Finding a competitive advantage for your business is one thing. Sustaining it day to day is another. The perpetual grind of performance improvement can be overwhelming to say the least. Hell, getting out of bed is sometimes too much to think about.
The process of continual renewal for individuals and organizations is never-ending, which is exactly the reason why soliciting an external party in the form of coaching can help lead your business towards lasting success.
1. Eliminate tunnel vision
Whether it’s a life coach, leadership coach or business coach, having somebody with an array of diverse experiences only helps broaden your own awareness about yourself, others and the competitive landscape. Nobody learns in a vacuum — we learn through knowledge sharing that’s dependent upon relationships.
Think about it. When you read, you have a relationship with the author and you either adopt his or her viewpoint or not. When you travel, you have a relationship with the passenger sitting beside you — positive or not. In either case, you acquire new information that broadens your awareness.
2. Minimize errors
Coaches work with many clients. A coach can share past lessons learned from other clientele (while maintaining confidentiality, of course) who faced similar challenges, thereby saving you the time, money and emotional investment from repeating the mistakes yourself.
Don’t get me wrong — mistakes are healthy and necessary for improvement. However, to the extent that such lessons learned can be gained through somebody else’s experience, even better.
3. Say “ahh”
The saying that “it’s lonely at the top” is all too true, especially for those leaders unwilling to trust or talk with others. Sharing concerns with a coach offers two advantages.
First, it acts as an emotional release. Packing all your worries, gripes and frustrations into one suitcase of emotion has the same end state as at the airport: a high price. If you imagine your body as the suitcase and your clothes as emotions, there are only so many pairs of shoes you can stuff into that sucker until it goes “pop!”
Second, sharing concerns with a third party helps excavate the truth behind those emotions, as a coach can unearth the reasons why those emotions exist and look at the triggers that caused them in the first place. Once you know what triggers your negative emotions — and subsequent behavior — then you see stress levels dissipate and performance soar.
4. Get feedback
Soliciting an unbiased viewpoint serves not only as a strong sounding board to bounce ideas off of but also as a reality check to ensure those ideas aren’t the calm before the storm.
People don’t like conflict. They naturally shy away from having difficult conversations. Chances are that if you’re in a leadership position, then getting the feedback you need is few and far between for the simple fact that subordinates don’t want to get fired. Alternatively, a coach has no emotional investment in the matter and is actually doing his or her job.
In times of change, coaching serves as a solid backdrop of support. A good coach can help reign you back onto earth and get your feet planted firmly on the ground and avoid those matters that try to push you away from where you should be.