What an Executive Coaching Company does is still a mystery to some people. So I have been asked to write this piece by Tony Goddard to let others know what to expect when they consider executive coaching. Over a period eight months. I met with my Executive Coach six times.
Meeting my Executive Coach
I was asked to meet my Executive Coach to see if I felt I could work with him before we started any formal executive coaching. We met for 45 minutes over a coffee. We talked about what I knew about executive coaching (at the time nothing!) and the way that it worked. My coach talked through his background and approach to executive coaching. We spent quite a bit of the time with me just talking through my issue and what had happened up to then. I decided that we would probably get on quite well. The coach listened to what I had to say and seemed to understand the difficulties that I had. He asked some pretty insightful questions and his style appeared to be practical and down to earth which suited me well.
Our First Meeting
Our first proper executive coaching session was spent agreeing what I wanted to achieve from my coaching. To be perfectly honest I found this quite difficult on the basis that I wasn’t totally sure myself. I wanted to work through what I needed to do to get a promotion to the next level in my company. Anyway after going around the houses a bit we agreed that I wanted an action plan that I could put in place to get me the promotion. As part of that we would look at how I could work on some of my competencies and what I could do to raise my profile with senior management.
What Happened Next?
One of the first things I was asked about was how I was perceived in the business now. As a result I realised that the only real evidence I had about that was the appraisal from my line manager. From our discussion it also became obvious to me that I didn’t really know how the promotion system worked in our company. So through the executive coaching we designed a questionnaire that I could use to find out how I was seen by some of the key players in the company. If I’m honest I was a bit apprehensive about these meetings but realised I’d never find out if I didn’t ask and anyway what was the worst that could happen?
I went and met five of our senior management team with the questionnaire. I was surprised at how well the meetings went. They were honest with me and gave me some positives they had seen as well as some good constructive criticism. I think overall they were quite impressed that I wanted to get their feedback so I could work on getting my next job move.
The outcome of the questionnaire gave me some areas I needed to work on. These included making sure I raised my own profile internally. With my coach we came up with an action plan to address all these points. In reality it was me that came up with the plan, but the coach was really helpful in keeping me on track. He got me to confirm that my actions were both realistic and that I could do them in the time set out.
The rest of our executive coaching time was spent reviewing how things were going against my plan and working out how to get over any problems that had arisen.
End of Executive Coaching
At the end of the executive coaching I did a re-run of the questionnaire with the five senior managers. This was really helpful because I got great feedback on the areas in which I had improved. There was one competence I looked to improve and they had seen me get much better at it. As a result of putting myself forward to lead a couple of projects and be a member of another project team I had succeeded in lifting my profile. I’m happy to say this was in a positive way!
My View on Executive Coaching
Well I would not have achieved what I did without my Executive Coach. I think I kind of knew what I needed to do but it was the executive coaching that enabled me to get that out of my head and turn it into positive action. My Coach was also very supportive and it was great to have someone from outside the company to talk through how things were going. So my experience of executive coaching was pretty good. I still have more to do on my action plan but I now know where I stand in terms of getting promoted.
Key words; Executive Coaching, Executive Coach, Executive Coaching Company, Executive Coaching Provider, Executive Coaching Services, Executive Coaching contract
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