At this start of a New Year. We all want to
make the year our best year yet. For some of us we
become our own roadblocks to success. Consider hiring
a coach to help you get to the finish line and beyond.
A coach will help you make this best year ever.
Things That Get in the Way of Executive Coaching
Too many people receive poor or no coaching. They miss
opportunities to become more effective in their positions
of influence and are often denied promotions they deserve.
Hiring an executive or personal coach can help them enormously.
It's the right tool to alleviate common leadership problems.
What Is Executive Coaching?
Broadly defined, executive coaching is a one-on-one consulting
relationship dedicated to improving high-level managers' leadership
capabilities and performance. Close to 60 percent of U.S.
corporations employ coaches, and approximately 10,000 executive
coaches are practicing today.
Coaching helps conquer ingrained leadership behaviors in
ways that few other developmental approaches can muster. Senior
executives value the privacy the experience affords, while
managers appreciate learning how to coach their reports.
Despite the explosion in coaching services, working with
coaches can be risky. There are no generally accepted standards
for membership in the profession. A few organizations purport
to screen and train coaches, but their authority is not universally
Many of the great executive coaches lack official credentials
or membership in a trade organization. Many come from related
fields like psychology, human resources or management. And
there are experienced coaches, with good track records, who
come from sports, real estate and unorthodox backgrounds.
The more you know about what goes on in the coaching process,
the better you'll be able to make a good choice of coach.
What You Need to Know
As an active participant in the coaching process, you are
Boulders along the Road
- Understand executive coaching, what it can accomplish
and its limitations
- Realize why specific strategies are necessary to overcome
special barriers to executive development
- Decide whether and how coaching is likely to help you
become more effective
- Discover how to assess potential coaches and choose the
best fit for your particular needs
- Recognize the critical steps in the coaching process and
learn how to manage them with the aid of your coach
- Learn not only how coaching can help you change your own
behavior, but also how it can help you influence colleagues
to perceive you in the way you want to be perceived
Here are five potential hurdles to developing executives
and convincing them to change their behaviors:
The Road to Enlightenment
- Lack of authentic feedback: The more authority
you have, the less likely you are to seek and receive
authentic feedback. You may present an air of confidence
and dominance that discourages meaningful interactions.
- Lack of time or value placed on reflection:
Most executives face enormous, continuous and widely
varying demands on their time. The likelihood of having
time to reflect on behavior is minimal. Furthermore, it's
not in the nature of most hard-driving, results-oriented
personalities to be introspective.
- Reluctance to reveal weaknesses to others:
Leaders strive to continually project an aura of confidence
and competence. Complicating matters, the organization
and your peers may discourage you from appearing vulnerable.
- Reluctance to acknowledge weaknesses to oneself:
Executives often steer clear of acknowledging their
personal weaknesses. When your behaviors lead to positive
business results, you may rationalize weaknesses in interpersonal
style. But denial works for only so long before complexity,
stress and challenges take their toll.
- Fear of letting go of a previously successful style:
If your leadership style has been working just fine
for a few years, you may fear that modifying it puts your
effectiveness at risk. No coach, no matter how talented,
can effect change and development in a leader who fails
to understand how barriers can sabotage one's efforts.
When executives agree to change and improve, coaching
works. When they see themselves as responsible for making
change, coaching once again works. The return on investment
for organizations is exponential.
Executive coaching is designed to effect sustained behavioral
changes to improve performance. To achieve this goal, the
coaching program must deliver on these prerequisites:
Provide insight into your leadership behavior and style:
Executives often assume their current approach is the right
one and are blind to its downside. You aren't likely to change
if you embrace this idea. You must request feedback on the
effects of your style and actions. While this may be difficult
to hear, your coach can facilitate the feedback process.
Clarify your purpose and interests: The way you lead
is intimately connected to who you are as a person. To improve
your skills, you must strengthen the connections between your
inner self and external actions.
Improve interpersonal relationships: People's previous
experiences with you and their preexisting judgments should
be addressed. Involving colleagues in your development process
can help change their perceptions of you. This will make it
easier for you to alter patterns of interaction with them.
Broaden your perspective: Executives succeed because
of their strong abilities to conceptualize and think strategically,
but they can sometimes become too attached to being right.
In most real-life situations, there are multiple correct answers.
The ability to see and understand increasing complexity is
essential. Coaching helps develop this perspective.
Develop new leadership skills: What are the key activities
in a new role? Where should a newly appointed leader focus
attention and energy? A skilled coach can help with role expectations
Identify and overcome barriers to change: Change should
occur over time, with assistance from your coach. A coach
helps you practice new behaviors in ways that gradually build
Improve your ability to learn: One of
coaching's most important goals is to teach you to internalize
the ability to question, learn and continually grow. You must
be able to modify your style and behavior as situations demand.
Now is the best time to explore executive coaching. If you
or anyone you know might benefit from executive coaching,
please give me a call. I would be happy to help you find an
effective executive coach to help build and strengthen your
Have a great month, have a great year
and enjoy become the person that you want to be.
Happy New Year!
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