Why you should hire a coach, and how to go about it: leading through challenging times

Published by Dave Palfreyman on 11 Jan 2021

This week I had a coaching session with one of my clients and was left impressed and stunned at the amount of work they were dealing with. 50-hour weeks were often the norm, actually they were the minimum, despite only getting paid for 38 of them, and they were carrying an amount of responsibilities that a few years ago would have made most senior execs blanch. They tell me “there were simply not enough hours in the day, or days in the week to fit it all in”. Then they felt guilty if they had the audacity to not spend a few hours over the weekend checking their emails or telling themselves “I’ll just do this in preparation for next week.”

Living in interesting times…

The thing is this is not unusual any more. Since 2007 we’ve lived through recessions, double dip recessions, job cuts and huge changes to the business landscape. In the last decade we have seen an endless increase in the amount of work and responsibility leaving many of us over-worked, over-pressured and overwhelmed by it all. Then, just when we were thinking “I’ve got this,” we now have Covid-19 to deal with. We can’t point the finger of blame at employers, they are doing their best trying to weather the storm of external factors. In fact they need trained staff so it’s not in their interest to just get rid if they can help it.

So at this challenging time why should you hire a trained performance or executive coach?

Build resilience and avoid burn out

We all manage stress in different ways. Some people are good at it, thrive on it even, while others appear to find it too much. What we are talking about is how we manage change.

Being able to step or be pushed outside of our comfort zone and not feel threatened by it is what is referred to having good resilience. How we cope with stress is a very real challenge in today’s work place. Stress is that mental emotion caused by being over whelmed with tasks and decisions, especially where you are unprepared or have limited knowledge of the subject or information to work with.

Time with a coach can help you identify those all-important coping strategies, deal with those stressful situations. Help you understand how you adapt your current learning and assimilate new skills. Time with a coach is always particularly good for developing goals and developing a plan on how you will succeed.

Know thy self

We have within us the answers to the problems we face. The job of the coach is to help you identify just what that problem is and access your own knowledge of how to answer it and improve your own learning.

Stress is an idea killer. When we are overwhelmed, we hyper focus on problems and it can be hard to think creatively. Talking through an issue with a coach is often useful in helping you look at a problem from a different angle or perspective. Giving you more opportunities than you initially thought possible.

Efficacy versus efficiency protecting your valuable time.

Knowing that what you are about to do will be effective is efficacy, and getting it right first time, matters. Then knowing how to achieve that goal with the least amount of time resources and energy is efficiency.

The use of a coach can be particularly helpful in coming up with creative solutions, appraising your options, and planning for the future. Working with a coach will help you prioritise what needs doing now, what can be delegated to someone else or placed on the back burner? Does your current project need more than one person to manage it? Do you need to collaborate with someone else? Being effective and efficient gives you more time, more thinking time makes you feel more in control and less stressed.

How to Select A Coach

“But Coaching takes up too much time and it’s expensive!” Would you attempt to build a house without employing an architect?

While coaching was once seen as a luxury only employed by the most senior executives, its value to companies and organisations have been proved time and time again, particularly in increased productivity and efficiency of staff. There is a reason why the most productive companies in the world all employ coaches!

Coaches can be industry specialists or not, your organisation may have already invested and have internal coaches or you can buy them in. There are merits to both internal and external coaches.

Often it is useful having an external coach who does not know your organisation, as they don’t come with preconceived ideas of company policy custom and practice. Furthermore, clients often feel able to be more open and candid with external coaches guaranteeing their confidentiality from the organisation.

Trained coaches will contract specifically with you and your sponsor about confidentiality, so there are no grey areas. Coaches are all different so sometimes you may need to talk to a few to find the right fit for you. A good coach will understand that and not be offended if it’s not working.

What I would recommend is that you hire a trained, qualified coach that understands how to get the best from their clients. You need to feel like you have a rapport with the coach. A strong rapport will build trust, and with trust you will be able to delve deeper and learn more.

With that in mind what have you got to lose?

Interested in talking to one of our coaches? We have a great team of experienced and qualified coaches to choose from – visit www.thinkingthrough.com/coaching.

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