By Steve DiIoia
AS A LEADER, ONE OF YOUR MAIN GOALS IS TO INFLUENCE OTHERS TO ACT TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL. If your influence is negative—or if you have little influence on the people in your organization— that can be bad news for the organization.
There are many factors that contribute to your effectiveness as an influential leader. It involves a discussion about your own self-awareness.
So what are you to do? How do you know if you even have a problem if you lack awareness of the problem? If you feel stuck or unsure of what direction to take, that is usually a clear sign pointing you towards the need for some assistance.
This assistance could come in the form of an executive or professional coach.
The International Coach Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. Standing on this foundation, the coach’s responsibility is to:
• Discover, clarify and align with what you want to achieve; • Encourage your self-discovery; • Guide you towards self-generated solutions and strategies; • Hold you responsible and accountable.
This process helps you dramatically improve your outlook on work and life, while improving your leadership skills and unlocking your potential.
While there are various parts to this process, it mainly centers on raising awareness of your current situation. Many times, this awareness focuses on the resistance we have to change. In the field of coaching, resistance is neither bad nor good; it just is. It is an aspect to explore, and through that exploration, self-awareness is gained. A coach assists you in becoming aware of the resistance within yourself and the reason for that resistance.
Once you become aware of your resistance, actions can be discussed and developed. Whether the decision is to change or to not change, self-awareness has been achieved and you now can become unstuck and move forward. By gaining self-awareness and the ability to move forward, you can begin to have great influence on those you lead once again. This allows you to begin to make a difference in your organization and help those you lead grow in their positions, too.
One example of this is the case of a small-business owner who had grown from just three people working out of a house to seven working in an office in just a few months. There had been an issue of some of the new people not addressing issues in a timely manner. When exploring the situation with the owner as her coach, it was discovered that the organizational structure of leadership was not defined. The owner enjoyed the organic style of organization they had with three people; it allowed creativity and free environment where she was comfortable. Through our discussion, the owner became aware that she was resistant to changing the structure because she was afraid of losing the creativity and free environment. However, now that the business had grown, structure was needed in order for people to understand to whom they reported and who they managed in order for tasks to be done effectively. She decided to go to her team so they could develop a reporting structure that would maintain creativity.
An executive/professional coach is someone outside the organization who is free from the hierarchy or other relational entanglements who works with you in an honest, open and cooperative relationship for your benefit. Your success is your coach’s goal. What would this be worth to you as a leader and to your organization?
If you are interested in exploring the benefits of coaching with the Insyte team, contact our office at 636.3626 to schedule a meeting.