The leadership conversation between an executive coach and a leader can be described in many different ways. Some examples include a partnership, a dance, a hero’s journey, a learning journey, and the holding up of a mirror.
Perhaps the most important aspect is the relationship that the executive coach and the leader build together. This relationship is typically one of trust that enables challenging things to be said and explored safely and confidently.
For this reason, it is essential to find an accredited, experienced executive coach, such as those who work with our clients and The Leadership Coaches. It is also beneficial to understand what makes a leader a great coachee to ensure that you can make the most of executive leadership coaching.
In this blog, we share five ways to make the most of executive leadership coaching.
Be Open and Honest
How do you approach relationships? How easily do you build rapport? Do you trust people unless they give you a reason not to? Do people need to earn your trust and prove themselves trustworthy first?
When it comes to making the most of executive leadership coaching, it is paramount that you are open and honest with your coach.
Coaching conversations enable us to learn, develop, grow, and ultimately be transformed and changed. However, this process only takes place when we can reflect openly and honestly.
Be Ready for Challenge and Feedback
There are a range of challenges that leaders need to give not only to themselves but to their colleagues and team members, and other stakeholders. Throughout coaching, leaders also need to be willing and ready to receive challenges and feedback from their coach.
This requires some skill from all parties involved. However, developing a feedback culture and being a leader who is personally open to feedback and challenge can result in much more significant progress made throughout executive coaching.
Be Clear on the Issues
What are the areas that you would like help with? Are you clear and able to articulate them? What form of help do you need? What kind of conversation do you feel would be most helpful?
Asking yourself the above questions and gaining clarity on them means that the coaching conversation is likely to have a great start. It also means that you are more likely to be clear on the progress being made and how the coach can be most effective in working with you.
Carving out time to reflect and think about things before, during, and after the coaching session is critical to the executive coaching relationship.
Reflection allows time to consider the bigger picture, to consider internal and external worlds, to make changes to behaviours, and to find meaning in what you do.
Although many may feel that they need to spend their time elsewhere, making time to reflect is a very important aspect for leaders when seeking to make the most of executive leadership coaching.
Turn Learning Into Action
What will you do moving forward? What changes will you make? What further learning, or thinking, do you need to complete? Who do you need to discuss your actions with? What resources do you need to do this? How will you know you are making progress?
The coaching conversation is a learning conversation that requires leaders to take action and move forward on the issues and concerns that are most important to them and the organisation. As a leader entering an executive leadership coaching relationship, be ready to take action.
For further reading, David Clutterbuck, in his book, “Coaching the Team at Work”, P21-23, also looks at the attributes that make for a good coachee.
Having explored five ways to make the most of executive leadership coaching, we hope that we have shared insight and provided you with clear steps to prepare for the coaching relationship.
If you are interested in exploring how The Leadership Coaches can support you with executive leadership coaching or one-to-one leadership coaching, get in touch and further the conversation with our qualified accredited and experienced team coaches.
Written by leadership coach Ian.
Coaching is a Dance, by Coach to Transformation
Coaching using the Hero’s Journey, by Psychology Today
Coaching the Team at Work, P21-23, by David Clutterbuck