Coaching at its very core is about developing judgment and building the character, capabilities, and expertise in the person the coach is leading or influencing.

Coaches have a desire to win and help their coachees contribute to the organization now and in the future.  They raise the bar to ensure that the organization’s mission and desired results are achieved and they help individuals stay relevant and competitive in their work or profession.

This is why organizations need to be filled with leaders who coach.

At CMOE, our view is that effective coaching provides a strategic, competitive advantage for the firm and for employees because organizations and individuals alike play a fundamental role in the economic system—they are a solution to someone’s problem, either customers (internal or external), key stakeholders, or sponsors.  

Whether we like it or not, individuals live and organizations operate in a competitive world.  This means we have to be actively and continually improving and elevating our game to stay relevant.  If we don’t actively discover nuances in how we do our work and ways to up our game, we risk becoming extinct.  We put our job at risk and can put our organizations at risk.  

In order to stay competitive and avoid becoming extinct, we all need a coach in the organization who has a vested interest in our current and future success; someone who is effective at observing and willing to challenge and critique our results and behaviors. Usually, but not always, that coach sits in a leadership role.  The coach should always be someone who cares about the team and the individual and their ability to compete and stay relevant.

Another reason why coaching is so important is because it is impossible to run a high performance business unless leaders can have honest coaching discussions about people’s performance.  Accountability is realized through coaching and accountability is the life blood of organizations.

Coaching builds relationships, improves communication, it enhances alignment, and increases engagement because it makes team members feel valued when their coach has an interest in their success.

Unfortunately some leaders don’t care, won’t take the time, or don’t have the courage to have open, transparent, heart to heart coaching conversations.  To compound the problem further, some workers don’t care about their job, don’t want to learn, have a fear of feedback, or lack engagement in the organization and its mission.

Coaches are significantly more effective when they understand why they need to coach and have team members who welcome the guidance, experience, and perspective of their coach: a coach that will say it like they see it and also acknowledge opportunities to be better.  But since that isn’t always the case, coaches need leadership maturity, an appreciation for the value of coaching, a coaching process to follow, and a willingness to do it.

When leaders are also effective coaches, the value of coaching emerges and presents itself in improved accountability, better engagement and relationships, increased competitive advantage, and greater bottom line results.

Think of it in terms of a sports team—a team or individual cannot maximize its potential and “win” without a coach guiding and influencing improvement and recognizing positive results.  Even the best athletes in the world have a coach.  So how can organizations expect to get the best from employees if they don’t have a coaching culture that helps employees maximize their performance potential and reach new levels of excellence?

Tell us what you think.  Share with us why you think coaching is an important and enduring part of leadership.

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About the Author
Steven Stowell, Ph.D.
Dr. Steven J. Stowell is the Founder and President of the Center for Management and Organization Effectiveness, Inc. CMOE was created in 1978 for the purpose of helping individuals and teams maximize their effectiveness and create strategic competitiveness. Steve’s special interests lie in helping leaders and organizations transform into high-performance cultures that are focused on long-term, sustained growth.

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