Coaching

Five Strengths Coaches Bring to Your Table

Oftentimes I’m asked: “sure coaching, but does it really work?” And the answer is obviously: “yes, it does”. Other than pointing to independent research (see my previous article), there are some distinct benefits you get from working with a coach. Here are 5 essential ones:

A coach keeps you on track

A coaching relation starts (at least when working with me) with a solid mutual understanding of your vision, values and goals. Oftentimes I’ve seen that momentum is lost and motivation crumbles when we loose connection with these core elements of our being. Coaching ensures that you stay connected and that you don’t divert from those things you really treasure.

You get immediate feedback

You get what you buy. Oftentimes that implies that the vendor hides imperfection and sells you a dream. You can tell a coach anything you want, a coach will give you back i.m.m.e.d.i.a.t.e.l.y. what you are projecting, allowing you to understand and grow from there. When was the last time someone, anyone, really listened and gave you an honest feedback?

She hacks your growth

Keeping you close to your core, I keep you in check with your future. Oftentimes, we entrepreneurs, get faced with bolders that feel unsurmountable. However, our sheer will, passion and dedication, makes us believe we will prevail. Now imagine having someone by your side turning the boulders into pebbles, shifting your perspective and unlocking new paths to accomplish your objective.

She creates accountability

Isn’t it easy to say: “YES!” and than do something else, forget about it and having an excuse ready whenever you get called out upon it? After all, who is having your back? Who makes sure you keep to your promises to yourself? Your coach creates an environment where commitment happens. Your coach will make you commit and hold you accountable. When your coach sees it is really important to you, she will make you commit and make sure you deliver. She will make you accountable and champion you.

Your natural leadership comes to fruition

We all are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. Being recognised for your true self unlocks all possibilities to further your journey starting from a place of conviction, passion and dedication. You unlock your potential and break through the boundaries you’ve set yourself today. What else would be possible? What more can be achieved?Really?

Does it really work?

Yes it does. In my previous article I touched upon a bunch of studies all supporting the ROI of coaching in leadership. Not sure whether it’s for you? Give it a try! Sample sessions are generally offered for free (like here): just call a couple of coaches, see how it works for you. Experience it.

Coaching

Coaching pays off. Here’s why.

“I encourage most of the CEOs I work with to get mentors or coaches (or both).” Fred Wilson, Union Square Ventures (investments include Twitter, FourSquare, Zynga)

 

Who am I to state something different? After all, with 2 startups under my belt (and a Red Herring), I can state with confidence that with a coach, I definitely would have gotten to my goals much quicker and way more efficiently. Coaching really helps entrepreneurs become more successful by reaching and sustaining peak performance.

Studies in larger organizations show that coaching top executives at large companies yields 5 to 7 times the company’s initial investment! While studies haven’t been done on the value of coaching on smaller companies and startups, it’s reasonable to expect that entrepreneurs are under similar pressures and their actions at least as critical to the success of their organizations so that the value of coaching might be greater.

Entrepreneurs are generally lifelong learners; an executive coach may be the only person in your life who is solely devoted to accelerating and supporting your learning, growth, and self-knowledge. This in turn supports you making the best possible decisions and doing the best possible work for your company.

Wondering if coaching is worth it? Here are some studies about the return on investment for coaching:

  • Companies that have used professional coaching for business reasons have seen a median return on their investment of 7 times their initial investment, according to a study commissioned by ICF, and conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Association Resource Centre Inc. (ICF Global Coaching Client Study, 2009)
  • A study commissioned by a professional services firm, and performed by MatrixGlobal showed that the ROI on coaching was 6.8x the initial investment. (The Business Impact of Leadership Coaching at a Professional Services Firm, Merrill C. Anderson, PhD, 2006)
  • Three stock portfolios comprised only of companies that spend aggressively on employee development each outperformed the S&P 500 by 17-35% during 2003. (How’s Your Return on People? Harvard Business Review, Laurie Bassi and Daniel McMurrer, 2004)
  • Employees at Nortel Networks estimate that their coaching programs earned the company a 5.2x return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business, according to calculations prepared by Merrill C. Anderson, a professor of clinical education at Drake University. Including the financial benefits from employee retention boosted the returns to 7.8x the initial investment. (Coaching the Coaches, Psychology Today, 2004, and Case Study on the Return on Investment of Executive Coaching, Merrill C. Anderson, PhD, 2001)
  • According to a study of senior level executives at Fortune 1000 companies who received developmental coaching, the average return from the programs was nearly 5.7 times the initial investment. (Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching, The Manchester Review, Volume 6, Number 1, Joy McGovern, et.al., 2001).

Oh, one last note: don’t forget to do your homework. Don’t settle for any coach: look for coaches with an appropriate training (CTI, Newfield Network, Hudson Institute…), who adhere to the International Coach Federation (ICF) and are certified or at least under certification. Get a sample session, see how it gels and don’t hold back. A good coach won’t do that either…