Many times, when I bring up coaching with business leaders and owners, they react by saying that I’m doing well. I don’t think I need a coach.
To my mind, there are two possible reasons for this reaction – one, they are not aware about what real coaching is and its benefits, and two, they are not ready to have a hard look at themselves and see what’s not working. They may be afraid of what they might uncover and are happier just coasting along till they are forced to confront these issues.
I always make an effort to explain what real coaching is and how it’s different from having a mentor or guide or just reading self-help books. I also make it a point to share that coaching is not about solving problems. It is about unblocking the realisation of your potential. You can do and achieve much more than what you are doing currently just by getting out of your own way. A coach helps you get out of your own way and go after those big hairy audacious goals.
Ask yourself this
Having a coach is not a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of ambition, it’s a sign of hunger for bigger impact, it’s a sign of courage to work on oneself.
Go ahead, tell me you don’t need a coach…
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About 37,400 international companies base their operations out of Singapore, including 7,000 multinational corporations, with more than half of those running their Asia-Pacific businesses from the city-state, according to the EDB website. This means that the regional leadership for many multinational companies sits out of Singapore. With the recent developments in Hong Kong, more and more companies are shifting their regional head offices to Singapore making Singapore even more important in the leadership map of the world.
Businesses today are grappling with the economic fallout of COVID-19 as also the continuing chaos of digital disruption, regulatory changes, demographic and consumer demands, labour shortages, and skill gaps, and more. Companies need their leaders to evolve and learn how to manage within this chaos. They also need leaders to learn quickly, and coaching can provide the targeted, personalized, and focused development that is required.
So, what is the scenario of Executive Coaching in Singapore? Before we get into that, let’s first understand what Executive Coaching is because sometimes it is mixed up with mentoring, consulting, or advising.
Executive Coaching is a one-to-one partnership between the coach and the executive or leader (‘client’) in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires the client to maximize personal and professional potential. Executive coaches work with leaders of various organizations (such as a director, vice president, president, or member of the C-suite).
The executive coach brings new eyes and ears to their situation and provides a safe and non-judgemental space for these leaders to understand their current challenges and aspirations, see how others perceive them, and focus on identifying and clarifying current goals as well as the appropriate action steps to reach those goals. Executive coaching is not just about problems and issues—it is about awakening consciousness to maximize potential.
Executive Coaching is not the same as mentoring or advising. In mentoring, the mentor shares their own experience and opens doors for the mentees. They tend to be from the same company or industry as the mentee because they need to have had a similar experience to be able to guide the mentee. Coaching on the other hand is a learning modality that taps into the inner wisdom of the coachee and helps them unlock their potential.
The executive coach need not be from the same industry as the skills of the coach are more around their ability to create a psychologically safe environment for the coachee to explore their innermost thoughts and concerns and to be able to get insights to move forward. Many individuals call themselves coaches and offer executive coaching services without having any coach-specific training or credential. This is why it is important to understand what coaching is and choose to work with only credentialed coaches.
ICF credentialed coaches go through rigorous coach-specific training and meet experience requirements before they receive their credentials. This ensures that they are able to provide the best coaching services to their clients and that they adhere to the internationally accepted global code of ethics for coaches.
For more details you can look at the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here.
There are many reasons why an organization or business leader might choose to work with an executive coach. These reasons range from wanting to develop a leader to take on a bigger role in the organization, the transition to a new role, region or business vertical, enhancing their succession management efforts, improving the strategic thinking of leaders, or enhancing executive presence. Organizations tend to invest in coaching for mainly their senior leaders as coaching is a highly personalized and relatively premium leadership development modality.
Senior executives and business leaders make high stakes decisions on a regular basis. Their decisions impact not only the business performance of the organization but also the growth and work environment for their teams. Hence the investment in executive leadership coaching can have far-reaching positive outcomes for organizations.
Executive coaching also works really well for business owners, entrepreneurs, start-up founders, and young business heirs. While they may be experts in their field, managing people and other resources require them to polish their leadership skills and business acumen. Executive business coaching is an effective tool for this given its personalized and exclusive approach.
Over the years, we have seen executive coaching being embraced by more and more organizations, and its value appears to be growing across industries and for different leadership levels. The benefits of coaching match companies’ desperate need for developing leaders into leaders of the future.
Professional coaching has been around in the western world for close to a century, and in countries like the US or even the UK, having a coach, whether you're a middle manager or an executive, is pretty commonplace. However, it is still an emerging market in Asia.
International Coaching Federation (ICF), which is the largest coach credentialing organisation in the world with 30,000 members, offers an easy way to clients to find credentialed coaches. ICF has a Credentialed Coach Finder website where you can search coaches by their level of credential, experience, demographics, location and the services that they offer.
If we look at the number of coaches in Singapore in this platform, there are 419 ICF credentialed coaches based in Singapore. Of this, 58% at the Associate Certified Coach (ACC) level and 40% are at the Professional Certified Coach (PCC) level. The remaining 2%, i.e., 8 coaches are at a Master Certified Coach (MCC) level. ACC is at the foundation level and PCC and MCC are advanced and mastery levels for coaching.
While at a glance, the number of coaches in Singapore may seem large, one must understand that coaches tend to specialize in one or two areas. For instance, someone focused on life coaching brings in very different skills and services as compared to someone into executive coaching. An executive coach helps clients achieve professional goals and feel confident making bolder business moves. A life coach helps people achieve their life or personal goals, find happiness and improve their relationships.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of senior coaches (PCC and MCC) tend to go into coach training, i.e., they focus on training others who want to become credentialed coaches. So, then their focus is not entirely on coaching clients, though they might continue to do so to some extent. Their main focus is into running their executive coach training companies.
Another segment of coaches is the internal coaches, i.e., credentialed coaches within organisations who support the coaching needs of their own organisation. These could be employees from HR and sometimes even from the business side. However, these coaches don’t work with clients outside of their own organisations in most cases.
Executive Coaching helps key employees within your organization build new skills and competencies, so that they are effective leaders when their leadership is needed most.
Ultimately, executive coaching has the potential to develop executives who feel confident and can make tough decisions, have improved capacity to deal with rapidly changing environments and develop a corporate culture where more motivated and productive employees contribute to the bottom line.
ICF Singapore offers an easy way to find ICF credentialed coaches in Singapore through their Find A Coach page.
While there are many coaches listed there, it is important to be clear about your goals from coaching and then chose a coach accordingly. Coaching can be especially beneficial in the current challenging times that we are in. If every individual has access to quality coaching, our world will be a far better and more sustainable place.
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Who doesn't want success in their career? Unfortunately most people struggle to move up the corporate ladder after a few years into their career. They believe that just doing their job should get them a promotion. However, the real world does not work that way.
When they look at people who are doing well in their career and moving up very fast, they believe that either the person is very lucky to be in the right place at the right time, or that they are doing something unsavory to get such career growth opportunities.
The reality is that if you want to be promoted and have a great career, you have to convince your superiors that you are ready for the bigger role and capable of bringing in or handling larger volume of business.
Here are the top 5 ways in which you can stand out from your peers and build a successful career:
If you appear no different from the 10 other guys around you, why will you get special treatment. You have to make effort to stand out by taking initiative, showing your passion for your work, deliver results, having great customer relationship and so on. Your career will skyrocket if you are able to create a positive brand image.
People who just do the bare minimum work will remain trapped in the 'average' performer bracket. You need to take on more responsibilities and help others and think of the company's requirements. This will give you lots to talk about during your appraisal process. You will also get noticed as someone who takes a lot of initiatives and your career will get a major boost.
If you want to create something and do it faster than your competition, you need to the action-oriented. The best laid plans are of no use if they are not actually implemented. Waiting for everything to be perfect before launching a new product or service will only slow you down and keep you away from market realities. This can also have a disastrous impact on your career. So be action-oriented and get stuff done.
If one gets bogged down by day-to-day work and loses track of their goals, then it is obvious that they will not be able to make an impact on the company and also their own career. So be strategic with your work. Always have a bigger picture view of things and a medium- to long-term view of where you need to be.
Whether or not you know it, you have a brand. This brand is not just about your technical skills. It's about your executive presence, communication skills, interpersonal skills, strategic thinking skills and how you pitch your ideas and present yourself. It is critical to invest in yourself to develop these skills. If your company does not send you for training, do it yourself. You are responsible for your own career growth.
Do these five things and see how people start viewing you differently. You will see doors opening and more opportunities falling in your lap.
To invest in yourself, explore the career advancement courses offered by SoaringEagles. Many working professionals take out time on the weekends to enhance their skills. Check out the programs here.