If you’re considering working with a coach, prepare to change
By Executive Development Group In coaching, dr lily kelly-radford, dr. randall p. white, dr. sandra l. shullman, . . . On December 31, 2020
Journalists have a saying: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”
The same applies to the field of executive coaching. If you tell us, “I’m good with people,” we check it out.
We go looking for confirmation because while your personal assessment may be honest, it might not match the experience others have . And that’s really what coaching is all about; it’s our job to help you understand how you are seen and the story of your impact on others.
Coaching is a learning experience of discovery, practice and mastery. This is why when you begin a coaching experience you should be prepared to experience behavioral change in some deep and significant ways.
As learning partners – coach and learner – coaches are expert in the methodology of how to coach and the learner is the expert on themselves. It’s our job to create a safe, non-judgmental, and trust-based space to receive in-depth data from others about their experience with you. We then hold up that mirror and ask the question, “Do you like what you see?”
At Executive Development Group, we believe strongly in triangulation – multiple measures of behavior so that you can find the underlying theme of the behavior. In this process we use psychological instruments, a 360 assessment, and in-depth interviews with your boss(es), peers and subordinates around a set of issues that reflect on your role as leader.
Working together, our objective is to find the themes that cross – from the psychological instruments to the interviews to the 360. In this way we are able to look at the issues of strengths and development needs and construct a realistic and achievable development plan.
Our work amounts to doing a piece of research on one person. It’s intense and not for everyone. There are those who have said, “Well, I really don’t know that I want to do all of that.” Some people may believe we’re too intrusive. However, we do what it takes to find and explore the vital themes (what we call a red thread) that run through all interactions and give the coach and learner the building blocks for constructing measurable objectives for on-going coaching.
When to find a coach
One of the most common situations for starting a coaching process is when the learner is taking on a new position and needs to develop leadership capabilities to fit one of the following types of leadership challenge:
1) Fixing a broken organizational system.
2) Starting a new role… whether leading former peers or an entirely different group.
3) Managing scale and scope changes.
4) Taking on a special project in addition to their regular duties… maybe an important project requested by the CEO.
5) Moving from a line position to a staff job and vice versa.
Another set of situations that may call for coaching is in dealing with broadly defined interpersonal issues – sometimes seen as the most common reason for derailment. For example:
• Not “suffering fools” well.
• Important relationships aren’t working well.
• The need to see the world a little differently /to be more flexible.
• Needing to be more mindful of how things are said, often referred to as developing EQ.
For example, being a contrarian might be helpful in product development or marketing work, but it might derail you in a leadership role where you need to build team spirit , unity, and an optimistic outlook. Coaching can help.
Whether a coaching engagement is remedially prescribed to save a career or a process of preparation for a more demanding role in the organization, it’s about gaining something – an awareness of behavior – that you don’t currently possess. That takes a partnership with a trusted advisor who can provide a safe place to test behaviors and learn what works and what doesn’t in various leadership situations.
Prepare to change with a trusted advisor
To accomplish this, most research suggests that the most impactful set of variables on whether coaching is successful is the relationship between coach and learner. Only when there is trust and respect, does the partnership work.
Are you ready to begin your coach search? You can talk to us about your needs and concerns using the form below to start the conversation.