Why is it that some leaders love personal coaching and absolutely swear by it and others reject it as unnecessary and a waste of time?
There might be many reasons of course but one significant factor became apparent to me recently when I was having a discussion with some colleagues about the Wilson Learning Social Styles Model - you know, the one that breaks our preferred communication styles down into Driver, Expressive, Amiable and Analyst.
One of the traits that most coaches seem to share is what I refer to as 'coach energy', a vibrant, open and engaging communication style that is apparent as soon as they walk into the room. This translates pretty well into the social styles model and indicates that many coaches share a natural preference for the Expressive style. But this could be a problem if you have a strong preference for one of the other styles. You might see expressive coaches as unfocused (Driver), intimidating (Amiable) or shallow (Analyst). In turn, this might see you spurn the services of a leadership coach, even though you might need one more than you realise.
Of course, the best coaches develop an intuitive ability to adapt their style for different types of people. And we should not forget that the social styles model is just one lens through which we can view character traits and communication styles. Nonetheless, it highlights one of the reasons why some leaders totally buy-in to their coach and others don't.
While 'coach energy' can be infectious and motivating, it can also have the reverse effect on some, especially those with a strong preference to communicate in a different style.
Simon Cooper heads up ELC Training Solutions and is the author of the best selling leadership development book, Brilliant Leader.
4 days ago