Getting coached requires a significant investment in time, effort, and money. Though you’re aware of the benefits in the short and long term to your career, peace of mind, and fulfillment, you may still hold back considering the “investment.”
Well, “investment” is the right word. And, investing in yourself is the best investment you can ever make.
Having said that, if you don’t have the resources this red hot minute, you can still get coaching. You can get your organization to sponsor it, as long as you can show how it’ll benefit them too.
More and more organizations intentionally set aside significant amounts of funding to coach their people.
Your job becomes easier (in terms of negotiating/requesting coaching support), especially if you’re a high-achiever being considered for the next big role. Or, if you’re about to join a new organization, negotiate coaching as part of your starting package/first 90-180 day plan.
Here are 3 prompts that’ll help you strengthen your case:
1. What specific results are you aiming for as a result of coaching?
Mention a specific timeframe, if applicable. For example, one of the goals could be: transforming the culture of your team from one riddled with underperformance, conflict, and lack of productivity to one of stellar performance, results, and team spirit, within 3 months.
Another one could be the ability to influence stakeholders at multiple levels with ease. That requires a blend of effective communication, stakeholder management, and leadership presence. The benefit? Things get moving quickly in the organization, and your (and your manager’s) visibility and opportunities skyrocket.
2. How would that benefit your organization/manager?
You can quote specific behavior changes that can lead to results that improve the bottom line, results, etc. For example, if you have always been great as an individual contributor working primarily behind the scenes, but the next role requires you to steer a multicultural team working across disciplines, that’s going to take some heavy lifting. In a demanding environment, when you needed to be ready yesterday(!), the support of a coach can help you collapse timelines and get to your results faster.
Much like chugging on in a coal-powered train vs. getting there faster with an airplane. If you can show that game plan, your manager can rest assured (and give you that promotion), knowing fully well that you will ramp up rapidly and master your role faster than expected.
2. What’s the return on investment?
By when can they expect the results? And why should they care?
If I may say so myself, the pointers above are excellent about showcasing what results to expect and highlighting the ROI. I’m reminded of a client (senior leader reporting to the Board of Directors at a Fortune 100 firm) who approached me as she was struggling with a turnkey project. They were rapidly losing stakeholder trust and struggling to find the budget and support to deliver the high-profile project she was entrusted with.
We worked on many aspects, but 3 were key to the fast turnaround:
1. How she managed her time/energy/priorities – that spilled over into the team’s productivity as well as she mentored her team with the frameworks/mindset shifts/insights that we discussed in our 1:1 sessions (talk about ROI multiplying across the team).
2. Strengthening her self-identity that helped her establish a strong leadership personal – powerful, influential, confident. She no longer hid behind the scenes but showed up as an active ambassador of her project, team, and self.
3. Stakeholder relationships. Within 6 weeks, she turned cold stakeholders into warm allies, strengthened existing relationships, and won over key members of the board – authentic relationships centered on win-win. As a result, she over-delivered on her project ahead of time, and the project was a huge success that was quoted industry-wide on a global level.
How’s that for an ROI?! And that too, within 6 months of our coaching engagement.
Your turn. Take 30 minutes to reflect and create 3-5 bullet points that’ll help you present a strong case to your management. Remember: keep it crisp, relevant, and results-focused.
That’s how you take ownership over your growth, career, and life goals.
Well, I would say don’t wait for someone else to invest in you, do it yourself. But if that’s not possible this red hot minute for whatever reason, don’t hesitate to approach your organization. After all, the results are there for everyone to see and experience: for example, when you follow my signature “Leaders RISE Accelerator” pathway while coaching with me, we deliver multiple times the initial investment within 3-6 months.
Oh! And let me tell you something that could happen. Your inner voice, at this moment, might want you to play small, not ask for it, in case your manager thinks you’re asking for too much? Well, that’s the attitude that has held you back so far, isn’t it? If you feel in your gut that it’s the right thing to do, go for it. Ask your manager.
You have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
If you need my help putting together this “proposal,” let me know. I’ve helped hundreds of leaders move past their challenges and into careers and the impact they desire, much to the delight of their managers and organizations. I’d be happy to help you and be a part of your ascension plan. Onwards and upwards!