Having way too much to do has become a universal truth in the business world. A 40-hour work week is practically considered part-time and most people are handling a workload that used to be managed by two or even three people just a few years ago. Many people are simply overwhelmed by it all. As easy as it would be to blame the employers and companies it’s not really their fault, and fixing it may not even be in their power. For the most part, companies are doing their best to survive and thrive using the resources they have while they deal with rising costs, tough competition and global uncertainty. Since the current level of overwhelm is pretty much the new normal, thinking way outside of the box, aligning priorities, cultivating ideas and finding ways to energize people in spite of it all is the only way to manage and grow without letting stress get the best of us. Enter professional coaching.
While training and development budgets sadly were slashed during the economic downturn, executive and business coaching is on the rise globally. The $2.4 billion business coaching industry is growing at about 18% per year according to a recent study by the National Post, and business coaching is being reported as one of the fastest growing industries in the world, following the IT industry.
So why would YOU engage a professional coach for yourself or your team?
Reason #1 – To Protect The Most Important Personal And Professional Commodity-Your Time. Knowing what to do first, what matters most and how to handle the volume of demand on our time is a critical factor in all of the important things in life and work. You name it (money, family, work relationships, prospecting, planning, parenting and health) and it will most likely be affected dramatically by your ability to manage time and work flow. A third party in your corner, such as a business coach or sales coach, can help you have a huge impact on your ability to manage time and do it well.
Reason #2 – You Need Accelerated Learning Of A Skill Or Concept. So much of how we are gauged in today’s business world is impacted by how much we know and how quickly we can learn new things and adapt them with what we already know. Whether you need to learn how to build a pipeline, manage people, be a better leader, use the new software or be productive from your new home office, having a professional coach with a specialty in your area of need can speed this process along dramatically.
Reason #3 – To Avoid Burnout, Cope With The Stress Of Change And Breathe Life Into Your Career/Job. Nobody likes change but some people deal with it a lot better than others. People who can roll with change and even embrace it were probably not always that way. Chances are they had some major realization or had some outside help. Coping with change or stress and feeling good at work is a very realistic goal and is completely achievable with coaching. Some wise person once said that survival in today’s environment is about being willing to take a punch and get back up. If the “punch” is inevitable, then some focused time with a coach can create all kinds of alternatives to falling down or at least help with getting back up.
“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” -Abraham Lincoln
Reason #4 – Harness The Creative Power Of Your Own Mind. In many cases we have the answers to even the most complex problems within our brain, and coaching helps to access that wisdom and help you use your brain in a positive way. Stress is an idea killer, and when mixed with fatigue and overwhelm, it can make you think your brain is failing you. But a change in perspective and learning how to use your brain the way it was designed to serve you can be a game-changer for anyone, at any level. Ask the inventors of everything from the Post-It™ to the I-Pad-one brain, one idea, one thought can create a windfall of good, good things for a lot of people.
But Doesn’t Coaching Just Take Up More Time? Just as exercising actually gives you more energy, taking time out each week to clarify your priorities and plan out your approach can actually end up saving you a lot of time. In a 2001 ROI study on the impact of executive coaching companies reported a 53% in increase in productivity as well as a 48% increase in the quality of work from managers who worked with a coach. *Source Manchester review 2001 Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioral Change, Organizational Outcomes, and Return on Investment
Why Should I Pay For “Therapy” For My Team? Solution focused business coaching is not therapy at all. Therapy, while very valuable, is usually about healing the past and focuses on understanding our emotions and feelings and our history. Coaching focuses entirely on the future and at its most fundamental level focuses on forward movement. Coaching can have a very positive and measurable impact on work relationships however. In the same study quoted above employers reported a 60-70% improvement in relationships with reports, stakeholders and peers as well as a 52% reduction in work conflict. Source Manchester review 2001 Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioral Change, Organizational Outcomes, and Return on Investment
How To Select A Coach
Coaches can be as specialized or as general as you want them to be. It is completely unnecessary to choose someone who specializes in your industry, because getting a fresh, outside perspective is one of the best things about hiring a coach. But I recommend that you choose someone with professional experience in your main area of desired growth-for example, a sales coach, strategic planning coach, leadership coach, executive development, life coach, etc. And choosing someone with formal coaching education will increase your likelihood of getting a good coach who knows how to work with even your biggest obstacles. Try to be open to new ideas and approaches, but in the end you must really like what the coach has to say, and you should feel like the two of you really “clicked” when it comes to communication styles. Now go forth, and make that big shift at work and in life.