Leadership coaching is becoming recognized as a “win-win-win” (associates-leaders-organization) proposition by thousands of organizations, of all types and sizes. Despite this trend, many aspiring associates and even current managers and leaders still buy-in to myths surrounding coaching as an indispensable conduit for continuous learning and organizational excellence.
Leadership Coaching’s Role in Building Careers
Leadership coaching first engages the associate to develop both the awareness and acceptance of those behaviors that limit advancement. The coach/coachee relationship is based on a foundation of honesty, trust, and integrity – with both parties establishing clear agreement for working together. This is done to promote a mindset of curiosity and exploration rather than what many associates have experienced: self-deception and self-blame. Once the coachee accepts the coach is there to simultaneously disrupt ineffective behaviors and support healthy and effective leadership skills, positive change is not far behind.
But, as the saying goes, “You have to play to win.” So, what are some of the barriers standing in the way of leadership coaching for aspiring and current managers and leaders?
First, barriers to leadership advancement often go unrecognized.
Relating to unrecognized bias, outdated belief systems, or cumbersome policies and procedures – organizations may “be in the dark” by holding on to outdated perceptions of themselves or dated cultural rituals and processes. On an individual/team level, many associates are unaware of their limiting beliefs and how this diminishes decision-making abilities, advancement, and performance.
Whether the associate or current managers/leaders believe the following, what may result is a resounding “No!” to changing outdated beliefs, processes, and mindsets. Here are a few of the most common myths:
“I/You don’t have enough experience.”
Associates often limit their own growth because they believe they have insufficient experience to excel in their careers. Leadership may unwittingly buy-in to this particularly if the associate has embraced this mindset. The good news is that traits such as persistence, creativity, and drive can be improved upon at any time, and that most people are likely more knowledgeable than they give themselves credit for. Moreover, if management does not challenge associates to exceed their “comfort zone,” everyone loses.
“I/You lack the right education.”
Education is no guarantee of success, and neither does it guarantee finding the right job or excelling in a current position. Typically, education is only one piece of the puzzle, with transferable experiences and skills available to augment gaps in education. When an associate is given more responsibilities (along with clear direction, training, and support), this can result in identifying those employees who are future managers and leaders.
“Age works against you/me.”
Age is a number and rarely defines an associates’ organizational title or duties. Leadership coaching has been found to provide benefit to every generational cohort by focusing on the person, not age or any perceived “defining” characteristic. exposes how a belief in being too old or too young determines the outcome of your career aspirations due to inhibiting behaviors.
“You are/I am not management/leadership material.”
Restrictive beliefs, on the part of the associate or current leadership, can be costly assumptions if not grounded in experience and facts. While there are associates who may not have a propensity or desire to pursue advancement, it can be short-sighted to place a person in a category that effectively disqualifies them from future positions and/or advancement. Eventually, if one party has this belief, the associate’s attitude becomes one of “why even try” and they become trapped in negative thought patterns that further sabotage your confidence and consequently your belief in them being able to perform well.
Leadership Coaching: The Reality
Leadership coaching empowers individuals, teams, and organizations to engage in growth and enhanced performance. Click here to learn more about WorkLife Xcel’s approach to a “win-win-win” scenario for you and your valued associates.