Executive coaching has gained much popularity in the last decade, but still, many people don’t understand what it entails. People often confuse it with other useful roles like mentors or advisors. I always say this to establish a differentiation between all these three roles – coaches may or may not be an expert in your domain and thus may or may not have advice or answers. The idea of coaching is that humans are self-sufficient and resourceful. They are capable, constantly growing, becoming more adaptable, and more self-sufficient when they learn how to think differently, vs. simply accepting recommendations or advice given to them.
Coaching involves patiently listening and asking questions to help the client see beyond the obvious. Coaches are trained to help you find your solutions. Yes, coaches serve as sounding boards, a mirror, accountability partners, and confidants.
Executive coaching gives you greater clarity, confidence, substantial presence, adaptability, effectiveness, self-awareness, and increased resilience. Here are some scenarios where engaging a coach is a brilliant idea.
- If you have transitioned into a new leadership role and want to keep up or even stay ahead of the learning curve, you should hire a coach.
- If you struggle to work effectively, you should hire a coach.
- If you are losing valuable talent from your team and cannot figure out what is missing. Hire a coach.
- If you continue to receive feedback on why you are not ready for a promotion yet, even though you are a good performer, you should hire a coach.
- If you or your team keeps missing the deadlines and you are facing challenges in driving accountability, then hire a coach
- If you want to give honest feedback but at the same time don’t want to hurt people or don’t want to be seen as a bad person. You should hire a coach.
- If you feel you are taken for granted and not suitably rewarded for your contribution. This is costing you your motivation and confidence. Then you should hire a coach.
- If you want to create a strong team of employees who can help you take the organization to the next level and don’t want an order-taking team or team that does what is asked of them. Then you should hire a coach.
After all, it helps you become a better version of yourself – and serves everybody around you – professionally and personally. Many of my clients have told me how surprised they were that coaching had transformed their professional and personal life. There is one catch, though, just hiring a coach doesn’t guarantee results. Here are some time-tested tips to help you maximize your coaching throughput:
1. Take 100% ownership to make it a success. Coaching success depends on the trust and partnership between you and the coach. You and your coach are on level ground – they are not above or below each other. Even though you are paying your coach, you are not “the boss.” A coach will push you, challenge you and say the hard things.
2. Become ready to learn new things about yourself. Of course, you are smart. You are driven and accomplished and will have answers to things. But if you want to get the most out of your coaching relationship, drop your answers. Assume what you have been telling yourself is only a partial truth. The deconstruction of what you think you know is essential to growing. It is hard. But it gets easier with each session.
3. Prioritize your coaching session. Sometimes, you will be tempted to cancel your coaching conversations because you have many other commitments. Don’t fall into this trap, honour your commitment to coaching sessions because there is nothing more important than growing yourself.
Lastly, coaching is hard. You won’t grow if you don’t push yourself hard and are not prepared to step outside your comfort zone.
What is the biggest challenge that you are dealing with now? What would life be like if it gets resolved? Here is a gift for you. Book a free coaching session with me on this challenge.
If you have experienced executive coaching before, was it similar to what I described here? If not, how was it different? Join the conversation and share your thoughts!