When we hear the word coach or coaching, our minds may jump to the impression of some expert providing training to someone with little to no information on the given topic. The student wants to learn, but is nothing more than a novice of the skill.
The internal picture we create of master and beginner may be true in some cases, sure. But more often than not, the student actually has familiarity or is even good at the trade being taught. They just have a coach because they want to be even better.
Unfortunately, the scenario our mind immediately jumps to when we think about coaching may affect our connotation of the topic. When your talent has reached the advanced stage, coaching may sound beneath you. You’re so good at what you do, why do you need someone else telling you how to do it?
The type of thinking demonstrated above happens often and couldn’t be further from the truth. A stigma seems to follow the coaching name, but perhaps hearing from a few successful businessmen and leaders, who promote the benefits of coaching and have been coached themselves, will help dismiss the skeptical reaction.
Eric Schmidt is the former CEO of Google and Executive Chairman of Alphabet. In an interview with Fortune, he admits that when someone first suggested that he get an executive coach, he was not for it. Why would he, an established CEO of a billion-dollar company, need someone else’s advice? But alas, he gave it a try and now swears by it. He says that getting a coach is the best advice anyone has ever given him.
“Every famous actor, every famous performer, has somebody who is a coach—somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, ‘Is that what you really meant? Did you really do that thing?’, and give them perspective. The one thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as other people see them. A coach really, really helps.” – Eric Schmidt
Bill Gates is the co-founder and co-creator of Microsoft. Within the corporation, he has served as chairman, CEO, and chief software architect. Gates has worked with coaches before and has held very powerful positions while doing so. However, he explains in a May 2013 TED talk that he thinks everyone should have a coach. He believes coaching is for people of all trades and at all levels. Coaching is not reserved for just executives, but rather people in everyday positions as well.
“Everyone needs a coach…We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates
Steve Jobs co-founded Apple and served as chairman and CEO. He worked with a few coaches, among them include John Mattone and Bill Campbell. According to Mattone, Jobs was very interested in learning more about himself from an outsider’s perspective, and how he could leverage the feedback to affect the most people. Jobs grew in his self-awareness and learned to listen better to others through his coaching experience.
“Unlike some of the popular caricature of Steve Jobs as a difficult manager, he was curious to discover more about himself, how he came across to others and to be more effective as a leader. He was becoming more aware of his style, how it could limit his impact and to make changes.” – John Mattone
Coaches allow us to improve ourselves in ways we didn’t even know we needed. They are experts who can help even very established executives grow in their leadership and business skills. Coaching is something that all people should have access to in order to grow their personal and professional development skills. For more information on how coaching can change your life, contact iGenCo and ask about our coaching opportunities!