The other day I was working with a group of leaders from a global company. The topic was coaching for their employees.
They were set up with the basic understanding of coaching and then paired off and asked to coach each other.
When they came back into the main room, one of the participants shared that it was beneficial for him to reflect on one of the roles on his team that had seen a lot of turnover in the last five years. Perhaps he needed to do a better job of describing the role to candidates.
And then he said, “But it didn’t feel like a coaching conversation, it just felt like a conversation.”
And there’s the rub.
Often in the corporate world, the idea of coaching feels punitive. And so people have a negative connotation towards it.
In reality, I think every leader should have a coach.
Because the role of a leader can feel lonely, you believe that you have to figure everything out on your own, and you can’t be seen as “weak” in front of your peers.
“80% of our leaders operate in a reactive state,” reports Adams & Anderson in their 2019 Leadership profile.
Is it any wonder that leadership decisions often seem short-sighted?
Coaching for high-level leaders helps them think about their thinking.
If you’re a leader, I bet you spend much of your time and energy focusing on immediate tasks, poor performers, and putting out fires.
Imagine having an intensely focused conversation on you and what you want to create—then expanding that vision even further than you ever thought possible. And then developing a strategy to help you and your team begin to live into that vision.
It’s hard to do that on your own.
As one of my mentor’s Rich Litvin, often says, “Good thinking is expensive, but poor thinking can cost a fortune.”
Today, make time for some good thinking.