Should you consider leadership coaching? Maybe. Maybe not.
A leadership coach can help you develop and strengthen existing skills, identify areas where you need improvement, and help you become a better leader.
I’d like to share a helpful metaphor:
Hot air balloons work because warm air rises in cooler air. To get the balloon to inflate and rise, hot air is pumped into the balloon. But it needs to stay on the ground until it’s time to fly, so the balloon is tethered to the ground using sandbags, sort of like how a boat is tied to a dock.
When we’re trying to get better at anything, be it leadership or relationships, we need to learn new skills as well as develop our existing skills. But we also need to explore the things holding us back, like limiting beliefs, blind spots, poor lifestyle choices and bad habits.
From my perspective, it’s easier to put air into the balloon (skill building), and harder to recognize and fix the things that are keeping us stuck (blind spots). A coach can help you to work through those things a lot faster than doing it on your own.
Whether you hold a leadership position or title, each of us is a leader in some capacity. With your friend group, your family, your work, or your community, becoming a better leader will serve you for the rest of your life.
I know I’ve benefited from many different types of coaching over the course of my life and career. And I’ve definitely gotten a lot out of the leadership training and coaching I’ve received. My goal with this post is to help you figure out if leadership coaching is for you, or if it’s not.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What a leadership coach does
- Identifying any problems you’re struggling with
- Past attempts at improvement
- What specific actions were taken
- Time period
- Effective interventions
- Total impact
- Frustration level
Let’s get started.
What a leadership coach does
A leadership coach does a lot of things, but their primary goal is to help leaders perform at their highest levels. They work to solve existing problems like poor communication skills, identify limiting beliefs like a lack of worthiness, and prioritize new learning opportunities.
A coach can not only help the individual they’re working with, they also empower that leader to empower those they lead. In short, they help you become the best leader you can be.
What’s the biggest thing you’re struggling with?
I can remember my early experiences as a leader in my 20s. I was expected to not only lead others, but others who were significantly older than I was. To say I was in over my head was an understatement. Fortunately, I had access to a great coach and training programs that helped me through my discomfort and imposter syndrome.
What motivated you to search for information on leadership coaching? Was it a desire to get better, or have you encountered a problem or specific situation you’re struggling to overcome or solve? Spend some time thinking about all the times you wished you had more skills or experience in leadership, and write them down.
How have you tried to improve your skills?
I’ve never been one to wait around for something to happen. When I was struggling with my leadership responsibilities, I was proactive about getting better and finding solutions. This is what you’re doing as well, and I want to commend you for it.
Have you tried to improve your leadership skills on your own? Think and write down what comes to mind.
How did you go about it (be as specific as possible)?
If you have tried to work through the problem, either on your own or with the help of others, what did you do?
Did you already go down the path of hiring a coach? Did you take a course? Watch YouTube videos? Be as specific as possible and write down everything you tried to do.
How long have you been feeling like you need to make a change?
It took me a little while to realize I needed some outside help. It’s always been my default to try and work through problems on my own before reaching out to others. When it came to my struggles as a leader, I realized fairly quickly that I wasn’t going to be able to solve my own problems.
How long have you been feeling you need, or could benefit, from some assistance?
Before I go any further, I want to make sure of something- there was a time when I felt asking for help was a sign of weakness. As I’ve gotten older and more mature, I recognize that thinking is highly flawed. We can learn and benefit from the experience and mistakes of others. When we’re wise enough to recognize that, we can move a lot faster.
Have you tried anything that worked?
When reflecting back on your efforts, has anything worked? If yes, what did work?
While you’re thinking about it, what absolutely didn’t work?
Take some time to think about your past efforts and experiences.
How has this problem impacted you (monetarily, psychologically, physiologically)?
Everything has a cost. We pay for problems with money, time, energy and attention. While it may not be immediately obvious what your problem has cost you, it’s cost you something.
When you think about those four areas (money, time, attention and energy), how much has the problem cost you?
I’ve always been aware of the value of money, but experience has taught me the value of time, energy and attention. When we focus those resources on something, that means we’re unable to focus them on something else. When you look at the problem through that lens, how much do you think it’s cost you?
How frustrated are you right now?
After going through these questions, what are your thoughts? Do you view your problem the same, or differently. How are you going to proceed? Is your level of frustration great enough to enlist the help of someone or something? Or perhaps it’s not quite high enough to do anything about it.
Take some time and think about it.
And here’s another thought for you to chew on- You and I have enough time to do just about anything we want, but we don’t have enough time to waste. However you choose to proceed, do so as intentionally as possible.
With that in mind, I highly encourage you to get as clear about your future as you can be. One of my favorite human superpowers is our ability to create the futures we desire. We do that by properly setting goals.
While I’ve intellectually known the importance of goals for a really long time, it took me until 35 to actually sit down and do it. To help you in this process, you can access our Goals course for free and I encourage you to take advantage of it.
My final recommendation is for you to spend the amount of time necessary to clarify and crystallize your personal values. Our values are the lenses through which we see the world. They inform what we spend our resources on, and what we choose to not spend them on. To help you in your process, you can also access our Values course for free. Again, please take me up on it.
If you’d like to have a no-cost call with one of our coaches, you can connect with one of our Certified Coaches.
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