When it comes to taking advantage of executive coaching, many people do so to support them in overcoming a challenge they're facing. This could be anything from navigating imposter syndrome and developing confidence to understanding other people’s perspectives and preparing for global transition.
Although executive coaching and other forms of development, such as leadership and development programmes, are fantastic for the short term, they’re also hugely beneficial for the long term – two, five, ten, and even twenty years into the future.
If you’re considering working with executive coaches to support you in your professional or personal life, you might want to learn more about the benefits, especially if you need buy-in from a stakeholder.
Likewise, if you’re looking for an executive coach to work with an employee, learning more about the long-term benefits of executive coaching is beneficial as you can share these with your team.
Regardless of your reason for requiring executive coaching, CEO Zoé Lewis shares her top 5 long-term benefits of executive coaching in this blog to support you.
What Are The 5 Long-Term Benefits of Executive Coaching?
There are many short and long-term benefits of executive coaching. For many people, these include:
An increase in confidence
Better interpersonal skills
Improved problem-solving and decision-making abilities
In addition, the benefits of executive coaching can be felt by the whole organisation. For example, organisations often notice an increase in:
collaboration in the workplace
clarity and perspective
With some insight into the benefits of coaching, here are our top 5 long-term benefits of executive coaching.
Improved leadership skills
When seeking executive coaching, many people want to improve their leadership skills. Some might be new leaders recently promoted, whilst others may be joining a new organisation or working with a new team.
In this case, it’s not uncommon for leaders to want to enhance their abilities to manage and develop talent, lead people with inspiration, motivation, and engagement, or increase their understanding of other people’s perspectives.
According to a study by Kombarakaran et al., 81% of 114 executive coaching participants reported meeting their expectations in coaching. A principal components analysis revealed five areas of improvement:
People management - managing direct reports, influencing, conflict management, giving feedback, and leadership style.
Relationships with manager
Goal setting and prioritisation
Productivity and personal engagement with work
Communicating with others
Increased self-awareness and responsibility
Another area we frequently hear leaders and managers requiring support in is increasing their self-awareness and responsibility.
Regardless of whether a leader has been leading for one year or five, it’s not uncommon to experience self-doubt and imposter syndrome. Working with executive coaches supports leaders in opening up so they can deal with anything they face.
In an article, Harvard Business Review shares the importance of leaders developing self-awareness and how acting on that self-awareness through responsibility leads to better leadership when working with a coach.
The coaching enables the leader to take different perspectives on board about how they are experienced and the links between that and great leadership.
Self-awareness is the starting block of emotional intelligence, made famous through the work of Daniel Goleman and referred to significantly in the book he co-authored, Primal Leadership.
Emotional Quotient (EQ) is said to tip the scales more in leadership than Intellectual Quotient (IQ), so increased self-awareness, combined with a desire to improve one's leadership skills and working with an executive coach to do this, creates a lasting change in a leader that has a ripple effect that lasts way beyond the coaching itself.
Increased job satisfaction and engagement
Considering how a leader’s emotional well-being impacts the people they lead (neuroscience research by Dr. Tara Swart referenced in the Diary of a CEO podcast), the longer-term impact of executive coaching not only impacts the well-being and employee engagement of the leader but also the people they lead, bringing increased well-being and higher employee engagement to the organisation.
Long-term personal transformation
Research conducted as part of The long-term impact of coaching in an executive MBA program discovered that when business schools were asked to select the top development activity for leadership, they said coaching/mentoring. Three themes emerged from the study:
Coaching results in personal development by overcoming personal deficiencies
Coaching translates into learning about leadership
Coaching motivates sustained change
Some of the participant's comments include:
“Coaching opened up my eyes to my own insecurities and my own biases taught me how to be more tolerant of others.”
“The coaching experience was valuable, personally, professionally and academically.”
“A lot of what I focused on was a lot of personal development, and of course, that evolved into leadership development as well.”
“The coach was able to help me translate and take some personal characteristic traits and turn that into something I could work on to communicate more effectively.”
The qualitative data supports the quantitative data findings and indicates that the results can be attributed, at least partially, to the coaching experience.
Enhanced problem-solving and decision-making
One of the challenges regularly presented to The Leadership Coaches is the challenge that leaders face as they move through the transitional points of leadership, e.g., manager to leader.
A frequent leadership challenge is “How do I develop the ability to effectively analyse where we are at the moment and make some strategic decisions on where we need to focus?”
A study by Consulting Psychology Journal discovered that executive coaching helped leaders develop better problem-solving and decision-making skills. As a result of coaching, participants demonstrated an increased capacity to analyse complex issues, consider multiple perspectives, and make strategic decisions.
Coaching uses many techniques, and some of these include perception-taking and time-lining. An excellent executive coach knows the right incisive question to ask to provoke the leader's thinking and learning so they start to develop and/or improve critical leadership skills.
As shared throughout this blog, there are a wide range of benefits associated with executive coaching. However, it’s important to remember that we’re all different, so what we need from coaching will influence the long-term benefits of executive coaching that we personally experience.
With an understanding of our top 5 long term benefits of executive coaching, contact us today to learn more about how our team of credible executive coaches can support you in your development journey.