When it comes to the important things in your life, you don’t want to have to learn how to do them alone. For instance, how would you feel if you were handed a manual and told that you were going to be driving in a city for the first time in an hour, by yourself?
You’d probably be terrified. Let’s face it, some of us were terrified even with a qualified instructor sitting next to us! But at least with a driving instructor (or brave parent), you could be given real-time help and advice until you felt confident enough to pass your exam and go it alone.
Leadership can feel terrifying at times too. Sometimes we can feel out of our depth, have no support and guidance, expected to juggle teams and workloads, expected (or expect ourselves) to know everything. And getting advice from a book is all well and good, but how do you actually put it into practice?
There are many options available for leaders of all experience, including mentors and coaches. A mentor is usually someone more experienced or senior from within the company who can focus on your long term career development. Whereas a coach focuses on personal development, helping you to learn new skills or behaviours which will help you deliver results to your maximum potential.
And it’s never too late to get that support. We are all learning all of the time, from every experience we encounter – and we should never stop learning or thinking we need to.
An internal or external coach can provide you with real-time support, discussing situations as they happen. They can be a safe sounding board, listen to you, and challenge you to get results, improve relationships, expand your mind, and even help you work out a better work life balance. The results you get will be from building a trusting relationship between you.
Through recent research in Neuroscience, coaching has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, which leads to more sophisticated thinking, emotional intelligence, empathy and creativity. Coaching also helps create positive new neural pathways and build crucial connections, which are important for leaders to become more open to learning and obtain lasting change in behaviour and skills.
One senior executive said “the help I got from my coach was invaluable. It enabled me to come up with solutions to current situations I’d never considered before and I was then supported while I put them in to practice. You can’t get that from a book or a basic training course.”
Get assistance from your HR department regarding a mentor or coaching programme. Or contact us if you’re interested in finding out more about Executive Coaching.