Popular culture is flooded with self-help books, videos, and celebrity gurus. Amazon offers no less than 28 different “self-help” search categories. One reason the self-help industry is so big is that meaningful change is really, truly difficult, whether we are trying to lose 15 pounds or communicate more effectively with our teams.
We try. We work on it — for a while. But then we slide back into old behaviors, habits, and routines. Wash, rinse, repeat. This can be especially frustrating in our professional lives, where our livelihood depends on our workplace relationships and performance.
The truth is that it’s surprisingly difficult to objectively identify our gaps, clearly understand what core behaviors or attitudes underly the change we want to make (or the skill we want to build), and effectively implement lasting changes by ourselves.
How to Accomplish Change that Sticks
“By ourselves” is the key phrase. Going it alone is a recipe for failure — and signing up for a weekly newsletter after watching a video, or attending a celebrity guru seminar won’t make a difference.
Working with a person who can expertly observe, assess, challenge, and help hold you accountable is a proven approach that will drive measurable, long-term results. An executive coach is that person.
A coach works with you one-on-one to help develop your professional capabilities and modify underlying behaviors to improve your leadership skills and performance. Typically, executive coaching employs three essential steps:
- Heightened awareness about your current and possible beliefs and behaviors. What specific behaviors and patterns of thinking are holding you back from reaching your full potential?
- Leveraging that awareness to build a concrete plan of action
- Working the plan to achieve desired goals with tangible, measurable results
To learn more, read Arden Coaching’s article, “What Happens in an Executive Coaching Engagement?”
It is critical to note that executive coaches do not “come up with” answers. They will not tell you what to do. Executive coaches empower and enable you to communicate, lead, and make your own decisions — to come up with answers for yourself. Read more, “Executive Coaching is not ‘Training.’ You Must be Coachable!”
A great coach will be professionally certified and experienced. They will customize their effort to concentrate on the changes you want to make and the skills you want to build. They will focus on specific, trackable measures and results.
For real change — change that sticks — don’t try to go it alone. Make the changes and develop the skills you want — in a way you will be able to sustain — with an executive coach.
To learn more about executive coaching and developing your executive leadership capabilities, contact us at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.