If you're a successful business leader, you probably already have an executive coach... If however you don't, there's a chance that you need one, but just don't know it.
Leadership is lonely, and it gets lonelier the higher you get. Executive Coaches play a pivotal role in filling this gap, by acting as a trusted confidant and thought-provoking sparring partner. They're the person you go to when you need help thinking through an issue.
How Can the Right Executive Coach Help Me?
The right Executive Coach is not going to give you advice, make suggestions, share experiences or tell you what you need to do. They will however:
- Help you to identify and focus on what's really important.
- Help you to identify the gaps that exist between where you are now and where you need or want to be.
- Help you to accelerate your success by identifying the behaviours that are impeding it.
- Help you to challenge and motivate yourself to move beyond your comfort zone.
How Do I Choose The Right Executive Coach?
Engaging an Executive Coach is a highly personal decision, and whilst it may seem like a relatively simple task, finding someone who is right for you is not so simple. With this in mind, here's a list of things to consider:
- Have a 15 - 30 minute 'Chemistry Session' to get to know one another. The purpose of the session is for you to ascertain if they are the right coach for you, and for them to ascertain if you are the right coachee for them. What does your 'gut' tell you?
- Have they walked in your shoes? This may be a contentious point for some, but don't buy into the myth that a coach doesn't need to have experienced what you are going through. The right Executive Coach should have a basic understanding of the challenges that you have faced or are going to face.
- Know what you want... Be very clear about the type of Executive Coach you want. Do you want someone who is highly energetic and expressive or someone who is moderate paced and less expressive? Do you want a 'yes person', or someone who will always push and challenge you?
- Do they have the right coaching experience? Do they have a breadth of experience coaching different types of leaders? Do they have a depth of experience coaching leaders with similar backgrounds and challenges to you?
- Do they listen? Listening is not a break in-between talking... The right coach will listen more than they talk. They won't just listen to what you say, they will also be listening to what you feel and what you think.
- The right coach will challenge your thinking. They will challenge you to rethink your throught process and rationale. They will challenge you to look at issues from different perspectives. They will challenge you to assess your own performance.