One of the most valuable things a coach can offer a client is a fresh perspective. It is difficult for business leaders and owners to take a step back from the day job and get a clear picture of how their business is doing or where it is heading.
Here, Mark Cushway, leadership coach and visionary entrepreneur, talks about the power of perspective in successful coaching.
Looking Beyond the Functional
“For many people in business, it’s a totally immersive experience. The problem is, that it’s the wrong kind of immersion, because they get bogged down in the detail and the day to day running.”
This can lead to a skewed view of how the business runs and, vitally, where it must be heading.
“When you’re in the thick of it then understandably you might start to feel stuck. And this can lead to seeing things as very much black and white, so that anything that isn’t right becomes magnified into becoming unmanageable.”
What good leadership coaching has the power to do is to correct this view by broadening the perspective, beyond the confines of the functional.
“Gaining the full perspective about and around your business will empower you to make decisions and to see things more clearly. The value in seeking outside help is exactly this, that it will offer you a different way of seeing things.”
How Crucial is Confidence?
What benefits come from this alternative perspective? A key one is confidence.
“Feeling stuck can mean losing confidence in your abilities, and leave you feeling very alone, even if you have colleagues and employees around you”
“Coaching can help restore or build your confidence by offering reassurance and affirmation of your abilities. Sometimes, coaching is not about bringing new ideas forward, but helping to reveal what is already there, under the surface.”
“People have a resilience they are unaware of, simply because they’re caught up with in what’s immediately in front of them. This resilience, once they tap into it, can be enormously potent in helping them make significant changes.”
Changing Outlook to Change Outcomes
Coaching might seem like a soft skill, with a certain air of the intangible, but it can provide very clear outcomes.
“Leadership coaching should be underpinned by sound business insight and lived experience, because imparting advice requires a depth of knowledge to be credible”
“You can’t change someone’s perspective without focusing on the strategic aspects of their business, therefore, whatever vision coaching encourages must be grounded in the realities of sound business practice. Only then will a change in outlook lead to a measurable change in outcome.”
This change might not be a seismic shift, but rather a series of incremental improvements.
There must be room for marginal gains within a vision for business success, because these represent the reality of the situation. This kind of collective impact is a necessary corrective to a binary view of success or failure.
“Coaching helps to chip away at the barrier, opening up gaps through which you begin to see daylight, and then, eventually, the barrier comes down.”
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