to view problems through different lenses.

An example:

A COO client was fed up with the constant bickering by inter-departmental conflicts. 

We discussed these conflicts in depth, and I introduced her to a new way of thinking about the conflicts called system thinking.

System thinking is a holistic approach to analysis that focuses on the way a system’s constituent parts (the different departments) interrelate within the context of larger systems (the organisation).

This thinking really helped transform her approach from firefighting individual issues to creating harmonious departmental synergy.

4. Accountability Partner: The Gentle Nudge

This coaching role functions as a consistent, motivating presence.

Ensuring regular progress checks on your goals.

The core advantage:

Setting goals can be straightforward, but the real challenge lies in steadfastly adhering to them.

In the bustling world of leadership, it’s all too easy to lose sight of these objectives amid daily demands.

This is where a coach steps in, not just as a mentor but as a dedicated accountability partner.

Keeping you committed to your long-term goals.

An example:

One of my clients, a serial entrepreneur, had a goal to establish a CSR initiative but kept postponing it.

This really annoyed him and was the main focus in many of our sessions. 

As the weeks went by, I started to hold him accountable, and within months, his company launched a sustainability project benefiting thousands.

5. Emotional Support: The Leadership Therapist

This crucial aspect of coaching provides a non-judgmental environment for leaders to express and process their emotions.

The essential benefit:

Leadership, especially at the apex of an organization, can be an isolating journey.

In such positions, finding a trustworthy confidant can be challenging.

Having a coach who offers a safe space to express vulnerabilities, uncertainties, and stresses is not just beneficial; it’s often a necessity for mental well-being.

This emotional outlet aids in gaining clarity and perspective, vital for effective decision-making.

An example:

It can be very lonely at the top and quite a few of my clients never really know who they can trust.

One in particular was a CEO who was feeling the weight of a merger decision.

Our regular conversations, online, face-to-face and over the phone not only gave her clarity but also the emotional resilience to navigate the challenges that ensued.

Conclusion – How Coaching Helps Leaders

In the grand tapestry of leadership, executive coaching is not just a thread—it’s the needle weaving the narrative.

Whether you’re a startup founder or a Fortune 500 executive, consider coaching as your secret weapon to supercharge your leadership journey.

Remember, even the world’s top athletes have coaches. Why shouldn’t top Executives?

Sign up for Executive Coaching with me today.

How Coaching Helps Leaders
Picture of Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown

Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Group CEO at Select Training.

Work with me
Picture of Natalie Brown

Natalie Brown

Keynote Speaker, Executive Coach, and Group CEO at Select Training.

Work with me

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