Five Ways Coaching Can Accelerate Your Nonprofit Leadership JourneySeptember 2022
Executive coaching can serve as a highly effective tool for nonprofit leaders seeking to increase their effectiveness and strategically contribute to their organizations. Working with a coach can help leaders capitalize on their strengths, as well as shine a light on areas in need of improvement. While you may hesitate to spend scarce resources on professional development without a guarantee of tangible benefits, there are many ways that executive coaching can add value to your leadership abilities and/or to employees at your organization. Here are five ways that coaching can improve your leadership skills:
1. Customize coaching to your immediate priorities and leadership challenges
Traditional training experiences often last for brief, intermittent sessions and focus on the broad goals of the participating group, making it difficult for you to receive individualized attention on your particular goals and challenges. Working with an executive coach allows you to create specific products and plans that are personalized to your leadership journey and the unique problems you face in your work. Coaches may collaborate with you to create a personalized strategic plan for your professional development and long-term career goals, as well as craft measures of success for these goals. In these ways, coaching can often provide value to you more immediately and appropriately than typical training offerings.
2. Create a longer-term, deeper relationship than traditional training
Boilerplate training can provide effective instruction and guidance for a variety of organizational challenges, but these modules are often short-term and the knowledge gained can be very ephemeral. Working with a coach allows you to avoid this cycle by establishing a longer-term, deeper relationship with your coach and continuously building on previous activities. This can decrease the likelihood of chronically forgetting key information and improve your ability to apply new knowledge to problems at work. Ultimately, working with a coach will increase your chances of making tangible changes to your leadership approach and affecting serious improvements to your organization's work.
3. Receive accountability from a trusted, invested partner
Working with a coach not only helps you to create strategic plans and craft solutions to your professional challenges. It also gives you a dedicated accountability partner. Coaches have the external perspective to assess a leader's performance and keep them on track when they fall short of agreed-upon goals. This level of accountability is key for leaders to follow through on the plans they created and cannot be accessed in the more time-constrained and ephemeral relationships found at traditional training venues or conferences. Regularly meeting with a coach committed to mutual accountability is an invaluable practice for any developing leader.
4. Share your new wisdom with colleagues at your organization
While the primary benefits of a coaching relationship accrue to the leader, they can also beneficially impact the leader's colleagues and staff. As you engage with an executive coach, you can share your newfound wisdom with others at your organization to maximize the benefits of the training. You may even adopt some of the coaching skills practiced by your coach and become a mentor to someone at your organization, thus perpetuating the knowledge and skills even further. Coaching can be a heavy financial investment for any organization, so using this strategy can help offset those costs.
5. Receive assistance with specific career opportunities, applications, and other tasks
Beyond helping with professional development goals and personal strategic planning, coaches can assist with specific tasks and challenges that leaders face in their careers. They can serve as partners in mock interviews and help you craft effective applications for new positions. Coaches can also assist you in reviewing your resume or CV as you approach the job market. Coaches bring a diverse array of skills and professional experiences to their practices that you can take advantage of as you broaden the horizons of your career path.
Interested in trying out a coaching opportunity? Our Mastermind group coaching program offers tailored leadership training to small, curated groups of nonprofit leaders eager to learn best practices from peers in the sector. If you are interested in receiving individualized coaching from me, I also offer a Premium version of the Mastermind program that includes several additional one-on-one sessions. Click here to find out more.
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