If you get past the most common first question related to executive coaching — what is it? — the second one is this. Sometimes it is obvious what the benefits of coaching might be once you know what coaching is and how it works. But it is often not so easy to grasp.
Coaching, as you have already discovered, is a focused, helping practice. In this way it is facilitative, very much like many of the therapeutic practices such as psychotherapy. But it can also be very directive and when it is we often call it Mentoring. Combining the two creates a very powerful means of unpicking recent or lifelong behaviours and feelings that may have prevented you from achieving your real potential as a person and as a leader.
The first real benefit of coaching is that you will no longer be facing the twists and turns of your career in the dark and alone. I will be in your corner each step of the way, helping you to see things from a different perspective. Together we will explore what you do and how you do it. But more importantly we will explore why you do some things and not others. We will challenge behaviours that might be holding you back, and supporting those behaviours that raise you to new levels. All the while we will keep our eyes firmly placed on the feelings that underpin these behaviours.
Before you ask it, let me be clear — coaching is not simply cheering you on. It is almost a given that at points along our journey I will challenge you. We will unpick your default behaviours, your past glories, your current problems. You might not always like what your hear. None of this will be mean or rude. But it will be challenging because it is often the case that what stands between you and where you want to be… is you! We will work as a tight duo. The only way this kind of coaching works is if we have the kind of openness required to navigate both the support and the challenge.
The consequences of a coaching journey can vary. In some cases, if the relationship between the coach and the client is not strong, the results can be little more than frustration for both parties. But if the relationship is strong and effective, inappropriate behaviours that have held you back can be identified and eliminated, old triggers can be seen in a new light, relations with colleagues changed for the positive. Annd the benefits are not limited to the workplace.
It is often the case that the underlying issues that hold us back in the workplace do the same in our home lives. So being able to identify why we do the things we do, particularly those that result in negative consequences, and changing the way we see and feel about common situations be they at work or at home, can lead to much greater serenity in both places.
But the only way to find out if there is a fit, if coaching can really help, is to pick up the phone and give me a ring. It all starts with a call and a no-cost, no-obligation conversation. Best of all, you may find that your HR department has a budget in place for this kind of work and will support us along the way.