Executive coaches provide guidance and ask powerful questions to empower you to improve performance in the workplace. They also can sometimes offer advice on how to manage stress and develop leadership skills. However, many people who have never worked with an executive coach before ask me, “what benefits can I expect from working with an executive coach?” Below, I’ve included 10 ways that I believe an executive coach can help to make you more successful.
1. Clarify Your Definition of Success.
Many of the clients I work with are ambitious professionals who have spent years of their life accomplishing goals with laser focus. The shadow side of this strength; however, is that many successful people have never slowed down to ask themselves why they want the things that they want. They’ve been so busy checking things off the list that they forget to check-in and see how accomplishing these goals is making them feel. An executive coach can help you to pause and will ask you powerful questions about your motivation behind accomplishing your goals.
In this exploration, a coach can also help you to uncover what it is you truly value. Through exercises and self-inquiry, a coach can help you realize which values you’re actually living in vs. which values you’d like to ideally live in in the future. They can also help you hone in on your “Zone of Genius”, a term coined by Gay Hendricks in his book, “The Big Leap.” This basically is a fun term for the state you enter when you’re in “flow” – you feel energized by the task at hand AND you’re very good at it.
2. Help You to Prevent Burnout.
With burnout at an all-time high, an executive coach can help you to set boundaries in the workplace and practice saying “no” to requests that are outside of your job description. A coach can also help you to “job craft” and take on more projects and responsibilities in your zone of genius. This will help you to feel more energized throughout the day and engaged in your work.
3. Learn to Give and Receive Feedback.
If you struggle with having tough conversations and shy away from speaking your truth, an executive coach can help. A coach can give you tools to help process your emotions, formulate your thoughts, and craft a specific request when giving and receiving feedback. They can also help you to assess the feedback that’s given to you so you can decide whether or not you want to incorporate it and how to move forward.
4. Increase Self-Confidence.
No matter how successful a person is or what title they earn, we all experience moments of self-doubt. In a study from 2020, up to 82% of participants reported experiencing imposter syndrome. A coach can help you to identify how your self-doubt appears and take action to overcome it. Whether that’s in the form of imposter syndrome or “Saboteurs,” negative voices in your head that tell you you can’t do something, a coach can provide exercises to boost your self-confidence.
5. Hone Your Executive Presence.
If you’ve ever struggled to see how powerful you really are, a coach can help you to embody your executive presence and step into your role as a leader. Through visualizations, role play and awareness of your body language, a coach can empower you to step into your own authentic style of leadership. A coach can also work with you to leverage your own authentic voice and craft your vision for your team, company or future endeavors.
6. Build Resilience and Tolerance for Failure.
At the beginning of our work, many of my clients come to coaching worried about their ability to survive a failure. Some struggle with separating their self-worth from what they achieve in life. Others, don’t believe they have enough resilience in order to handle a failure, should it arise. As a result, many feel stuck and hesitate to take the first step to go after what they want in life. Through coaching, we examine their limiting beliefs, normalize failure and create strategies that help them feel safe to move forward.
7. Help You Develop a Growth Mindset.
A growth mindset is one where people believe that they can learn new things and become better at what they do. If you think you can learn something new, then you will be more likely to try out new ideas and take risks. This helps you stay motivated and engaged with your work. Through coaching, a client will often learn new skills and develop a level of self-awareness that they previously didn’t have. As a result, they are able to observe their thoughts, increase self-command, and feel empowered to choose how they respond to their negative thoughts and limiting beliefs.
8. Provide Feedback That Helps You Grow.
As an executive coach, I often hear clients say that they feel stuck in their careers. They’re not sure how to move forward because they don’t know what skills they need to develop or what steps they should take next. A coach can help you to connect the dots between your past experience to where you want to go next. Some executive coaches may also offer a 360-degree review where you will receive feedback from several different stakeholders (it could be your current or past boss, employees, co-workers, clients or members of the board). This can be an invaluable tool to be able to understand how you’re perceived not just by your coach, but also by many people who engage with you closely in your work. A coach may also offer to shadow your meetings or provide feedback or observation on how you’re showing up in different environments.
9. Give You Tools to Succeed.
A good executive coach will provide tools to help you succeed. These tools might include advice on how to improve your communication skills, learn new technologies, or even find a new position within your company. Some coaches will offer tactical techniques to improve networking abilities, role-play salary negotiations or review and assess your resume. Coaches may also work with you to help navigate your current working environment and how to ask for a promotion.
10. Show You How to Manage Yourself Better.
As an executive and business coach, I work with people at every level of their careers. One thing I notice is that some leaders struggle with self-management. They often feel overwhelmed by the number of tasks they need to complete each day. This leads them to procrastinate, miss deadlines, and make mistakes. A coach can help to hold you accountable, work with you to develop an organization system and ask questions to help you identify what tasks are the highest priority or will make the largest impact.
A coach may also help you to craft a routine that allows you to prioritize activities that are most important for you. Whether that’s owning your mornings, sticking to a fitness routine or creating a schedule that allows you to spend more time with loved ones, coaching can be powerful to help you understand where you’re spending your time and what that means about your priorities.
Executive coaches are not a silver bullet for success
Like all things, an executive coach is not a silver bullet or guarantee for success. When choosing to work with one, know that there will be a significant time and financial investment required in order to create the change you want to see in your life. While coaches may sometimes play a consultant or mentor role when they provide advice or suggestions, the power of true coaching comes from asking powerful questions to empower you to make your own decisions.
PS. Being a leader can be lonely – but it doesn’t have to be. Imagine having support as you navigate the topics above. If you struggle with some of the same topics that were outlined in this article, let’s talk…
Summer is a coach, writer, speaker and the founder of Created with Confidence. When she’s not working with clients or spending time outdoors, her favorite thing is helping ambitious humans succeed in following their dreams.