Relationships are the new technology for success. Coaching supports leaders to be in good relationships with themselves and with others.
A coach can definitely help. That said, you have a role to play in getting high value from the coaching experience.
I had a coaching session with a senior leader in a large international organization the other day. It was our first call and she admitted she really didn’t know what she wanted to focus on to get the most value from the session (which, by the way, was a high value way to start the session).
She shared that she has some internal mentors and feels these people are providing her with good support regarding her career path.
I asked the question, “What do you think would take your leadership up just one notch?”
I then asked, “What’s the one burning thing you would love to talk to your mentors about but are afraid might be career limiting?”
She immediately honed in on ‘that one big thing’. And the rest of the conversation was rich and rewarding.
Executive Coaching is 100% confidential
We hear over and over again that one of the reasons coaching has such an incredible impact on performance is because it is a 100% confidential environment.
This means people can speak to their coach about any topic, without filters, and without needing to "get it right". They can be rough and raggedy.
It is a space where they can explore new ideas safely. When clients embrace the confidentiality of their coaching environment, they open up to exploring their issues and trying new things.
They are not held back by the thought that something they say may inadvertently be career limiting. This gives a level of freedom that usually can’t be had in any other space.
Low Value – Showing up polished and hyper focused on being careful with your words.
High Value – Being honest and authentic. Being courageous enough to say, “I don’t know what to do about X. Can we explore that?”
Coaching Sessions are a 100% no judgment zone
For many new clients, being in a coaching environment requires a big shift in thinking.
Typically, our clients are already in successful careers and are top performers or executives within their companies. As coaches, we already know you are smart and capable. That’s a given.
Coaching exists to move you forward and accelerate you by helping you find new ways and new opportunities to be successful.
The point of coaching is to discuss the things you haven’t figured out. The places you get stuck. The areas where you don’t have answers.
Most of us are aware, and perhaps worried, about being judged. By our peers, our boss, our direct reports. We work hard to create the illusion we have it all together, after all, isn’t that what we're supposed to do? Show no fear!!
In reality, everyone has challenges – things they are struggling with, places they are stuck, or goals they can’t seem to achieve.
Coaching sessions are the perfect settings to explore these challenges because:
- The coach’s only agenda is to support you and help you be successful
- Coaches can’t (and won’t) discuss your sessions with your colleagues or employer
- Nobody will question your competence in a coaching session
Low Value – Showing up with a list of accomplishments to convince your coach you have everything under control, thinking that will impress our coach.
High Value – Being yourself, being vulnerable, feeling safe enough to say, “I’d really like to create X, but I’m stuck on Y.” Knowing your coach will not judge you for failing and struggling and for not knowing the answer.
Executive Coaching is 100% focused on you
How you show up impacts your team and your business.
Clients often share that their time spent in coaching sessions is the only time they spend thinking about themselves, their leadership and their impact on the business.
Most leaders are very focused on supporting the success of others. The coaching space creates the opportunity to support your own success, which in turn supports the success of others.
Many clients struggle at first with the concept of sharing their challenges and exploring unfamiliar concepts or strategies. It is common for someone to come in with a particular issue involving someone else and ask, “What can I do to help them be better at X?”.
It comes as a surprise when the focus shifts back to them and the question comes back, “What about your behavior is contributing to that situation?”.
As clients gain more comfort with focusing inward, the value comes in their ability to apply new approaches in their workplace that have a positive impact and help them reach their goals.
Low Value – You focus on other people as the issue and ask your coach what they think you should do.
High Value – You are open to discussing how your behavior or perspective is contributing to the challenge and you make your own decisions as to the actions you want to try moving forward.
Coaching is a valuable and powerful tool, if used wisely
Organizations of any size looking to take talent development to the next level can benefit from coaching. Professional coaching services support growth and retention among your employees while preparing your organization with the next generation of leaders.
It is a proven way to accelerate business results by making your people more effective.
These clients shared this value…
Client Example #1: A sales leader who was working on having more influence and leadership visibility
This client embraced being vulnerable and open. He put real issues on the table that he hadn’t acknowledged or discussed before. He was unfiltered and trusted the safety of the coaching sessions. He shared how he really felt about things, rather than giving a safe and ‘polished’ answer.
This allowed us to uncover the real drivers and issues. From there, we created an action plan for his leadership that was profoundly different from anything he had tried before.
Client Example #2: A middle-level marketing manager who was working to have more influence and impact with her peers and senior leaders
This client was willing to focus on where she wasn’t succeeding, what wasn’t working for her, and how her current behavior was not getting her the results she wanted. She was willing to “go deep” to uncover some limiting beliefs that were entirely responsible for her lack of success.
With that new awareness, she was able to overcome her challenge and began to have more influence at her workplace.
These were two high value coaching experiences that yielded amazing individual and organizational results.
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