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Leadership Coaching in India: A New word for mentoring or more? (7 Ways Leadership Coach makes THE Difference for Indian leaders)

The basic difference between a coaching and mentoring process is the approach. While mentees ape their mentors, reach out to them for regular guidance and seek solution to the challenges that they may face, a coaching process is more fundamental. Under coaching process, a coachees undergoes a transformation where coach only acts as a facilitator. It lets the coachees explore multiple dimensions of self and prepares them for dealing with personal and professional challenges instead of providing them guided solutions on demand. 

 

 

Leadership Coaching in India: A New word for mentoring or more?

The basic difference between a coaching and mentoring process is the approach. While mentees ape their mentors, reach out to them for regular guidance and seek solution to the challenges that they may face, a coaching process is more fundamental. Under coaching process, a coachees undergoes a transformation where coach only acts as a facilitator. It lets the coachees explore multiple dimensions of self and prepares them for dealing with personal and professional challenges instead of providing them guided solutions on demand.

 

Leadership Coaching is not just a world where magical business-people calling themselves ‘Guru’ tell you a rare insight unknown to you till now which will transform your life. Its an indulgence. A coach takes you through a journey whose destination you set and whose course you choose. He or she just ensures that you stay on track, you are responsible and accountable to the outcome you set out to achieve.

 

So a leadership coach becomes a part of your journey yet stays out of it while a mentor may inspire you but may not be able to transform you.

 

A leadership coach may sound like a swiss-army knife to hack your career growth.

 

Yet a true leadership coach is a mashup of a Sports Coach and a spiritual teacher. Because not only are they focused on your daily achievement and training but they are also calculative of the balance & peace that your daily activities bring.

Why Leadership Coaching is way more than mentoring?

The basic difference between a coaching and mentoring process is the approach. While mentees ape their mentors, reach out to them for regular guidance and seek solution to the challenges that they may face, a coaching process is more fundamental. Under coaching process, a coachees undergoes a transformation where coach only acts as a facilitator. It lets the coachees explore multiple dimensions of self and prepares them for dealing with personal and professional challenges instead of providing them guided solutions on demand.

 

Leadership Coaching is not just a world where magical business-people calling themselves ‘Guru’ tell you a rare insight unknown to you till now which will transform your life. Its an indulgence. A coach takes you through a journey whose destination you set and whose course you choose. He or she just ensures that you stay on track, you are responsible and accountable to the outcome you set out to achieve.

 

So a leadership coach becomes a part of your journey yet stays out of it while a mentor may inspire you but may not be able to transform you.

 

Here’s how a leadership coach makes a sea difference in your career & life:

 

1. The Kick-starter:

 

Self-motivation is no doubt the best motivation, because you are always there for you (at least physically). Yet sometimes we do need a push from back, people have a strong tendency to go along with the status quo or default option. So, a supporting hand on our shoulder, a warm hug, or a strong hand-shake that tells us ‘You can do it’, ‘You have it what it takes’, ‘You are not alone’, ‘I’m here for you’.

 

All this acts as a kickstart to our inner potential and brings us closer to our best versions.

 

A coach brings in that necessary nudge. One of the most exciting things about coaching is the buzz you get when you push out of your comfort zone, come up with a plan and put it into action! Life takes on a whole new meaning as you re-create your life the way you want it.

 

2. The Emotional Support:

We think in a corporate environment or at work, emotions are the last thing we must take care of. No wonder, most of us leave work tired, stressed-out and in constant worry instead of being happy & satisfied of the fact that we contributed to the world today.

 

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of the book “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, EQ (Emotional Intelligence) is responsible for 58% of your job performance. A leadership coach makes it easier to harness the power & the true capability of your emotions at work.

 

In fact while dealing with coworkers at work we often tend to forget that we are dealing with fellow human beings and not just creatures of logic. This state of subconscious emotional detachment makes us less connected to workplace, which in turn impacts the way we respond to situations, often devoid of any emotional quotient. Hence its not a surprise that we often receive similar strokes back from our coworkers.

 

This is primarily the seed for discontent which eventually takes a bigger shape and impacts our leadership capabilities. Research shows that 75% of careers are derailed mostly due to emotional incompetencies. Our inability to handle simple interpersonal relations at work, unsatisfactory team leadership during times of difficulty or conflict; or inability to adapt to change or elicit trust and much more impacts our emotional well being at work.

 

A healthy coaching conversation around this can actually equip us strategically to address this challenge and overcome the dilemma. A strong emotional core can actually be a major differentiator in our leadership skills.

 

3. The Balance Manager:

 

Before we know, we are handed over an ocean of said & unsaid responsibilities in work as well as in life. It becomes a mess and we’re right in the middle of it, lost in the plethora of tasks that consume us rather than making us happy. A leadership coach helps to navigate, organise, strategize, and optimize all of this to ensure a right balance of life & work that brings peace, happiness & excitement in our life.

 

4. The clarity provider:

At times, making decisions for really important things in life is a taxing exercise. Especially, when it’s about our career, we face various dilemmas that get us into a tight spot & present us grey areas that make things even worse. To make the right decisions that facilitate growth & progress, we must think clearly. Yet, sometimes it’s the most impossible task there is.

 

 

Here’s where a leadership coach comes in & provides multiple perspectives & shines the light of clarity to help you see the right direction that’ll transform you.

 

A candid leadership conversation can provide you immense clarity on your career path. Many a times our personal challenges overwhelm us and reflect on our behavior at our professional fronts too. Most often than not we are not even aware when this happens and are oblivious to the fact that one is affecting the other. A leadership coach takes a dispassionate look at our life. She is able to distinguish the overlap and has the ability to distinctly present the challenge to us without being judgemental or disrespectful.

 

This third party independent facilitator makes the coachees realise the impact of something he or she did not even consider to be a leadership challenge. That’s the power of coaching. It brings to the fore unexplored, unchartered aspects of coachess which somewhere unknowingly could have even acted as a career impediment. A certified leadership coach brings in method to the coaching process that by design brings in clarity; an important ask to deal with behavioral blind spots to succeed as a leader.

 

5. The Insight Mechanic:

We all know how an unique insight can unlock the most difficult of the problems, whether be it work, life or relationships. The leadership coach generously ushers valuable insights that not only is given at the right time but is also a lesson that will be rather more useful in the future. And not stopping there, a great leadership coach walks with you as unravel the insight & turn it into a possible solution.

 

Taking a step back, the role of leadership coach starts much before that. A coach helps you understand your strengths and also explore the areas which you would like to work upon in order to become better leaders. Till a certain level in hierarchy, your competencies are essential to differentiate you. So what you study in your B-Schools and how you implement them at your workplace differentiates you in the initial phase pf your career but as you go up the hierarchy and the space starts narrowing done, competencies become a given and your life skills start to distinguish you from other average performers.

 

Often, we are aware of good values and appropriate leadership skills but even more often that knowledge is theoretical. When it comes to understanding ourselves with respect to expected leadership behaviors we assume we possess them but rarely do we perform self audit to understand do we really demonstrate that. A coaching conversation helps us explore our leadership capabilities, shows us the mirror of our leadership behaviour, helps us unravel the gaps and identify the areas we need to polish in ourselves to shine as a leader.

 

The idea is not to find faults but to understand the gaps in our leadership skills and bridge them through conscious practices.

6. The Positivity Alarm:

A leadership coach is akin to the human tendency to give in to negativity in times of crisis. We all have those mind-numbing times in our careers when there seems no way to come through challenges. Every door is closed and we get stuck in a dark place and then a berating thought comes in followed by tonnes of other worse things that hamper our productivity & extradite our creativity. While there seems no way to think straight in such times, a leadership coach has a way to help you alter your thoughts & create possibility to tackle the crisis.

 

At times, coaching exercises are misunderstood as message from the organization that the company views your leadership skill as inadequate and hence has put you through a process. On the contrary, coaching is a process that harnesses your leadership skills that helps you become leaders.

 

Most often, when you are recommended to undergo coaching it means that you are looked upon as a potential candidate who is suitable for a role next level but need a bit of directional support to enhance your interpersonal skills that will make you ready for the role. So instead of starting on a negative tone accept the process of coaching with zeal and participate actively in the process.

 

Leverage the presence of your coach to the fullest and build your leadership character with strong dose of positivity. Remember both of you have a common goal – your success, then why leave any stone unturned to achieve this goal.

 

7. The Truth Teller:

By their nature, some truths are just hard to digest. Even then we know in our heart, that these truths hold the key to greatness. Yet, we delay to accept it due to our ingrained bias and excuses.

 

The leadership coach can clearly see through your biases and tells you the truth as it is. Shying away from confronting the truth only delays our success and nothing else. The coach makes you realise it and builds a stronger mechanism that helps you rise above your weaknesses by leveraging on your strengths. At the same time, sometimes you may be too harsh on yourself and expect way more than its possible to deliver.

 

Sometimes the best coaching advice you can get is simple acknowledgement that there’s nothing else you could have done. Most of the coaches are realistic and show you a true picture of reality and that goes a long way in shaping your career and even your personal life. In fact, a coach tells you what you don’t want to hear, helps you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be. Coaching helps you become the real you by exploiting your full potential and a coach facilitates this journey.

 

While these are obvious but pertinent benefits of leadership coaching, one must remember to keep it simple. People are remarkably bad at remembering long lists of goals. Its difficult to keep people or track or stay motivated of they set out to achieve too many things at one go. Remember, the longer the lists of to-dos and goals, the more overwhelmed and off-track one gets. Clarity comes with simplicity. Keep it simple.

 

Leadership Coaching is designed to explore the immense success possibilities that exist for you, taking the necessary steps that’ll help you progress on your growth path and in your career. A leadership coach is usually someone who has experienced almost every obstacle that you face daily at work. This enables them to understand you deeply and offer customised solutions & advice that get you through the obstacles effortlessly.

 

There is no denying that only you are responsible for your successes and failures.

But having someone who gives practical insight & solution when things look rough in your career, is a more-than-welcome move.

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