Working with an executive coach is the best partnership experience you can have for making the changes you want.
Have you wanted to have clarity of thought? Confidence in the decisions you make? Grounded when presenting a business case? How about tough conversations with team members, peers or even your boss? Would you like to have them in the moment instead of avoiding them and losing sleep? How about having a clear sense of where you are headed?
All this uncertainty, self-doubt and low confidence come from not investing enough time in thinking in a truly focused way and with the courage to face your fears and your truths. You may not even notice just how much mental and physical stress this is putting on you.
We understand that stress has an impact on many areas of our work and home lives. We understand that having active lives with attention to diet and exercise can counter stress. But how about dealing with the source of stress in the first place? Our minds, our perceptions, our worries, and all those thoughts that we kick around and around in a holding pattern? It’s hard to land sometimes, right?
It’s interesting to me how all of us struggle with complicated decisions and ideas every day at work and yet, for all the meetings and coffee catch-ups, we find it hard to talk about what’s really going on in our heads.
Coaching is a highly individualized process that depends on both the nature of the client and the coach’s knowledge, skills and abilities. However, coaches have several recognized techniques and tools to draw on in almost any coaching situation. – Society of Human Resource Management (USA)
Who on earth would be interested or have the patience to listen to ME or know how to challenge MY thinking in a safe and confidential way?
Your coach. A good one.
Someone who is well trained, who you can trust to not judge you even when you’re stumbling through your thoughts, unpacking reality from perception, and finding the courage to voice what’s really going on for you.
Working with an executive coach is the best partnership experience you can have in learning to understand yourself and making the changes you want to make. And there’s only one way to find out.
how good is it to work with a coach?
I know how good it is to work with a coach because of the investment I’ve made in myself and my journey to master the skills of true partnership. Because of my own experience of being coached by great Master Coaches – you know you’re in good company when your coach asks you a seemingly simple question but has you scratching your head, or when they reflect back what they’ve heard you say and you smile because you’re floored and amused by your own ability to fool yourself. And because of the hundreds of hours that I have listened, partnered and laughed with clients, and at the end of each session, they are lighter in spirit, they are smiling and their body language is open and relaxed.
This is how I know. You can also read the data on how good working with a coach is to individuals and organisations. But you don’t really need data to know when someone made you feel good and how after that, you felt ready to tackle anything.
So what’s the difference between Executive Coaching and Career Coaching?
Nothing really because coaching is the space where you, the client, set the agenda every time and I hold that space for you to work through your thoughts and decisions.
I’m a firm believer that if you know what you want from your career, you are more engaged at work (and home) – you are more productive, more focused and more nimble. Executive Coaching is the term most used by organisations and Career Coaching is more used by individuals – interesting, isn’t it?
I’m trained in coaching in workplace settings, and I’ve developed my own programmes working with leaders and teams, including Career Roadmapping and Team Alignment. Just because we put on our work clothes to go to work, it doesn’t mean we leave our emotions at home.
So it is with coaching – all our thoughts and behaviours are interconnected, so invariably in coaching sessions, my clients bring topics to explore that affect both personal and work relationships.
How does coaching work, practically speaking?
It all starts with your decision to invest in yourself.
We have a written agreement in place that outlines your responsibility to yourself throughout working with me and my responsibilities to you as your coach.
Our agreement includes expectations on both sides to be candid and truthful even in giving feedback, freedom to push back or change the topic, confidentiality of our partnership and everything that you say and share with me.
I am bound by and committed to the ethical standards governed by the International Coach Federation.
We agree some meeting dates. Sessions are typically 60 minutes long. I recommend a minimum of six sessions to really see some results and energy from our work together.
We would meet every 2-3 weeks but again it depends on what you are wanting to achieve, how quickly and your availability.
Our sessions are intense – thinking is hard work but always very rewarding and energising.
I coach in person as well as by phone or Skype, Facetime, etc. as many of my clients live in other cities or countries. I’ve coached people in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, India, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand. We work out best times for both of us to meet across all time zones.
What happens during a typical session?
At the start of each session, we catch-up on the outcome and impact of previous sessions and then jump into the topic you decide is most important to you. Sometimes your topic will be about a situation you are currently in the middle of and sometimes your topic will be part of a bigger, overall focus that you will have determined during our first session.
I might ask you to define your topic in more detail so that I understand what you want to walk away with. From here, we dive deep into our topic – for example, I might ask you for examples or why the topic is important to you.
Sometimes I will challenge you with an uncomfortable question or idea, for the simple reason that this is what I am hearing from you (just in different words) or something in the space has got you stuck.
This is courage territory.
We all have perceptions of ourselves that don’t match reality or what other people experience of us. To come to a place to call something what it really is… that takes courage.
To give ourselves permission to respond or behave in a positive way for ourselves also takes courage. And as hard as that is sometimes, with it comes relief.
And as I mentioned earlier, being in a stuck place, a holding pattern, causes us to feel stressed, often without knowing why. Relief, even from facing something hard, helps dissipate that stress. Now you are beginning to deal with the source of stress.
From here, we reflect.
How and where does this challenge play out for you at work or at home? What needs to be different? Why? What can you start to do about it? What needs to happen as soon as possible? What does that look like?
And so on. You start to build your own action plan based on a truthful and grounded appreciation of your own needs and behaviours.
We close each session with an evaluation of whether we addressed your topic sufficiently, what steps you need to take next, how you want to be held accountable, and a scan of who you know that can help you as well as what or who might roadblock you. This part is critical if you are to achieve your goals and gain momentum from working with me.
Want to get started or ask more questions?
Great. It’s best to email me in the first instance, with your contact details and good times to speak, and we’ll take things from there.