Behind every great sporting star sits a committed, experienced expert: their coach. You won’t find a top athlete who didn’t need a close, personal mentor to get to the top.
You can view your career through a similar lens. You might have the qualifications, experience, skills and drive. But just like that top athlete, there are times when you need some professional guidance to take the right path, use your talents as best you can and address your shortcomings so you can reach your goals. Regardless of where you are on your journey, there will be times when you could benefit greatly from Executive Coaching.
What defines Executive Coaching is that coaching focuses primarily on effectiveness, productivity and engagement at work – regardless of whether you’re an employee, manager or CEO. One thing an Executive Coach can do is help you write ‘your story’. If you want to improve your career progress, business performance or even your personal circumstances, the Executive Coach’s job is to provide you with a process to help you realise your potential. As your story is developing, your coach will help you write your best story.
You want your story to have unlimited possibilities. As your story unfolds, you will gain new insights, experience, understanding, common sense, good judgement and wisdom. Every story has surprises and unknowns, and course corrections are often necessary. Your coach there to help you stay the course and stay accountable, so you can reach your full potential.
A good Executive Coach enters your story without bias
Your coaching relationship is one where you are given space to create and grow. To do this, your coach comes to you without bias. They are not there to judge, and their stake in the game is helping you achieve your goals.
While those close to you – at work and in your personal life – generally has good intentions, they can also have bias. This bias can cause them, consciously or unconsciously, to steer you in a direction that may not be best for you.
To help you understand bias, here are just three examples:
They may try to protect you by guiding you down safer path, because that’s the decision they chose for themselves
They may suggest a different path because they don’t think you have the skills to navigate your ideal path
They may steer you in a different direction because of selfish motives (even your closest colleagues can be selfish)
How an Executive Coach allows you to realise your full potential
An executive coaching relationship comes to you with you a blank canvas to work with. This doesn’t mean starting from scratch. But it does mean you should consider that your business, career or personal circumstances should be whatever you want it to be. People often start from where they are, and not from where they want to be. This thought process will limit your possibilities, and is why working with people that know you well can be extremely limiting.
So in starting your story ask yourself, what are your possibilities? Ask, with the knowledge, experience and skills you have today, what you want your business or career to look like? How do you want your personal story to develop? As you write your story, your Executive Coach will start by helping you get a clear vision of what you want that story to be. Remember, it is not easy to define and articulate what it is you really want. This will take time and will need to be refined over time.
Closing the gap between where you are… and where you ought to be
Once you’ve developed a clear vision of your story, your Executive Coach will help you create an action plan. The action plan looks at short-term and long-term objectives you need to accomplish so your story can advance and unfold. You do this by identifying the gap between where you are and where you capable of being.
Like any good story, you’ll encounter unknowns, surprises and obstacles. Your Executive Coach is there to help you work through these. They help you identify the course corrections that are needed and help you stay accountable to your goals because, in the end, it’s worth the journey.