The Bailey Group’s Executive Coaching model is based on the premise that developing as a leader requires growing in self-awareness and your ability to “see” your habits of behavior. Importantly, it also requires a willingness to learn and experiment with new beliefs and behaviors, even if it is uncomfortable or scary.
Albert Ellis and other cognitive behavioral psychologists have shown that we do not see the world “as it is”, but instead through the lens of our personal beliefs and development experiences. Because these beliefs are sometimes self-defeating and our development experiences were inevitably imperfect, we sometimes think, feel, and act in ways that limit our options and cause relationship problems with peers, direct reports, and bosses. Since our beliefs are often unconscious, we may not even be aware how they impact our behavior.
So how do you go about increasing your self-awareness? It starts with a professional development assessment. An executive coach will make available professional tools such as the Hogan suite of assessments (on-line personality assessments you take yourself) and 360° assessments (online tools that gather feedback from peers, your leader, and your direct reports). Your coach will then spend time analyzing the results and meeting with you to explain your leadership strengths, talents, and areas where further development is needed. A development assessment is an important step in deepening your understanding of how your beliefs and experiences (for better or worse) impact the choices you make.
In his book The Hungry Spirit, Charles Handy, a British psychologist and Business Professor, observes that we cannot “…discover ourselves by introspection. We have to jump in before we learn to swim.” Said another way, adults do not learn by being told what to do. Instead, adults learn by trying new behaviors, reflecting on the results, and trying again.
Thus, it is important to have a coach that understands how adults learn. Trying new behaviors in real time is scary and works best when you have someone to support you in the process.
It also helps to have a coach who will listen as you describe your experiments with new behaviors and can help you to refine your approach. This requires personal experience as a leader, preferably P&L experience. Someone who has “sat in the chair” and understands the challenges involved in leading a team to achieve results brings the practical know-how to mentor you towards success.
Very few coaches are equally skilled and knowledgeable about adult learning and running a business. For this reason, we have found that a team coaching approach that pairs coaches trained in behavior change with experienced business leaders is a winning formula.
Now is the time to plan for your leadership development in 2021. If investing in executive coaching is something you are considering, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s set up a time to talk.