Athletes train with coaches their entire career to achieve outstanding performance. Why wouldn’t you?
Choosing the right executive coach for you is important. There are many people who offer coaching services; some have completed formal training, while others offer specific business experience. Whoever you choose to work with it is important that you feel comfortable and confident that the investment will enable you to successfully achieve your goals. However before you select your coach, have you stopped to consider why you should invest in coaching?
According to the American Society for Training and Development, companies spent on average about 3.5% on training their employees in 2013. That worked out to just over 30 hours for each one for the year. The area that received the most attention was management and supervision, which demonstrates clearly the importance that organizations place on people.
Training and development has changed a lot in recent years. It used to be confined to workshops and seminars, but the Internet has now made it possible for people to obtain what they need online. Asynchronous learning has meant that material can be delivered at a time that suits the person who has enrolled in it, and because video can also be uploaded to the Web, the training can seem live.
Such training, however, is designed to be standalone. Typically any form of interaction is left out. One reason is that the trainers themselves don’t want to become personally involved with their customers. They want to create products and sell them. But that doesn’t obviate the need for a coach. In order for even the best online training to provide the maximum benefit, you need to have someone help you to implement it.
No two people are exactly the same. Their needs are different, as are their capabilities. A personal coach can help you to apply what you’ve learned in a way that will make it the most effective for you. And that means that you should invest in it.
Here are seven reasons to help you make your case.
- It will shorten your learning curve.
There’s no doubt that you are smart enough to figure out what you need to do to be more effective in your managerial role. The problem is time. You don’t have an unlimited amount of it. You need to be able to get results with your people as quickly as you can; and that’s where a coach can be most effective.
- You can avoid making mistakes that you would otherwise commit. You’ll find out what not to do just by floating ideas past your coach.
Any coach worth of the name will have already made the mistakes that you’re likely to make and, as a result, will be able to show you how to avoid making them yourself. We all make mistakes and we can all learn from them; but it’s much better to learn them vicariously than personally.
- You’ll get better results because everything will be tailored to your specific needs. No off-the-shelf, shrink-wrapped solutions.
Group training and development by its very nature has to be somewhat generic. If it’s made specific to one individual, then the others will be left out. This is especially apparent when one person in the group asks all the questions.
Coaching is like being the only one in the group.
- You’ll get insights that you would not otherwise get.
Someone who already knows the end from the beginning can see how your goals and expertise can be blended together. You can only see what you’d like to do; but even if you have a reasonable idea of how you might be able to do so, a coach will be able to see exactly how to dovetail your abilities into the aspirations you have.
- It will hold you accountable in a way that a workshop or seminar can’t.
If you’ve ever been on any group training, then you’ll know that it’s quite easy to hide in the shadows. That’s because it’s likely that other attendees may be better prepared that you are. That’s not to say that you have been lazy; it just means that you don’t necessarily have to be quite as ready for the next session as you do if you’re working one-on-one.
Knowing that it will be just you and your coach forces you to prepare for each session. And you’ll know exactly what you need to do because at the end of each one, you’ll agree with your coach on what you’ll accomplish by the next meeting.
- It will force you to discipline yourself, to develop better habits with your time.
Because your appointment with your coach isn’t flexible, it means that you will have to be ready at a specific time. You won’t have the liberty to change the day or the time at the last minute. You might get away with it once, but if you try it again, then your coach is likely to fire you as a customer.
- You’ll make a lifelong friend.
You may be thinking that you don’t need any more friends or that it’s a waste of money to “buy” one. But that’s not really what’s happening. The friendship comes as a result of working together. You’re paying for the expertise that will help you to the results you want in the shortest time possible, but an added bonus will be that you make a lifelong friend. And that person will always be there for you, whether it’s in your business pursuits, your family, or even other friends that you have.
We all need people, whether we think we do or not. This is one way to bring someone into sphere that you can trust. People like that are very hard to find.
This article first appeared on the Skyeteam’s blog in December 2014 http://skyeteam.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-coaching/