Answering Your Questions about Executive Coaching

August 17, 2023


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I am often asked why a successful executive should have a coach.  To be totally honest, the question sounds something like this….

“I am already doing a great job so why would I need a coach?”

Or here’s another one that I hear even more…

“We can’t afford to get them a coach.  Can’t they read some articles online or take some courses?”

So many opinions, yet so few with actual research behind them.  So, let me clear things up and give some facts about executive coaching.

Who needs coaching?

While these reasons are not all-encompassing, executive coaching is for leaders who are emerging, wanting to strengthen their skills, wanting to be promoted to the next level, or are looking for a thought partner.  

Why should I get coaching?

Being at the executive level can be a lonely place to be.  Often, the higher you go, the less “friends” you have.  It’s hard to find “trusted”, objective thought partners” whom you can use as a sounding board, a trusted confidante or even someone from whom you can gain a different perspective.  The coach is also someone who does not have a name or face in mind when you need to discuss a touchy or potentially volatile situation within your organization.

What does executive coaching look like?

Executive coaching starts with active listening.  According to the International Coach Federation, active listening “focuses on what the client is and is not saying to fully understand what is being communicated in the context of the client syst3ems and to support client self-expression.” 

I describe active listening to my clients as “I will be doing most of the listening and you will be doing most of the talking.”  Active listening also considers the coaching leaving their agenda out of the conversation and partnering with you to guide you to the goals you have identified at the beginning of the coaching engagement.  Notice the repetitive word “you.”  The coach is here to work WITH you on YOUR agenda, not some prescriptive one used with every client.

How do I pick a good coach?

Executive coaches at Velocity come with extensive experience in their field of expertise.  Many have been leaders in varied sized organizations and have a long tenure in dealing with the same issues and concerns you are facing.  A good coach will be able to match the moment and build trust quickly, but each coach is also unique. At Velocity, we work hard to find the coach that is right for you so that you can get the most out of your coaching journey.

Will the coach be doing all the work while I sit back and take notes?

The answer to that is a hard NO.  In fact, the most successful clients get out of coaching more than what they put into it.  For example, if you come with an open mind, ready to do the hard work of looking at and improving your blind spots, are willing to see a different perspective, think and therefore “be” different and better than you are now, you will have a successful coaching experience. 

If any of this has piqued your interest and you want to learn more about executive coaching through Velocity, click here, and take a moment to get to know our coaches.