By Tino Mantella
TLG President & CEO
Over the past few years, organizations have put an emphasis on leadership development, including coaching. Coaching provides individuals and teams with a proven process that helps participants develop effective leadership skills and competencies so they can lead more effectively.
This week we interviewed a number of TLG clients who provided testimonials regarding the quantum impact their experience with us had on themselves and their companies. We discovered consistent themes. These themes reflect the impact that one-on-one coaching can have on the individual and the cascading effect it has on teams and organizations.
Here are three consistent themes we found:
The first theme we saw was increased personal awareness. In other words, clients told us that prior to participating in an assortment of assessments and going through the coaching process, they thought they knew what their supervisor, peers, and direct reports would say about them. They were in for a surprise, often learning more about themselves through unfiltered feedback. On top of that, the personality assessments, supplemented by coaching, enabled the participants to become more mindful of their decision-making process. In turn, they were able to make better decisions that positively impacted their organization.
It’s one thing to be more self-aware, but it’s another to embrace feedback and take corrective action when required. Most of us would agree that it’s much harder to accept feedback than it is to be made aware. The leaders we’ve worked with recognized that the greatest personal gains came from being vulnerable. Vulnerability can be a leader’s greatest strength, mustering the courage to be innovative, authentic, and trustworthy.
Once a leader has developed their awareness and fully embraced it, the next logical step is to have a development plan. When I supervised the Gang Intervention Program through the Chicago YMCA, my program supervisor (who came out of the gangs) would always say “a man without a plan, plans to fail”. It’s the same for our clients who are being coached. Some leaders can take feedback and create progress on their own, but most can benefit greatly from having a coach who guides them through the process. A coach helps the client to bring all the feedback, skills, and competencies they have learned and put them into a comprehensive plan for growth.
The Impact of Coaching
Extrapolating from the testimonials, TLG has had a significant impact on the leaders we spoke with and thousands of others since our founding in 1987. We continue to play our part in building stronger leaders and, perhaps, better people. In the final analysis, the credit goes primarily to those clients who were made self-aware and vulnerable. Then, with the help of their coach, they harnessed that feedback to facilitate personal growth.