4 Benefits of Executive Coaching for Women LeadersMay 10, 2023
Women leaders are taking over leadership positions more than ever before. Our previous post "Why Increased Diversity Makes for Good Business" visited how women now occupy 40% of seats in the boardroom at FTSE 100 companies in the UK, a significant increase from under 13% just a decade ago. Woman leadership has benefited organisations on multiple levels, including improved job satisfaction, organisational dedication, fewer reports on burnout, and better employee engagement.
Although businesses benefit from being woman-led, work environments remain arduous for women leaders, especially with increasing expectations and changing consumer demand. To help them navigate through these challenges, it's essential that leaders still seek learning opportunities such as executive coaching. LHH's post on executive coaching highlights how this form of training is one of the best ways to support leaders in a complex environment. By receiving coaching from a trusted and experienced coach, leaders can realise their potential, increase self-awareness, and create lasting change.
Given the extensive knowledge of coaches, organisations can expect to profit from well-informed leaders. Below are some ways in which executive coaching can benefit women leaders and the businesses they lead.
Foster deeper self-awareness and self-confidence
As mentioned above, coaching enables women leaders to realise their potential. Often, women leaders are plagued by limiting beliefs and biases that may prevent them from taking on a fresh perspective. This imposter syndrome can result in self-diminishing behaviours, leading to poor self-esteem and restricting growth. Executive coaching can help women leaders better understand their strengths, and at the same time, they can also identify and resolve their negative perspectives. In turn, this fosters self-confidence, which can help them achieve a greater leadership impact.
Build meaningful relationships
While output is important, it's also essential that leaders invest in building good relationships with their fellow employees. According to an article on work dynamics by Business.com, maintaining a positive manager-employee relationship not only encourages productivity and collaboration among teams but also develops mutual respect and trust— key values critical for employee retention and company success. Even the best women leaders may get carried away with work, which is why coaching can help them get back on track. An executive coach can identify any behaviours holding them back, allowing women leaders to change their attitude and work towards authentic leadership.
Boost decision-making and strategic thinking
To guide their team to action, leaders must first set a strategy to meet organisational goals. Leadership is about envisioning a future aligned with the company's mission. However, women leaders may be more scrutinised at higher levels of their organisation, affecting their ability to make sound decisions. Advice from executive coach Jacque Merritt note how leaders make quality decisions from a place of responding versus reacting, relying on evidence-based thinking or strategic thinking that can support their decisions. While business decisions aren't necessarily easy, assessing the potential consequences can help companies work more effectively.
Be a source of inspiration
Meaningful relationships are the foundation of consistent business productivity and continuity, but motivation is critical in driving workers towards a common goal. Inspiration starts from empathy, so leaders must listen, understand, and care about their employees. Research shows that, generally, women have higher emotional intelligence than men— making it a good jumping point for becoming a motivating leader. Through executive coaching, women leaders can develop further interconnected skills such as active listening, better inspiring others, and positively impacting their workplace environment.
Women already have innate leadership skills that are on par with their male counterparts. Through executive coaching, women leaders can better navigate leadership challenges, build confidence, enhance decision-making, and foster good relationships with fellow workers. With these efforts, they can work towards long-term career success.
JB Burke is a freelance writer and editor who is an advocate of women leadership and STEM. When not working on their next piece, Burke enjoys spending time with her two Corgis.
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