Developing a coaching mindset at the workplace

Developing a coaching mindset at the workplace

When Ranjan*, an upcoming leader from a new-age unicorn, was puzzled about having difficult conversations with his reportees, he wasn’t sure whom to approach.

His leadership coach came as a lifesaver by bailing him out of the solution. She helped Ranjan* understand the complex dynamics in handling team members and acted as an impartial yet invested stakeholder who could give him clarity on his goals and offer unbiased feedback whenever he needed it.

This is not an isolated scenario anymore.

The average age of a manager has reduced from 40 to just 22 years old. In the rapidly changing urban working landscape, young managers are now leading more senior teams and are facing unique and complex challenges at work.

Ranjan* and many others like him are turning to leadership coaches to help them navigate these challenges.

Here’s how a coaching mindset at the workplace can help people improve themselves in multiple ways:

Keep imposter syndrome at bay

According to American Psychological Association, 70% of us suffer from imposter syndrome.

Maybe you started a new job and believe that you are unprepared despite having paper-perfect credentials.

Or your boss trusted you to lead your vertical, and you are unsure of what to do next, despite having a flawless record in the past.

HBR has this to say about defining Imposter syndrome.

“Imposter syndrome is the feeling one has when one doubt their own abilities and feel like a fraud. High-performing individuals are usually affected by this syndrome.”

A leadership coach, in this case, will help you assuage your insecurities and irrational fears and help you set up processes to succeed in your new role.

Case in point, when we talked to Abhay*, a senior engineer from a fintech unicorn in Bangalore, he had recently joined the company after being an individual contributor for a long time.

Despite having a successful past, he was still hesitant while conveying his opinions/viewpoints as a new manager.

After a couple of leadership coaching sessions, this is what he had to say about how his leadership coach helped rid him of imposter syndrome.

“Leadership coaching really helped me express my opinions more forcefully. Before the sessions, I was quite hesitant about conveying my thoughts. The coach helped me get rid of the imposter syndrome and be more confident when expressing my thoughts.” - Abhay*

The coach also helped Abhay* improve his leadership skills by training him to listen, question, and withhold judgment instead of jumping to conclusions. Abhay* also adds that coaching helped him gain confidence, lead with intuition, and make difficult decisions not only at work but in his personal life as well.  

Nip culture issues in the bud

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. Culture isn’t something that forms overnight and takes a lot of hard work, and a healthy organisational culture improves inter-team collaboration, boost productivity and improves morale.

When it comes to building an organisational culture, it is imperative that the leader keeps their ears to the ground and regularly listens to feedback.

But, getting honest feedback is not always easy. As a senior leader, hearing candid feedback from subordinates and peers may be a challenge, and there is always a chance of bias.

On the other hand, a third-party stakeholder such as a leadership coach can spot red flags early and help them take corrective actions before the issue balloons to gigantic proportions.

The coach, in this case, serves as the perfect external stakeholder who not only acts as a mirror to the reality of the organisation, but also give honest feedback with a vested interest in your success.

A leader’s guide to finding the right coach >>>

Help leaders settle into a new role

Coming from a founder background to working for someone else was a big move in Shahrukh’s* life. As the ex-founder of two companies and having sold the second one to the company he is currently working for, he had never worked for a manager before when he met Ariane*.

Shahrukh* surprisingly found a safe space with Ariane*, a veteran leadership coach working for Peakperfomer. As an experienced coach who previously worked for Coca Cola, Spotify, Twitter, and others, she could empathise with him and help him adjust to his new work environment and excel there.

Akin to Shahrukh*, many others navigate into new roles and would gladly accept help from an experienced coach who can offer much-needed guidance.

Hear a senior software engineer from Groww, a brokerage unicorn, speak on how a leadership coach helped him empower his team with more ownership >>>

Serve as a sounding board for leaders

The right leadership coach can serve as a mirror to one’s actions and help you make better decisions by asking the right questions and setting up processes to improve things.  

Based on our interactions at Peakperformer, here is another example where coaches can serve as the perfect sounding board for a medley of situations.

Suman* was an upcoming young manager with a new team to handle. While he was a high-performing individual contributor, his new role as a manager to a team put him in a unique situation.

He didn’t want to bring his concerns to his manager since he didn’t want to jeopardise his existing dynamics with the manager and come off as “inexperienced”.

On the other hand, the leadership coach served as an excellent sounding board to bounce off ideas and help him navigate his unique challenges better.

Develop an unknown process/set up a venture in a new environment

One common task that founders and established leaders face in big organisations is establishing processes or starting a new venture in an unfamiliar environment.

For a founder looking to scale his operations in SE Asia, he might be looking for someone who has been there and done it before. A leadership coach who specialises in establishing new ventures and is familiar with SE Asian cultures can empathize with the founder and help them make sound decisions.

Return on Coaching (ROC) - Tangible and Intangible benefits

Conclusion

Organisations spent about 360 billion dollars annually in leadership development efforts in 2020, which is only poised to increase in the post-pandemic era.

Twenty-first-century managers in a hybrid world simply don’t (and can’t!) have all the right answers.

Coaching can help them answer some of the questions or issues that they have not faced before. It is becoming integral to the fabric of a learning culture as more and more companies are investing in training their leaders to become the best version of themselves and empower their teams.

Not only does coaching help define the organisation’s culture and advance its mission, but it can also help leaders facilitate employee development and boost employee engagement.

Get advice from leadership coaches and become a better version of yourself

In a fast-changing world, leaders now need professional coaching more than ever.

At Peakperformer, we work with tech behemoths such as CRED, Groww, MPL, Bizongo, and others to help people leaders transform employees into global leaders in a practical, scalable, and measurable way.

We provide personalised leadership coaching and help executives resolve their day-to-day challenges.

If you have read this far, do check us out!

You can also choose to book a demo here >>>

*This post includes reflections from existing learners that are currently on their coaching journey with Peakperformer. Some names have been changed for privacy reasons.