What is executive coaching?
Executive coaching is a process that supports leadership development and/or performance improvement and goal achievement. It’s a one-on-one working relationship built on trust, honest feedback and mutual accountability that allows you, as the client, to make the most of all that you have to offer – your strengths, skills, relationships and abilities. Coaches provide a confidential place to practice something new, learn something about yourself and move toward something that you want to achieve. Often at the executive level, you need a trusted advisor that will listen and speak freely and encourage you to learn and try new skills in a safe, developmental environment.
What are some of the reasons to hire a coach?
- You have been derailed by a particular habit or behavior and want to address either a knowledge gap or behaviors that no longer work in your executive role.
- You’ve been promoted and want to hit the ground running in the midst of confusion and anxiety in understanding and mastering your new role.
- You have considerable education and training, but something is still missing from your tool belt.
- You’ve moved from front-line or mid-level leadership and want to learn how to be present at a higher level.
- You want to have success on the job without sacrificing family and personal interests.
- You want to find a way to get everything done within a 24-hour day.
- You can’t get your team to play well together, and you’re at your wits’ end.
- You know that your senior team could be more effective, and you can’t figure out the best way to make that happen.
- You have special needs/concerns/challenges related to your role and your organization, but no one to help you sort those out.
- You want to grow and are not sure what growth will be most effective to move you toward your goals.
- You’ve lost your mojo and can’t find anything fun about your work anymore.
- You are having a tough time promoting your ideas to others on the team or to your board.
- You want to accelerate your success as a leader and seek a competitive advantage.
- You break out into a cold sweat when you’re asked to deliver your ideas in a formal presentation.
How do I know that coaching is appropriate for me?
Effective coaching supports behavioral and mindset changes that result from taking a new course of action. Clients call when they feel “stuck” and need to make a change, or are going through a change and want support. Coaching only works when you, as a client, are ready to take steps toward some change that is important to you. Coaching is a partnership where you and your coach are mutually interested in your accomplishing what you want to accomplish. As a client, you will be successful when you are open and receptive to feedback and are prepared to do the work that it takes to change and adapt behaviors.
How do I choose the right coach for me?
Several things will help you make a good decision about your coach:
• Speak with a couple of coaches to find the right chemistry. Chemistry is critically important because of the trust needed in a coaching relationship. If you are not able to “come clean” about your experiences and gaps, the coaching engagement will not be as valuable to you. A coach who is compassionate, but also willing to call it like they see it, is a much better resource than someone who is just fun to hang out with.
• Coaches have their own system and approach, along with an extensive tool box to pull from, and the best coaches customize their approach to meet their clients where they are. Ask the coaches you interview about their methods and practices for coaching.
• Technical knowledge related to the business that you are in isn’t as important with coaching as is working with someone who understands you and your challenges. However, someone who has business acumen and experience in an executive role can offer additional context and insight for the coaching engagement.
• Find a coach who has had formal coaching education and certification. Coaching today is unregulated, and education and certification are indicators that a coach is committed to continuous learning and competency in the field of coaching. Coaches who are members or credentialed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) are required to adhere to the highest levels of competence and ethical standards, assure confidentiality and provide structure and rigor around professional standards that are proven methods. Coaches committed to excellence will have their own coach.
How does coaching work?
Coaching is generally a commitment between you and your coach to meet (in person, by phone, Skype or other technologies) at least twice a month for a minimum of six months. Some clients have accomplished their goals in three months, and others have taken longer than a year. Changing behaviors, habits and beliefs takes time and focus.
The purpose of coaching is to make you more resourceful as an executive leader. The idea is that you and your coach focus on the tools and mindset change that you need in order to reduce your dependency on your coach as soon as possible. Responsibility for the work resides with the client, and the coach is a partner and resource in the process.
Executive coaching is an art and a science that relies on mutual commitment and a willingness to experiment and play with ways that will help you experience growth and development that results in sustainable change.
What is Presence-Based® Coaching?
Presence is that state of total focus when we are fully connected to the present moment and what is occurring in that moment. For leaders, the ability to be present is necessary to be self-generative in the midst of change. Presence-Based® Coaching is an approach and a tool for the development of clarity, focus, resilience and the place where real transformation occurs.