As a leadership and negotiation strategist, I’m surprised to come across so many professionals hesitant to hire an executive coach. Cost is often cited as the primary reason for going it alone; however, when it comes to embracing the need to invest in one’s career, an executive coach shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury, but rather as a fundamental resource for advancing growth. Like a professional athlete, we too must realize that successful career growth is not a solo endeavor, but a concerted effort of refinement and practice. No matter how talented, educated and experienced you may be, the presence of a committed coach can mean the difference between stagnation and success.
So why, exactly, should you invest in an executive coach or advisor? Here are 3 of the top reasons:
REASON 1: Goal-setting
In order to reach new goals, we need to make space for new ways of thinking. The opportunity to think outside of our traditional mindset is an essential part of reaching new heights. Are your goals honest? Are they actionable and measurable? An executive coach will help you to make sense of these questions, and assist you in answering them.
A skilled coach will guide you through the process of aligning your short- and long-term aspirations with clear, well-defined and measurable goals, which will put you on the path to success.
In many cases, leaders over-rely on their internal muscle, gained through hard-fought personal battles in the professional world. This leads us to developing a “me against the world” mentality that blocks us from applying insights from even the most trusted sources. Sure, a healthy sense of independence, resolve and strong will are all valuable in the course of our careers, but these same attributes can also lead to blind spots that go on to hinder our growth. A coach can help you open up and expose obstacles that may be holding you back.
With a clear mind, you’ll be in a position to set your goals wisely. The next step lies in achieving these measurable goals, which leads us to Reason #2.
REASON 2: Accountability
Many driven and independent leaders often discover that it can be lonely at the top, with few sources for honest, unbiased feedback available. There’s power in being able to set goals strategically without outside support, but there’s progress when you’re actually held accountable for these goals. In this sense, leaders can begin to truly excel when they have a trusted figure in their corner dedicated to their goals over the long run.
While a mentor can guide you along your professional journey with feedback and inspiration, a trained executive coach can go a critical step further by providing support designed to address anxiety, fatigue, stress and even depression.
In many ways, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the immense pressures professionals face when balancing their professional and personal lives. These experiences remind us that the psychological and emotional challenges we encounter don’t need to be swept under the rug. We can address these challenges and overcome them, and a coach can be an invaluable resource in breaking the cycle of burnout and isolation.
By providing a true “safe space” for the client, an executive coach can address the source of impediments and collaboratively devise an optimal path forward. Though discomfort is typically a prerequisite for personal growth, an executive coach will help you to manage this discomfort and push you past your preconceived boundaries with both empathy and expertise.
Over time, this trusted partnership of guidance and accountability will foster firm senses of self and ability. This leads us to Reason #3.
REASON 3: Confidence-building
Let’s face it, we’ve all felt that feeling that we’re somehow not up to par. We compare ourselves to others and lose sight of the fact that our place at the leadership table is not a fluke. Rather than trusting our gut, we waste valuable energy overthinking our decisions and self-sabotaging our potential.
Although it’s not a formal mental health issue, studies show that “imposter syndrome” impacts 70% of professionals at some point. This common syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. What’s more, it disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who may find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. This makes even the best leaders highly susceptible to undue self-doubt.
When we doubt our very authenticity we paralyze our best qualities in the workplace, which can impede our impact. A skilled coach is able to provide tested approaches and strategies to help you diminish these feelings, overcome your insecurity, and reinforce your foundation of confidence. With your confidence restored, the challenges that once led you to question your abilities will now seem like manageable tasks, ones you are trained to solve.
The truth is that an executive coach can be the proven factor in transforming you and your career. A partnership with a coach can result in better career outcomes, improved relationships, job satisfaction and better overall performance. In my experience, the lessons and techniques learned by leaders are embedded into their leadership style and go on to make their way into company culture.
Over the past few years, I’ve coached many professionals and CEOs across a variety of industries. It has been deeply rewarding to witness their transformation toward becoming more effective leaders. My clients now enjoy increased confidence and an ability to communicate with a genuine sense of empathy and inclusivity. This is something that has not gone unnoticed by their teams. In fact, this transformation has been welcomed with open arms, and has led to better team performance and increased trust. Perhaps most importantly, my coaching partnerships have yielded real tangible impact. For example, my clients have reported experiencing reduced staff turnover due to improved work environments, receiving raises or promotions within 6 months of concluding our engagement, and increasing team output with revenues increasing by over 12%.
If you would like to know more about unleashing your leadership through executive coaching, book your Vision Call with me here: https://calendly.com/elizabethsuarez/20-min. Imagine where you will be 6 months from now if you take the first step today. Let’s build your career together!
Looking for expert advice to help you move your career forward? Then, head to my YouTube channel where I share short videos designed to help you better manage your career, negotiate with confidence and keep you motivated to reach your goals.
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As a leadership and negotiation strategist, Elizabeth Suárez works with organizations to develop their professionals into effective leaders and influencers