By: Courtney Beam
According to a recent survey in Chief Learning Office Magazine, coaching is the most desired and developed skill for front line managers and it’s among the top five skills required for successful executives. A lot of organizations provide employee coaching to their top executives to check a leadership development box, ensure success after a promotion, as part of succession planning, or to correct bad behaviors. While these strategies and initiatives are important, I think organizations often miss the mark when it comes to offering coaching to their other leaders including mid-level and front-line managers. Below are three reasons why I think coaching and developing employees should be offered regardless of their title.
Increase Motivation: A great coach can provide the insight needed to heighten self-awareness, increase empathy, develop problem-solving abilities, enhance communication, create time management skills, learn how to engage in healthy conflict and so much more. One amazing and often unspoken byproduct of developing these skills is increased motivation. Through a successful coaching engagement, a leader is extremely likely to start achieving success. When we see success, our motivation is increased which leads to other great benefits for the leader and the organization – regardless of their title.
Creates a safe space to grow: Every leader can benefit from an objective voice. While some organizations offer coaching to their leaders through an internal resource, I believe there can be a great benefit to using an external coach. A really great coach will create a safe space for creativity, new ideas, and discussion of tricky and often confidential situations. It’s vital in a coaching engagement that a leader feels a sense of security to explore new ideas and try out new approaches without the fear of criticism, rejection, embarrassment or loss of confidentiality (or even worse – their job!). Often times it’s difficult for this role to be served by the manager or an internal resource.
Trust: Most professionals know (and agree) that trust is vital to the success of a team and the organization. Without it, we don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable, taking risks, and are likely to harbor important knowledge. Part of becoming a manager and moving away from tactical activities to more strategic requires us to depend on our team to get more work done. Leaders who only count on themselves to achieve success don’t have trust and coaching is something that can help this.
I believe that leaders are at the forefront of establishing and maintaining an organizations culture. This is the same culture that customers and clients will experience. It’s for this reason that I believe it’s critical to the success of an organization that all leaders, regardless of title, function at their very best to establish a culture that’s attractive to potential new employees, current employees and customers alike. A great coach will partner with your organization to make sure that any coaching objectives not only benefit the leader but are also aligned with company goals. Does your organization offer coaching to all leaders regardless of level? We would love to hear about your experience with this in the comments.