How to Get the Most Out of Executive Coaching

      If you speak with anyone who has gone through a successful Executive Coaching program, they will tell you it accelerates how fast you reach your goals, no matter what the goal is. 

      Working with a professional coach gives you the opportunity to work through obstacles and opportunities to support your professional growth and keeps you accountable to yourself! 

      Coaching is your investment in your future and as with most investments, you get out what you put in. 

      Yesterday a client shared this perspective, “I look at my coaching session as demonstrating to my team and my org that I am fully committed to being the best leader I can be.  I dedicate time with the exec team working on how we lead better together, and I dedicate time with my direct report team focused on how we work better together.  I view my coaching time as the opportunity to dedicate time that I need to work on myself and develop my leadership skills so I can be better. 

      Why Coaching Works 

      Coaching is about creating the most value for you through this 1:1 time that is designated to be all about you! One client shared the importance of her monthly coaching sessions, “This 45- minutes is the only time I slow down, breath, and focus on me.” 

      Coaching works because it is personal and customized to you. You set your own goals, you make your own decisions and you select the strategies and action items that are going to work best for you. Coaching is not about following someone else’s agenda! 

      Another client shared this perspective on why coaching is working for him, “You are my confidential objective sounding board. When we are brainstorming and problem solving and exploring new ideas and perspectivesI don’t have to worry that what I’m saying is going to impact what someone in the org thinks of me or that it might make them question my skills or question whether I am right for a certain role. It is so freeing to know I’m not being judged. believe I move faster through issues when I don’t have to worry about that.” 

       

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      Keys to getting the most out of your coaching sessions 

      You and your coach are going to explore things together and creating a strong foundation of trust in the relationship is the first integral step in a successful coaching engagement.   

      Your focus determines your reality. To get the most from your coaching relationship you create the focus and you have to bring all of yourself fully. This is not a relationship where holding back serves you!   

      Here are a few tips to capitalize on this transformational experience:  

      1. Be Committed. This time is about you, for you. You want to use your time well. Show up on time for sessions and complete action between sessions. The work you do between the sessions is where the real learning and movement happens. You will reach your goals faster if you commit to the coaching process.
      2. Be Open. Allow yourself to be honest and transparent, bring the real you and the real issuesIf you are not willing to be open and honest with yourself and your coach, you won’t be open and honest with others which limits your growth potential.  
      3. Be willing to experiment. Your coach will stretch and challenge youWhat comes up in your coaching session might be uncomfortable. Often the light gets shone on potential blind spots and habits that are derailing you, be willing to explore these and seek feedback from others to truly identify whether these habits are limiting you.  
      4. Be open to being challenged and also challenging back. A great coach will challenge you if they think you are stuck in a narrow perspective or perhaps have a blind spot that needs exploration. That doesn’t mean the coach is ‘right’. It just presents an opportunity to explore. I love it when a client says, “I’m not sure that’s what it is Heather, but what you said has me thinking that maybe this is what it is about.” That’s perfect! This is a two-way relationship. 
      5. Come prepared and willing to take action. This is your time, your opportunity to move yourself forward so come with your agenda and be prepared to jump right in and get to the issue or topic that is most important to you. And, come prepared to discuss the action you took away from last session. If you are not taking action between sessions, you are not moving yourself forward.
       In order to grow, you have to be willing to invest your time and attention to address blind spots and build on your strengths. Coaching offers you the platform to do this…you bring the rest! 

      I saw this quote recently, “Dream your own dreams, achieve your own goals, your journey is your own…and unique!”  Coaching supports this perspective. Your coach is there to support you on your own unique journey.  

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