Leaders like yourself engage in coaching for a wide range of reasons.
Perhaps you are looking to hone your skills in active listening, building executive presence, influencing others, or developing your direct reports. These are certainly worthwhile areas of focus for any coaching engagement, and clients and I work together on them often.
However, there is one rather counterintuitive benefit to having a coaching experience that I hear from nearly every leader I work with. Can you guess what it is?
Did you guess correctly? If so, I’d be surprised. This is because many clients initially worry about coaching as one more item to be added to their already bloated calendars. But as they move forward in the coaching experience, they begin to see the opportunity as a time-generator. A way to step out of the briskly flowing stream for a moment and gain clarity and perspective.
In this instance, the ‘time’ gained from coaching isn’t so much an improvement in time management (though that in itself is a worthwhile goal), instead, it’s the temporal benefits participants see from periodically stepping back to review their days and the big picture with their coach. Most of the leaders I work with are constantly inundated with information, feedback, and communications. They rarely have a moment to simply...stop, except for when we connect for coaching.
Setting aside time for yourself is invaluable. Most great ideas or strategic thoughts that you develop will come from gifting yourself the space to think. It is essential to preserve time for spontaneity.
The opportunity to have a dedicated time with the support and presence of an experienced coach to focus on what you feel needs attention is a gift. Maybe even just the one time you will have during the week to stop, breath and reflect. Clients report returning to work from a coaching session refreshed, more resilient and ready to double down on what matters and let go of the rest.
Meeting corporate goals and objectives. Achieving revenue targets. Reducing operating expenses. Bringing in the right skilled workforce. Writing performance reviews. Building a top leadership team. Keeping a Board happy. And on and on and on. These are the excellent and worthwhile reasons I hear from my clients about why they are afraid they won’t have time for coaching.
Bouncing ideas off a coach who is not intellectually and emotionally tied to your business can become pure gold for you within a long work week of endless meetings, critical business decision making, and fire-fighting.
Our responsibility as coaches is to encourage inquiry-based self-examination, reflection, and forward thinking. Unexamined behaviors can alienate you from yourself and others. The very stakeholders, direct and indirect, you want to engage and inspire.
That precious commodity of time as an element of the coaching experience allows you the uninterrupted opportunity to examine and challenge your own assumptions, fears and dreams.
Take the time. Enjoy the time. For a brief period of the week, it’s all about you.