One of the essential things we do as Executive Coaches is help our clients to increase their level of self-awareness, harness their strengths and manage their challenges. Feedback is an essential part of this process as Daniel Goleman has written “the range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice”. The more powerful one is in an organisation the more difficult it can be to get straight feedback. The coaching process can be extremely useful in this space as it offers a leader the opportunity to explore with their coach what is working already, what challenges they face and what resources are available to them to provide support.
In the Harvard Business Review, January-February 2011 edition Anne Morriss, Robin J. Ely and Frances X. Frei suggest that many people unwittingly stop themselves from becoming exceptional leaders. The authors have worked with hundreds of leaders in the public, private, and not for profit sectors in industries spanning more than 30 fields, and in more than 50 countries at various stages of development.
The ability to influence is one of the essential skills for leaders at all levels. Traditionally, influence and power were intrinsically linked. Now with flatter organisations, matrix structures, and collaborative processes, it is no longer that simple. In many ways the ability to get things done without the support of traditional power structures is all about the ability to influence others. Leadership programmes frequently include strategies for learning effective influencing skills and many coaching conversations focus on enhancing the leader’s influencing style.
What is the relevance for Executive Coaching? “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf. – Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are”.
The ability to monitor and manage your inner voice is a key aspect of leadership and personal development. In our Birdman blog we looked at the concept of the Inner Critic and how to turn that inner-voice into one that works for you, rather than against you. So, if we have an inner critic, have we got an inner mentor? YES - we all have a part of us that is a source of wisdom.