B+P Insights: Why Not Consider Talking with an Executive Coach?

In business we could say: “if you don’t make a difference you don’t matter”. Coaching can help you ensure you do make the difference you want to make; that your organisation wants you to make…

Coaching can be very powerful – coaching can change your executive performance and even change your life. The key imperative is to make a difference.

Work is vital to personal, financial, and social well-being and also needs to fit well, and with balance, into the rest of life.  Executive coaching often addresses this need for balance as well as the ever-present challenges to executive performance of identifying priorities, making decisions, and taking appropriate and effective actions.

Executive coaching will challenge what you might take for granted; it will lead you to consider alternative possibilities and executive coaching will expand and support your conscious choices.  Executive coaching will always ensure that you find your own best answer to whatever challenge you might be addressing…

The approach we take at Birn and Partners is to agree an initial no-obligation meeting to determine the possibilities of working well together.  Following our agreement to be partners in coaching with you, there might be six face-to-face meetings of a couple of hours each, at monthly intervals.  There will be agreed actions for you to take between the coaching sessions to pursue the areas discussed, and there might be recommended reading too, to deepen any insights we develop during the coaching.  The agenda at all times will derive from, and belong to, you.

In the first ‘discovery’ session we will agree the goals of our coaching and explore together the challenges you face, the demands being made by your position and organisation, and the personal strengths and limitations currently shaping your performance.   The second session will expand the coaching agenda and identify both overarching life goals and values, and the shorter term perhaps numerous practical goals which must be addressed to achieve quick wins.  The focus of subsequent sessions will develop as the coaching agenda itself develops


So You Have Decided to Work with an Executive Coach…

Very good… it’s an investment in your future…. an acknowledgement of your future value.

But what happens now?  How do you get the most out of your coaching and the best out of your coach?

Like all things, there is pay-off to understanding what is going on.  Unlike a traditional training course where you might’ve sat and listened (maybe even fallen asleep discretely; I’m sure we’ve all done it!), coaching is one-to-one…  It could be embarrassing to fall asleep!  And there’s nowhere to hide…. it’s all about YOU!  So that coach had better be good, eh?  Well yes, but you’ll get more out of coaching if you take responsibility for the coaching and not leave that to your coach.  It is, after all, for YOUR development.  So what could you do to maximise the return on the investment, of both the company money and your time?

Make sure you develop a rapport with your coach so that you feel at least motivated to meet them and engage with the coaching.  Perhaps even to look forward to the coaching sessions!  Be certain that you define the agenda and use the coach to help you think through your ideas; don’t expect the coach to do your thinking for you.  And don’t expect them to offer answers or advice!  Of course be certain too that your agenda is aligned with your business imperatives and don’t be slow to involve your line manager in offering guidance here.  And be open.

Work out how you’ll know your coaching has been successful.  That way, you, your coach and your manager know what you are aiming to achieve.  Be specific not vague.  This increases the chances of success.  Above all, end every session with a determination to capture the insights (the penny-drop moments; the ‘ah-ha’ moments; the re-framing…..).  Don’t let your session be like a dream – vivid at the time but forgotten once you wake up!

Agree with your coach how you can move the insight into some sort of action, to engage with the real world of your life or job.  Know why you are taking the action you are taking.  Make the conscious choice.  Let your coach know how you are doing.  Perhaps capture your thinking (and actions) in an email exchange.  Even request your coach ‘hold you to account’ and chase you for feedback.  A good coach might do this anyway!

So, if you decide to work with a coach, remember that it is you in the driving seat. The coach will support your journey but you are the navigator.


Roger Fielding, Associated Partner

+44 7850 34 3905 | rf@birn-partners.com


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