15 Aug The five truths of leadership coaching
By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives
From Little League to the Olympics, we all recognize the value of having a coach in sports.
But we may not think about how valuable a coach can be in our daily lives, in helping us understand our values, in achieving our goals, and in supporting us through our leadership development. And yet this type of coaching is an immensely successful method of integrating new skills and behaviors in adults – skills and behaviors that they themselves choose to develop.
For that reason, the Boettcher Foundation has decided to invest in coaching for the Boettcher community. We’ve supported a group of Scholar Alumni through professional coach training who can now give back to Boettcher Scholars via confidential coaching. Coaching has been proven to be one of the most effective means of solidifying growth and leadership development.
In fact, companies around the world such as GE, Goldman Sachs, and Google regularly invest in coaching for their employees due to its significant power in helping them clarify their goals and produce results. A recent Forbes article showed that the return on investment for coaching is seven times the initial investment.
Personally, I’ve had the opportunity to become a certified professional coach as part of the Boettcher Foundation’s coaching corps. As a coach, I love to hold the ground and create the space for others to grow in their power.
My coaching focuses on leadership development and enhancing existing strengths and passions. It’s a focused relationship designed to serve the coachee and for them to get more of what they want, accomplish their goals, and make the most positive impact on the world.
I love coaching because it’s empowering. It encourages continuous stretching and breaking down barriers that the coachee previously didn’t see or didn’t think were possible to overcome.
As one of my fellow coaching corps members, Kara Penn, says, “Coaching is dynamic, collaborative, and engages one’s whole life — not just work or school. How refreshing and empowering not to be siloed into one area of our lives!”
I’ve had my own coach for years, and what I love about her is that she helps me to really get clear on what I think and feel, as well as what I want to do and — more importantly — who I want to be in the world. She calls me forth to be the best version of myself.
So, what exactly is coaching?
- Coaching is not about misplaced optimism. It is about heightening your awareness of habitual behaviors and thoughts so you can bolster those that serve you and manage those that don’t. It’s about focusing on self-awareness and realizing that you control your thoughts and attitude.
- Coaching is also not an endless to do list. It’s an opportunity to make the most of what you’re already doing.
- The coach doesn’t give advice or pass judgment, he or she asks powerful questions to help spur your own thinking as you clarify your most resonant desires and values.
- Coaching is an act of self-compassion, as it gives you focused time to reflect with someone who has no agenda for you, no stake in what you do or do not do. It is a space that is free of criticism, where you can rediscover your own passions and values.
- Topics for individual sessions can be anything. I’ve coached people around transitions such as starting a degree program or looking to change careers, the illness or death of a loved one, roommate issues, not knowing what they want to do with their lives, diffusing self-limiting beliefs, wanting more fun and recreation, and all kinds of other things.
Whatever the reason people have come to coaching, and whatever the individual topics are, the feedback we’ve received has been extremely positive.
Being a small part of that kind of transformation is incredibly fulfilling, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to extend this resource to Scholars.
If you’d like to learn more or are interested in confidential coaching by a Boettcher Scholar who is a member of our coaching corps, email firstname.lastname@example.org.