How to achieve even greater success with your Executive Coach
Executive Coaching is increasingly recognized as one of the most valuable ways to expand your leadership capability to successfully achieve your goals. It also requires significant time and money and you want to be sure you’re getting the best possible return on both the investment and your expectations.
Focused on enhancing your strengths, addressing perceived gaps and developing practical strategies, your relationship with your coach is highly individual, supportive and challenging.
While each coach will have their own unique style and use different professional approaches, there are simple actions you can take to ensure your coaching is highly valuable and time well spent.
These ‘top tips’ are based on what’s worked best for the many senior leaders I’ve been privileged to coach across the corporate and private business, government and non-profit sectors for over a decade.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE
Identify specifically what you want to achieve (desired outcomes) through your coaching and how you’ll measure your success.
Combine your Professional Development Plan, 360 feedback and other profiling assessments with your own goals and aspirations to decide what you’d like to focus on.
2. TAKE ‘TIME OUT’
Use your coaching sessions to step back, reflect and gain perspective.
Time with your coach provides a unique opportunity to reflect on both challenging situations and opportunities.
You may be surprised how much more you notice when you consciously step away from the situation.
3. BE CURIOUS RATHER THAN DEFENSIVE
Your coaching sessions are a ‘judgement free’, confidential zone where there’s nothing to defend or justify.
Focusing on what’s possible will help you create new ways to manage challenging situations and develop in ways you may not have thought previously possible.
4. SET GOALS AND COMMIT TO ACTION THAT’S A LITTLE UNCOMFORTABLE
Be willing to go beyond what you already know and do to expand your leadership capability.
Your coach will help you develop strategies and concrete ways to overcome the natural fear and anxiety that comes with taking risks and stepping outside your comfort zone.
5. IF SOMETHING’S NOT WORKING, SAY SO!
Coaching is a co-active process and your coach will ask you many insightful questions to increase understanding.
However, coaches aren’t mind readers! Based on the high level of trust you will develop with your coach, it’s important to tell him/her if the process isn’t working.
He or she will constantly adapt their coaching techniques to help you achieve your desired outcomes as quickly and easily as possible.
6. MAKE YOUR COACHING A PRIORITY
With a busy and demanding schedule, it’s tempting to cancel or postpone your coaching sessions and occasionally this will be unavoidable.
Your ongoing development is a priority and success is most easily achieved through continuous, sustained effort.
Commit the necessary time to your coaching sessions and the action/s you set yourself between sessions and you will quickly see results.
7. BE AUTHENTIC, HONEST AND YOURSELF WITH YOUR COACH
Confidentiality is paramount and your coaching sessions are a safe place to let your guard down.
You will achieve a lot more, a lot quicker and easier when you are being ‘you’.
Your coach will help you consciously identify and bring out the strengths of your natural leadership style based on your values, beliefs, strengths and priorities.
8. STAY FOCUSED AND MAINTAIN MOMENTUM
Your development is likely to be rapid at the beginning of the program as you gain new insights and apply new strategies.
However, it is also possible for progress to either stall or ‘back slide’ over the latter stage of the program.
The positive benefits of coaching are cumulative and the easiest way to maintain momentum is to attend your coaching sessions, follow through on your commitments, regularly review your progress and re-set your goals.
Aim to achieve more than your original coaching goals and acknowledge your success.
9. USE WHAT YOU LEARN AND EXPERIENCE WITH YOUR TEAM/S
As a leader, you will naturally coach your own direct reports through the challenges they face.
Whether it’s adapting to change, dealing with difficult situations or career development, much of what you experience with your coach can be applied with your own team.
Ask your coach to explain coaching techniques he/she uses with you and how to use them to help improve your team’s performance.
10. BUILD YOUR CAPACITY FOR SELF-DEVELOPMENT
Actively seek ways to adopt and adapt your coaching strategies to all areas of your life.
Much of what you gain from your coaching are highly effective in strengthening relationships and achieving goals outside of work. New ways of thinking, being and doing can be easily applied to a whole range of different situations. The more often you use them, the more quickly and easily they’ll become second nature.
Your coach will actively ensure you have what you need to effectively and independently coach yourself to realise the benefits long after your coaching program has been completed.
Curious to see how a P2R Executive Coaching Program could help you? Let’s have a chat and find out!
“I was somewhat skeptical about the full value of executive coaching until I met and worked with Caroline who is absolutely brilliant. She has a wonderful way of stretching and challenging you to go further and critically evaluate yourself but also enables you to walk out of any coaching session feeling absolutely inspired about next steps. I would recommend Caroline’s coaching to anyone who is looking for that next competitive edge but remains uncertain whether coaching can work. She is one of the best.”
Genevieve Hawkins, General Manager, Health, Safety and Well Being at Coles