What are the benefits of coaching? Answers usually focus on the benefits for those who are coached, such as improved performance, change in attitude, better coping, goal-directed self-regulation, well being.
It’s also worth highlighting the benefits for those who coach. Michael Bungay Stanier lists three good reasons in his book ‘The Coaching Habit’:
It creates self-sufficiency in your team, less dependence on you as a leader, removing you as a bottleneck, thereby keeping up your team’s momentum and motivation.
Linked to the above, it helps not get overwhelmed by work, and having too many ‘priorities’ by letting your team take on the work and allowing you to focus on where you can make the biggest difference.
It helps (re)connect with the work you are doing. You reflect on what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, and you are challenged to stay true to your values or go for the big dream you’ve always had.
Three other reasons for coaching others:
You learn from those you coach. You learn from how they overcome their challenges, reach their goals, or change perspective. By seeing others tap their potential, you recognize the unfulfilled potential in yourself. By seeing others grow their emotional intelligence (in short, awareness & responsibility for self and others), you become curious about how to build out your own emotional intelligence.
You get a chance to train your mindfulness muscle. To coach others well, you need to be mindful of what’s going on. Rather than mindlessly crossing off a list of great coaching questions, it really makes a difference to the coaching to be as mindful as possible. And for you as coach, the rewards of mindfulness are plenty.
You get to witness meaningful moments in others: insight, acceptance, resolve, letting go of stories, shifts in perspectives.