Career development or career progression are crucial to our overall job satisfaction, so much so that lack of career development is often cited as the No. 1 reason why people really quit their jobs. If you’ve been feeling stuck in a rut about your career development, here’s five ways we have helped our clients turbo-charge their career development through executive coaching:
1. Develop your career strategy
Only 20% of employees have the skills needed for both their current role and their future career. Indeed, I have met many clients who have helped their team members develop Personal Development Plans (PDPs) but don’t have a career strategy for themselves.
Most have a vague idea on where they want to be but lack a coherent plan on how to get there. Many want more responsibilities or aim for a promotion in their current role but haven’t thought about how to ask for it or how to demonstrate they’re ready for it.
Working with a coach can give you reflective space and help you identify the key steps towards achieving your next career goal.
2. Understand your own leadership style and blindspots
Most senior managers are never “taught” how to lead. We mostly learn from our managers and model “acceptable behaviours” from them or the company culture. If you’ve been on a leadership course or development programme in the past, you’ll know that changing your behaviour is not easy, even if the intention to change is there. HBR found that employee training “doesn’t lead to better organisational performance, because people soon revert to their old ways of doing things”.
Coaching, on the other hand, can help you understand your leadership style, how that style has been shaped by your experiences, consciously and subconsciously, and more importantly how your leadership style affects others and how you’re perceived as a leader. Psychometric tests can help too, but they’re not a required element for success.
Together with your coach, you can identify where you would like to flex your leadership style. Unlike training, coaching is personalised and tailored specifically to you and your leadership challenges. Our coaching programmes are also designed to help you embed your new learning and practise these changes over time to make sure the “learning is in the muscle”.
We all have our default styles and changing it completely is neither helpful nor productive. But knowing when and how to flex your leadership style to suit the situation or audience can make you a vastly more impactful leader.
3. Improve how you manage up, down and across
Leadership guru Professor John Kotter said “management is crucial – no it’s not leadership”. Leadership on its own without management doesn’t work either. McKinsey research found that mobilizing your boss and your colleagues significantly increases business impact and career success.
I’ve worked with many clients to specifically build their competencies in managing their bosses (or the Board for CEOs), in setting expectations and forging strong ties with peers to build cross functional collaboration, and in improving people management skills.
True Partnership also offers a “First 90 Days programme” to help our clients set themselves up for success early in their tenure if they’ve recently changed roles.
4. Understanding your own triggers and patterns
From sudden emotional outbursts, to tears of shock and sadness in response to harsh comments, emotional triggers are commonplace in the workplace. I bet we’ve all either witnessed or experienced moments where we feel we’ve been triggered by someone or something.
In these moments, we usually display emotions and behaviours that seem out of proportion in hindsight. For leaders, “losing your cool” can be perceived as lacking in emotional intelligence or maturity, often resulting in negative feedback from bosses and subordinates alike.
As a coach, I’ve helped clients understand what triggers them and why, as well as the behavioural patterns that follow. Building this self-awareness is often the first step towards mindfully managing these difficult situations.
5. Improving work life balance and well-being
I’ve worked with many clients who perceive high stress and poor work life balance as a necessary evil associated with their senior roles. But too much stress impacts how you lead and how you’re perceived as a leader.
Improving your work life balance entails more than just establishing rules of when to log off or learning how to delegate better. From our experience, what tips someone over the edge towards poor work life balance varies considerably between individuals. That’s why working with a coach can help you uncover (unconscious) beliefs and behavioural patterns that contribute to work life balance issues and help you define healthier boundaries.
Our experienced accredited coaches have helped many clients accelerate their career development, with just a few examples highlighted here. Contact us to discuss how we can help you turbo-charge your career today!
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