10 Big Benefits to Coaching for Non-Profit Executives
By Sylvia Hepler, President, Launching Lives, and Member of NRN's Preferred Consultant Network

No question about it: credible executive coaching can get you where you need to go FASTER than if you try to do it all by yourself.

I know firsthand. For the last four years I've had the opportunity to work with several brilliant coaches from various regions of the country. The bottom line: I can't put a price tag on the transformation and growth I've experienced.

While there are many benefits to executive coaching, take a look at the ten I've selected to identify and discuss briefly here:

#1 - Gain new and deeper insights about yourself as a person and a professional

Through a variety of assessments that focus on personality, confidence, core leadership competencies, and skills you get an in depth view of yourself on many different levels.  This comprehensive knowledge provides a solid foundation for both personal and professional development.

#2 - Clarify your thinking and direction

Within the privacy of the coaching relationship you can take time to explore your thoughts about certain relationships, situations, problems, and opportunities.  You can get the clarity you need to make sound decisions that will impact you, your staff, your clients, and your organization at large.

#3 - Learn or enhance the skills you need.

While you may already know that you lack one particular skill, you may not even realize that you need another.   It’s not unusual for such “light bulbs” to go off during a coaching engagement.  When they do, you have someone to teach you what you need to move your organization forward.

#4 - Manage your personal limitations

Having trouble dealing with criticism?  Do you find that you are angry or frustrated too much of the time?  Are you basically impatient?  Do you have a broken leg that interferes with walking?  Are you going through chemotherapy?  Whatever your own limitations — temporary or ongoing -- you can learn to manage them with the guidance and support of a coach.

#5 - Create a viable professional image

Know that you have a professional image, even if you aren’t consciously thinking about it.  Do you know how others view you?  Are you aware of the first impressions you make?  A coach can help you figure out how people perceive you and why they form the opinions they do.  A coach can help you alter your current image in ways that will serve you and your organization more effectively.

#6 - Strategize your actions

If you really think about it, you move through scores and scores of activities each day.  But how many of those activities are deliberately planned with the end in mind?  How many of those activities actually bring you closer to a desired outcome?  A coach works with you to streamline your actions so that everything you do makes sense and yields meaningful results.  Busy-ness without clearly defined purpose doesn’t serve you.

#7 - Solve problems that keep you awake at night

Very few executives sleep soundly at night.  Either they have difficulty falling asleep, or they wake up at 2:00 AM and can’t fall back to sleep.  The result?  Chronic fatigue that seriously affects cognition, patience, creativity, and productivity.  During the coaching engagement you can actually solve the problems that plague you.  You get to look at them through a different lens—from different angles you simply can’t see on your own.

#8 - Gain a confidential sounding board

One of the most beautiful benefits of coaching is the confidentiality.  Your coach creates a safe venue for you to speak your mind, put forth ideas, share your deepest thoughts and feelings, and ask perplexing questions.  When you do this, your coach has both the obligation and the privilege to give you his or her unfiltered view.

#9 - Receive support during periods of overwhelm

Overwhelm, unfortunately, is a constant companion for overloaded professionals.  The key is to vent it, cope with it, and recover from it as quickly as possible.  A coach helps you to do this.  Time and time again…You can minimize the long term damage from overwhelm by working through it with a coach.

#10 - Welcome an accountability partner

This may in fact be the most important benefit of having an executive coach in your life.  A coach asks you to make certain commitments — may even assign some homework -- and then that person holds your feet to the fire in a loving way to make sure these things happen.  While intentions are good, actions are better.  A credible executive coach offers steady support as you make wise decisions and take appropriate action in all kinds of circumstances.

Launching Lives
Sylvia, President of Launching Lives, is a full-time performance-based executive coach who supports non-profit and corporate executives and managers to solve problems, work through personal barriers that inhibit optimal job function, develop leadership skills, and increase balance in their lives.