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Here’s Why Every Executive Team Needs a Leadership Coach

“The collective intelligence and performance of most groups is well below the average intelligence and performance of the members.” -Peter Senge

When most people think about executive or leadership coaching, they think of individual coaching.  Indeed, many successful executives and other business leaders regularly work with an ICF credentialed leadership coach as a trusted thought and accountability partner. They work to build and operationalize core leadership skills like self-awareness and collaboration. More and more, top-performing leadership teams also work with an executive coach. This helps to enhance their collective effectiveness. Therefore, the success (including profitability) of the businesses and organizations they lead.

What are the Foundational Elements of a Good Leadership Coach?

There are a variety of models of team coaching, but two foundational elements of good team coaching programs are:

Building Trust

  1. Building Trust. Absolutely nothing is more critical to the strategic success of a leadership team than trust.  Leaders must trust each other implicitly – not just a surface-level type of trust. A variety of positive effects flow from leadership teams that have a high level of trust.
  • Leaders are willing to set aside a tight focus on “their” particular area of responsibility in the business to focus on the organization as a whole. This is because they trust that if “their” area needs attention from the team, other team members will have their back. 
  • Silos are prevented, which prevents confusion in the organization around priorities. It also adds confusion on how employees should be spending their time and energy. Employees who are clear about the organization’s mission, priorities, and role in supporting the mission are happier and more engaged.
  • Trusting teams are much less susceptible to the highly damaging and common phenomenon called Fundamental Attribution Error. Fundamental Attribution Error is the tendency of human beings to attribute the negative behaviors of their colleagues to the person’s intentions and personalities while attributing their negative behaviors to environmental factors. In other words, when we know our colleagues as imperfect but gifted human beings with strengths and flaws, we give them the benefit of the doubt, and they do the same for us.  

Mastering Conflict

  1. Mastering Conflict. Once leadership teams trust each other, they are prepared to tackle another hurdle that frequently blocks leadership teams’ success – conflict. When teams struggle around conflict, it is frequently not because there is overt disagreement and interpersonal strife on the team. Although, that sometimes happens. A much bigger, more common, and most damaging problem is conflict avoidance. Conflict avoidance comes in two basic forms:
  • There are interpersonal issues on the team blocking the team’s success, but no one is willing to or knows how to address them.  This may be colleagues who struggle to communicate clearly with one another. Leaders who are overly competitive with each other, or a wide variety of different types of personality disconnects.  
  • Groupthink kicks in because there is no actual exchange of ideas. Therefore, no one takes the time or spends the energy to push past the status quo/the loudest voice in the room to create lasting and meaningful solutions to ongoing business challenges. Innovation suffers, and minor problems go untended that then blossom into more significant issues for the organization.  

Why Should Your Executive Team Hire a Leadership Coach?

Leadership team coaches are tailored to meet the team at their location. They help them focus on strategic, business-forward goals by developing the team’s effectiveness from an outside perspective. Common goals for team coaching are building trust, mastering conflict, improving collaboration, and creating alignment. Healthy leadership teams lead engaging cultures, and engaged cultures are highly correlated with profitability.  

Leadership consulting is about the skills that have to be optimized to engage one’s team and organization behind the business’s mission. Benjamin Papa is here to help you succeed! To learn more, read about our coaching services, workshops, and team building. And feel free to contact us at ben@benjaminpapa.com or give us a call at 615-491-3597!