5 Reasons All Senior Leaders Should Engage in Executive Coaching

It’s Storytime. Once Upon A Time, there was an executive named Peter.* He was the Operations Director for a large Engineering firm.

Peter had an extremely busy job and he was juggling a lot of different balls. This exhausted him at times and didn’t know which priorities to focus on and when.

People always seemed to want something ‘right now,’ and as for the number of meetings he had to attend – phew, it was never-ending. But one thing he knew for sure – he couldn’t drop any of those balls.  Not a single one.  His reputation demanded he was on top of everything at all times.

Now his company expected him to attend a leadership programme.  As part of this programme he had to undertake a psychometric evaluation and complete six coaching sessions.

How on earth was he supposed to fit that in on top of all the work he already had to do?  It was insane.

He arrived online at his first coaching session feeling cynical, frustrated, and more than a little annoyed that he had to spend an hour doing this.

His coach explained how the coaching process was different from mentoring.  He wouldn’t be given advice but instead, his coach would facilitate through the use of powerful questions to provoke reflection.

Once the formal bit was over and they had both introduced themselves, Peter found the tension in his shoulders reducing somewhat.  His coach had a sense of humour which he appreciated.

She also turned out to be a good listener.  She didn’t interrupt but just let him talk.  She asked the odd question which helped him reflect on what he was saying.  She also repeated back some of his thoughts to him which he found helped him gain more clarity.

To Peter’s surprise, by the end of the session, he had solved two problems and was also closer to solving a third issue which his coach reassured him they would pick up on in the next session.  Perhaps this coaching malarkey was not such a waste of time after all, thought Peter.

Before the next coaching session, Peter had to take a short psychometric assessment called the EBW which stands for Emotions and Behaviours at Work.  Fortunately, Peter was able to complete the whole thing in just under twenty minutes – it was very straightforward.    They would discuss it at his next coaching session.

Peter was in a happier frame of mind at his second session.  Who didn’t love having an hour to talk about themselves?!   He had not seen the results of his assessment as his coach wanted to explain how to interpret the results.   She shared her screen and showed him the 8 competencies on which he had been measured – they were Self-Awareness, Motivation, Adaptability, Decisiveness, Empathy, Conscientiousness, Stress-Resilience, and Influence.

They went through each competency and looked at how Peter scored.  His coach explained that the assessment would give him the awareness of how emotions impact behaviour leading to performance change, and a blueprint to shift his emotional behaviour to improve his own and others’ performance.

Peter was engrossed.  He was strong in adaptability which reinforced what he already thought, but he could do with a bit more empathy.   His coach enabled him to talk through his opinions on his scores and she asked if he agreed with the assessment.  He had to admit, it was more accurate than he expected and he could see where he was strong and where he had some work to do.

However, the best part of the session was when his coach tied the results of the assessment to the previous discussion they had in the first coaching session.  Peter could see how with a little more empathy and using his strengths in adaptability and influence, he could improve the outcome.

Peter left the session looking forward to his next coaching session. It was the best use of an hour he had experienced in quite some time.

5 reasons why Senior Leaders should engage in Executive Coaching:

  1. Increased self-awareness
  2. Improved focus
  3. Gain clarity
  4. Opportunity to talk through issues with an objective facilitator which improves numbers 1-3 above
  5. Increased productivity.

The End.

*Peter is not based on a real person but instead is a mixture of many different clients I have encountered over the years.

NB: I am currently offering a 25% discount on the EBW if booked before the end of March. If you are interested please drop me an email at justine@proactivecoaching.ie

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