As a CEO or business owner, you’re expected to answer questions, solve problems, and make decisions that benefit your organization.
You challenge employees to dig deeper and continuously update their skills.
But how do you invest in your own professional development? What happens when you have a question? Need constructive feedback? As the old saying goes, “It gets lonely at the top.”
That is where executive coaching can help.
In a survey by researchers at Stanford University and The Miles Group, 66% of CEOs, board directors, and senior executives reported that they do not receive any outside coaching. Almost 100%, however, would be receptive to constructive outside feedback from a qualified coach.
Let’s take a look at how CEOs and business owners can become more effective leaders through executive coaching.
#1: Get Objective, Third-Person Perspective
Ask any top athlete from football, tennis, golf, or any other sport, and they’ll tell you how important good coaching is for sustained success.
Many business leaders have also learned that coaching isn’t just for sports. Microsoft founder Bill Gates believes that everyone should have a coach, and former Google CEO Eric Schmidt says the best advice he ever got was to hire one.
No matter how much you’ve accomplished, there’s always room to expand your skill set and apply new knowledge to keep thriving in today’s challenging business environment.
A qualified executive coach with prior leadership experience, and who understands what it’s like to make the tough calls, brings a fresh pair of eyes to the issues your organization faces.
That unbiased outside perspective, shared in a confidential setting, is just what many leaders need for identifying opportunities, confronting challenges, making strategic decisions, and resolving conflicts.
#2: Guide Your Decision-Making
Coaching can take place in group or individual sessions and informs your decision-making across a wide range of topics in a supportive, confidential setting.
For example, members of Vistage International include CEOs and small business owners who gather for monthly peer advisory group meetings, facilitated by a local Vistage Chair. The Vistage Chair is an executive coach who has previously served as a CEO or similar leadership role in an organization.
Vistage groups provide a forum in which leaders can listen to one another, address pressing problems, evaluate opportunities, and work on strategic and operational issues in a collaborative, supportive setting.
Members also benefit from a monthly one-to-one meeting with the Vistage Chair. Individual coaching sessions help the member uncover pressing needs and promising opportunities for his or her business.
#3: Build Self-Awareness
Research indicates that executive coaching is an excellent way for organizational leaders to develop self-awareness.
What is self awareness? It has been described as honest knowledge about oneself, especially one’s “motives, personality capabilities, and values,” and is one of the most important so-called “soft skills” a person can develop for professional and personal success.
#4: Enhance Business Relationships
Relationships are perhaps the most valuable asset you have in any business, and executive coaching is an excellent way to improve relationship skills in a professional setting.
One of the biggest concerns with respect to relational issues is conflict management. In fact, the Stanford/Miles survey found that 43% of CEOs rated “conflict management skills” as their most pressing area for personal development when working with an executive coach.
And it’s no wonder. Many decisions require you to make at least one person unhappy. Those without good conflict management skills might put off tough choices, which means they often cascade into bigger problems down the road.
Effective coaching can help you to manage conflict in a constructive way and arrive at a better outcome for all involved.
Other top relationship skills that CEOs should focus on, according to the Stanford/Miles survey, include mentoring and developing internal talent, and delegating responsibilities to others.
#5: Grow Your Business
In addition to the benefits described above, research indicates that executive coaching is also good for business.
- A 2015 study by Dun & Bradstreet found that business leaders who joined Vistage International within the past five years grew their companies at three times the average rate of other U.S. companies.
- Deloitte has found that businesses that use coaching effectively are 130% more likely to report strong business results, are 33% more effective at managing employees, and enjoy 42% higher employee productivity.
- Other assessments indicate that coaching may yield a positive ROI when it is well matched to the needs of the organization involved.
Do you need more information about whether executive coaching could benefit you? Contact us at Global Advisory Associates. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you meet and exceed your business goals.