How Top Executives Are Enhancing Leadership Effectiveness

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving and are on your way to a wonderful Christmas season. I know for our family this is one of the best times of the year. One of my family's favorite activities is to sit around and play games together. Some of our favorites right now are Qwirkle, Bang!, Settlers of Catan, and our age-old favorite card game, Euchre. There is an interesting line of research that is showing how important the art of play is in learning. We all know this is true for kids growing up. I can remember as a kid going outside and playing for hours. We learned how to get along with others. We learned rules and boundaries. We learned how to win with humility and lose gracefully (well, at least we knew what the standard was for each of these even if we didn’t implement them correctly). Playing is an important part of learning for adults as well.

The-Settlers-of-Catan-000017060944_Full

So, why don’t we play a game? I will give you a couple of questions, and you see if you can guess the right answer. These questions come from a recent article by Robert Paglinarini titled “The Top 5 Coaching Myths” based upon research on Fortune 100 executives. Let's see how you do.

  • Executives who participated in formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in interpersonal relationships?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in teamwork?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced what percent improvement in job satisfaction?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

  • Executives who participated in a formal coaching program experienced, what percent improvement in quality of their work?

A. 48% B. 61% C. 67% D. 77%

Answer Key

How do you think you did? Let's find out...

Interpersonal Relationships The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their interpersonal relationships by 77%. The truth is that when it comes to interpersonal relationships the change or improvement that is needed is often quite small. Usually, it is something that will make the relationship mutually satisfying for both parties. Things like putting down your phone and making eye contact, taking time to connect socially before digging right into business, and treating others with respect.

Teamwork The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their teamwork by 67%. Teamwork can be a little trickier because there are multiple individual relationships as well as group dynamics that come into play. Some new research on how leaders handle risk is shedding light on improving team performance. Many teams struggle because the risk profile of the individuals differs significantly. Fortunately, we now have tools to diagnose and assist in helping teams perform at higher levels based upon risk profiles. If you are interested in learning more about this let me know, I would be happy to share.

Job Satisfaction The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve their job satisfaction by 61%. This one is two-fold in my mind. First, just having someone to intently listen to you like an executive coach does can do wonders for your over feeling of satisfaction. It can be like therapy at work. The other factor is that most people who hire an executive coach are doing so these days to make themselves better. When performance improves people feel better, ergo increased job satisfaction.

Quality The 100 executives surveyed found that executive coaching helped them improve the quality of their work by 48%. This is probably due to an executive coaches ability to clarify issues and help the executive focus on what is really important.

How About You

As you start to think about your performance in 2016, could a coach be the right next step? Are you looking to improve the quality of your work or maybe your job satisfaction? The return on investment (ROI) data for coaching is all over the board. Most studies cite numbers two to six times the investment range. My personal opinion is that most of the ROI data on coaching is suspect primarily because of the methodology used to calculate the data. What kind of return would you like to have on an important team's performance? How important is the project they are working on, for example? If the executives in this study say that coaching helped them that much, maybe you should try it for yourself. Conduct your own study and see what you think.

Homework: As you consider your goals for 2016 what would it be like for you to make an investment in a coach to help you reach your goal? Think about it, it might be just the bit of playfulness you need to learn and grow as a leader.