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  • Writer's picturePeter McKenzie

5 Reasons why you should get an Executive Coach

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Up until my early 40s I had always gone it alone when it came to my career. It seemed to me that it was my personal responsibility to get my life in order and get my priorities right. Hire a coach? Not for me! I was more interested in replacing my tatty old couch than thinking about a coach!

However, then I hit a time in my life when, despite being relatively successful (by my standards) I had hit a plateau. After complaining about that with a friend over a beer, he convinced me that I needed to find a coach to refloat and reenergize my career as well as boost my performance.

I wasn´t convinced. Spend quite a bit of money just to talk to someone? What would they know that I didn´t? Wasn´t it going to be like seeing a therapist? How could I work out the ROI on that (ROI – “return on investment” – don´t forget I am a finance guy).

However, I took the plunge and have never looked back. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had hired a coach years (and I mean years) before! I am now so convinced by the power of coaching that I myself have become an executive coach. Of course, I also still have a coach myself (shout out here to the “batman” Bruce Wade).

So why should you invest in a coach? Well, here are 5 compelling reasons:

1) They improve your performance...period!

Let´s face it, if Rafa Nadal, the world´s best tennis player has a coach to help him with his backhand and basketball´s number one, LeBron James has a coach to aid him hit more 3 pointers, why would you think that your own performance can´t be enhanced by using a coach?

A coach helps focus you in on what counts. Also, it has been shown time and time again that by simply tracking your performance more regularly, it will improve without doing much else. Progress is just much quicker if you have someone guiding and training you. This fact alone provides the ROI for hiring a coach.

2) They listen

Most times when you tell someone the challenges that you face, the immediate response is for them to jump in and give you advice. Worst still, they tell you a story about the situation they were in and how they managed to get out of it. But it´s not about them, it´s about you!

Michael Bungay Stanier, one of my coaching gurus, wrote a book called “The Advice Monster”. It is a trap that many would be coaches fall into. When I was a new coach, I remember I had to bite my tongue to prevent my own “advice monster” emerging. It took great effort to keep silent, listen and let my client actually explain what was happening to them.

This, though, is the key to coaching. A coach is there to really listen. They let you talk. This gives you the opportunity to turn things around and really think about issues and the possible solutions. A coach should be there to ask questions about what you think needs to be done. There are few people in your life who will listen to you like your coach.

3) They mirror, challenge and give perspective

Apart from listening, a good coach will mirror what you have said, bouncing your ideas straight back to you. This allows you to review rethink and reposition the situation that you are facing. Your coach will challenge your assumptions and ask many questions which will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to see things from a new perspective.

This process is what coaching is all about. Coaching enables you to see more options than those you previously considered, to weigh up choices and to meditate on the best response. On top of that, they can of course give you their view and advice.

My coaches have all been experienced in my own line of work and I have been able to leverage their experience to really accelerate my own professional growth. Not only that, they also provided me a series of proven mindset tools to structure the way I set personal objectives, which vastly improved my performance. Choose the right coach and you too will be able to do the same.

4) They force accountability

This is a big one! Personally, I feel that I am self-motivated, but there is nothing like committing to targets publicly in front of my coach to ensure I follow through. (Self -motivation works until it doesn´t, right?!)

A coach forces you to be accountable to yourself and this means that you become more consistent and persistent in pursuing your objectives. Most growth inevitably comes in spurts and there are moments where performance hits a long plateau. This is where your coach will continue to guide you to keep going, to be accountable and do the work needed to reach a higher, optimal level of performance.

5) They give neutral, honest and objective feedback

An executive coach is not your friend, but if you pick the right coach, they will be your supporter, in your corner, rooting for you. Part of the coaching process revolves around the fact that a coach is there to give candid, frank, honest and independent feedback to their clients. Sometimes they can be the only person in your life that can really do this. For me, this sometimes “brutal” feedback I received was the spur I needed to really up my game.

If you are like most people though, perhaps what you need is the opposite. You may be overly critical about yourself with too much negative self-talk. A coach is there to offer you an honest, trusted opinion about your performance and your progress, which may well be more encouraging than your own view. This will allow you to become less self-critical, to be more willing to experiment and make mistakes, ultimately leading to being able to perform better.

In summary, if you want to fast-track your career, hiring an executive coach is one of the best solutions. In my experience the ROI form hiring a coach has come in many ways – not just through increased salary, but also through improved mental and physical health and better confidence in my own ability.

A good coach will help you open your mind, see your strengths and weaknesses clearer and help you articulate what you really want, as well as defining a path towards your ultimate goal.

A coach will provide you a compass to guide you on your career path, whilst becoming the most effective leader you can be.

So, after reading that, what more convincing do you need? What are you waiting for?

Book a session with an executive coach now!

(If you don´t know where to find one, please reach out to me and I will help)

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1 Comment

Gordon Tredgold
Gordon Tredgold
Mar 04, 2022

Completely agree with all these points

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