What is executive coaching?

No two people are alike, we all know that. However, one thing we share is that we are all one big bundle of strengths.

In order to become exceptionally effective, leaders must understand their strengths and how to build on them.

Building on our strengths is what makes us exceptional.  The guajillo cannot do what the chipotle can do, and if you try to substitute a morita for a mulatto you are going to get yourself into a whole host of trouble. Hint: see photo.

Leaders do need to understand, and address, weaknesses and blindspots but a strength-based approach to coaching is their best shot at being exceptional.  Only coaching meets leaders unique development needs and is, quite honestly, the most effective way to help them progress in demanding organisations.

The executive coaching process

1. Assess

Combining a psychometric instrument with thoughtful 360 feedback is a terrific starting point for coaching work. Strengths and blind spots are revealed and, more importantly, accepted. We can begin to understand how the coachee can become even more impactful and effective.

Why assess?

Thoughtful 360 feedback can be a powerful mirror that tells us something about how we are behaving today, and whether or not it is serving us. Psychometric instruments provide insights into why we behave the way that we do. Together they provide us with an opportuntity to think about our behaviour and performance in a different way.

2. Plan

I don't just start to coach. Working with the coachee, we develop a practical and actionable coaching plan. Three big objectives. Five to six action points for each objective. Actionable and time bound. Shared and agreed with the manager in a three way conversation.

Why share?

Ultimately, the client is the organisation that is paying the bill and the coachee is the person being coached. To that, the coaching plan is a vital development tool that must be in line with organisational expectations for the role the coachee is playing and/or will play in the future. Managers provide support and guidance. This is a critical step.

3. Coach & review

Coaching is an ongoing process but I will always contract for four to 10 sessions, depending on the client. Coaching conversations work to the agreed plan and they are 100% confidential. Typically there will be three-way touchpoints with the manager along the way to review progress.

Why confidential?

Confidential conversations are the most important aspect of constructive coaching. Any three-way conversations are led by the coachee and are centred around the need for support and guidance, or reflection on the coaching process and progress made. It's vital that the coachee knows that coaching is a "safe space."

Coaching programmes

Coaching can involve one or a handful of executives in your organisation.  You may also choose to design a coaching programme.  Coaching can be the single most powerful change tool in your arsenal.  Given that culture is “the way we do things around here”, cultural change involves changing “the way we do things around here.”  And change sucks.  It’s stressful and it’s difficult, even for change junkies.  At a certain point, training programmes are no longer effective:  Senior executives have very personal development needs.

Executives will flourish and be more effective more quickly if they are supported by programmes tailored to their specific development needs.

Benefits of a programme

Let's talk

Whether you are an executive who would like coaching support to get you to the next lily pad, or a decision maker in an organisation that has determined that coaching will help elevate your top performers and help you achieve your organisational objectives, give me a call and let’s discuss.

I work with senior, successful leaders with potential to go even further.  I have seen coaching maxmise  performance and minimize risk for both individuals and organisations.

When supported by the right coach, magic can happen:

  • new hires will adjust and begin to deliver the value expected of them, quickly and confidently
  • new in role executives will adapt and thrive, quickly adopting the behaviours commensurate with their new roles
  • executives with a bright future will begin to out- perform at their level, enabling them to “hit the ground running” when that big promotion comes
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