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12 Dec. 2016 | Comments (0)

If you want to run a marathon, you hire a coach to help you train for success. If you want to win a chess tournament, you hire a coach to help you to capitalize on your strengths. If your team wants to win the championship, each player listens to the coach and the team finds its collective path.

But, too often, when it comes to our work lives, we assume we are supposed to be born with all the business acumen we will ever need – so we don’t ask for the professional help that make us into better, happier business people.

But, guess who does ask for help: The most successful executives in the world. 

One of the tools that these executives use to bring their careers and business to new heights is executive coaching. In 2013, Stanford Graduate School of Business did an executive coaching study and found that nearly 100% of CEOs who experienced executive coaching found the process extraordinarily valuable, opening them up to new ideas and experiences. Of the nearly 200 CEOs and directors who were polled (whose companies had revenues between $500 million and in excess of $2 billion), almost all said that they would recommend the process to others.

Below are a some of the common signs that will let you know if you, like the executives in the Stanford study, might want to seek out an executive coach for yourself or your business.

1. The desire to increase your earning potential

Let’s be real, this is most often the first reason business people invest in improved education and skills. And, when I first meet with clients, I am often surprised by how few of them have sought to maximize their earning potential simply by asking for what they are worth.  However, when we feel stuck at work and get caught in the rut of feeling undervalued, it can be difficult for us to ask for what we’d really like.  But a coach can help provide you with an honest mirror to assess your strengths and weaknesses. When you can clearly articulate your value, you can ask for what you are worth, and take your earning potential to the next level.

2. The desire to challenge yourself

The clients I work with have not hired me because they are content with things the way they are; they hire me because they want to bust though preconceived ideas and bring their work performance and their career to new heights. Whether you have a good understanding of what your professional challenges are or if you’d like more clarity around what your potential professional drawbacks might be, a coach can help you articulate those challenges and find actionable ways of helping you successfully address them.

3. The desire to develop better business relationships

According to the, International Coaching Federation, over 73% of people who hired a coach reported a feeling of having better and more engaged relationships with both co-workers and supervisors. Employers are rightly putting more and more focus on their employee’s emotional intelligence and ability to effectively communicate with their direct reports. Almost all of my clients say that one of their biggest goals, is to create more synergy with their team. They understand the problem, but don’t always see the solution which might be right in front of them. A good coach will listen to the challenges you are facing with your workforce – and help you to look at yourself in the mirror and find new ways that you can improve your communication skills and collaborate more effectively with your team.

4. The desire to truly look at your blind spots

Though many of us can articulate areas in our professional life where we would like to see improvement, few people can truly articulate their professional weaknesses and then address those challenges in productive ways. My goal with my clients is to gently help them to see problem patterns and then allow them to develop new strategies and new choices. Sometimes a simple adjustment in perspective is all that’s needed to move past even the most agonizing road block. A good coach can help you to turn problems into opportunities for meaningful growth.

5. The desire to create a long-term vision for your future

Everyone has to-do lists that are a mile long. I know I do. But, in tending to all of those demanding details, we run the risk of losing our larger vision. A coach can help you to prioritize all of the things you have to do by creating short, medium, and long-term vision plans. With a clear view of the big picture and a constructive plan to work towards it, you can achieve what you might have previously considered out of reach.

6. The desire to have a safe and confidential space to think

It can be challenging to discuss our professional challenges with colleagues. We can’t help but feel the demand to always look like we’re in control and we’ve got it all figured out. But a coach offers a safe, confidential space where you can discuss challenges and obstacles without fear of judgment or conflicts of interest.

Your coach is your champion, a helper dedicated to your success who can assist you to identify weak spots and, perhaps more importantly, see where you’ve been selling yourself short. A coach will help you take yourself to the new heights that you were always meant to climb.


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  • About the Author:Alexandra Phillips

    Alexandra Phillips

    Alexandra Phillips has over ten years of experience in coaching, consulting, professional development, and public speaking. She has worked as a career coach with executives at many organizations, incl…

    Full Bio | More from Alexandra Phillips


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