Very often when I start working with a new executive coaching client they do not really understand what it is an Executive Coach does.
Here I explain what to expect in Executive Coaching and how to make the most of your time and investment in coaching.
Executive Coaching – How it works
The idea behind Executive Coaching is to provide you with the support you need to enable you to find the right solutions for you which fit your situation. I can already hear you saying ‘if I knew the solution I wouldn’t be hiring an Executive Coach!’
In reality when you have a topic for coaching it relates to a significant dilemma or question for you. An example might be ‘what is the best way to present my proposal to the board so that I persuade them to accept my recommendations?’ You will have lots of thoughts and ideas rattling around in your head. They will all be competing with each other for air time because you only have one chance to get it right. Our minds are often a bit like this on topics that are really important to us.
An Executive Coach will use their coaching skills and powerful questions to enable you to get some order and structure into your thinking. Often even hearing yourself express an idea aloud will tell you if it will work or not. A good coach will also challenge your thinking and identify any contradictions in what you are saying, or between what you are saying and your body language.
As an Executive Coach I have coaching supervision sessions to talk through the way that I practice coaching. In essence this is the same as being coached. I will turn up with say a problem as to how I can best help a client. I have a lot of great ideas but have not settled on any one of them. After coaching supervision I have normally found a solution that’s right for me and my client. So I know it works from personal experience!
Quality of Executive Coach
It is important that you find the right coach to work with you. However it’s not essential that they understand your job role or company in great detail. They do however have to need outstanding listening and questioning skills as well as a theoretical framework for their coaching. Remember some of the great coaches in sport were not top performers, for instance the coach for Mark Spitz the Olympic swimmer could not swim. There are lots of examples of great football managers who never played top level football e.g. Jose Mourinho. To establish the quality of coach check out their:
- Coaching experience
- Coaching qualifications
- Background prior to becoming a coach
- Previous clients who can provide a reference
- Whether you think you will have the right chemistry with the coach
Executive Coaching Topics
The right Executive Coach can support you across a wide range of topics and questions. Examples of these would include:
- How do I get promoted?
- How do I raise my profile with the board?
- How do I raise my self-confidence having just been appointed?
- How do I develop an Executive competence such as leadership, interpersonal skills, or strategic thinking?
- How can I keep my team motivated through a difficult period of change?
We have successfully worked with clients to solve these types of questions. Often this can be done with between 3 – 6 coaching sessions. If you’d like to know more about coaching or our company please contact us (details in the side bar) we would be happy to answer any questions that you might have.
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