As a successful business leader, owner or professional you will know that coaching in business has become a trusted source of finding appropriate means to “raise your game”.
You will have heard some great success stories from your within your peer group and from other successful leaders. In their experience they will have benefited by being guided through the right, incisive questions, superior listening and being allowed to find, implement and own the improved outcomes they sought.
In each success case the coach is the sounding board, thinking partner and becomes the trusted confidant that then holds the client accountable to reaching or exceeding their goals.
But finding the right executive life coaching for you can also be somewhat tricky, as can finding the right type of coach.
Understanding The Differences Between Types Of Coaches
The most prevalent types of coaches we differentiate are:
- While there is some personal focus on the business owner, business coaches dwell more on guiding (mainly small business) to greater productivity, revenues and profitability and are actually more consulting or mentoring based than pure coaching.
- Life coaches on the other hand, help individuals achieve more clarity of purpose in their personal, internal objectives such as work-life balance, improved outlook on life, better relationships or career relevance or change. They help their clients identify and overcome personal obstacles that may have been holding them back from achieving their potential.
- As the name suggests, executive coaches focus on the “business leader”, whether employed or a senior executive in their own business, whereby their emphasis is usually on the fit between the person and the company, adapting their leadership behaviours, vision and style, the effectiveness of their teams and initiative outcomes as well as guiding them in the management of their own performance and that of those they lead.
- Mentors also need to be considered in this mix, as coaches often assume mentoring roles as part of their services to their business clients. Essentially mentoring is the guiding resource by an (often but not necessarily) older or mature, more experienced and senior business person of a younger, less experienced or junior business person that aspires to follow a similar professional path to the mentor.
Why Executive Life Coaching Works So Well
This combination of Executive and Life Coaching has become more pronounced in the last few years in that we have learned that the business person is both a personal individual with a range of personal behaviours, attitudes and preferences, often largely influenced by their conditioning and their background as well as a business individual with skills, competencies and experience that the business (and the individual) requires to leverage for their ongoing growth and success.
My experience is that the “business market” has somewhat “pooh-poohed” straight life coaching as something more “woossy or wishy-washy”, perhaps because of the myth attached to it that “there must be something wrong with me if I need a life coach”? However, as more and more people experienced significant value from working with a coach, they recognized that you can’t really separate the individual from the person that turns up at work each day – that their backgrounds and their attitudes and their competencies are all linked into one package; that we can’t simply develop the one at the expense of the other; that for sustainable, successful personal and business growth outcomes we need to work with both aspects.
In that context the combination of executive life coaching makes increased sense and I am finding ongoing and growing relevance in my work for and with my business clients.
What Makes Any Coach A Great Coach?
Research has shown that great life and business coaches have to really love working with people, be passionate about their work, and about helping others achieve great outcomes. Good coaches, or any service providers for that matter, have to care more about their clients and their results than they care about the money, albeit it is the “price” they place on their services that has the client “fetch” the outcomes they seek, lest it simply becomes a “talkfest”.
Industry experience shows that a good coach is not defined by a certificate, a good coach is defined by life experience, success (personal, professional and financial), leadership skills, authenticity, ongoing personal development, curiosity, character and by the mentor(s) they have learned from. If we add decades of personal, successful business, growth and leadership experience (in large, complex corporates or in small to medium size organizations – or both) into the mix, then the mentoring aspect of the coaches work can add very substantial additional benefit to the outcomes the client will achieve.
However, would you agree with me that most of all what makes a great coach is their track record of having helped a large and diverse range of people to achieve uncommon outcomes for their life, their business and for their life’s work?
How Ready Are You To Benefit From An Executive Life Coach?
From the thousands of hours of executive life coaching, grooming and mentoring hundreds of business clients over the last decade, I have found that there are just 10 fundamentals that drove most clients to look for and engage my services. Here they are to “test” what might help you assess where you stand:
1. Are You Groaning Or Leaping Out Of Bed?
Do you leap out of bed each morning, inspired by what you are doing, or do you groan out of bed reluctantly facing another day of the same old same old? Are you pro-actively driven by your passion for your purpose or are you “just showing up”?
Your coach will help you find and define your purpose and the attitudes required to passionately and consistently drive the successful outcomes you aspire to, guiding you through obstacles you will inevitably encounter.
2. Who Is Stretching And Challenging You?
Who stretches you and challenges you to set and chase some great goals for what really matters to you and then holds you accountable to successfully carrying out what you intend to achieve? While we all CAN do this, most of us don’t and we find it’s often quite hard to see it through, don’t we?
Your coach will ensure that you aren’t like most people that spend more time planning an annual holiday than they have ever spent planning their career or their life and then they will make sure you do what it takes to live and deliver on that plan, often way beyond what you’d do on your own.
3. What Risks Aren’t You Taking And Managing?
What risks are you not taking because you have nobody to bounce their mitigation off? We all need to take risks to get ahead, but which ones are acceptable and which ones could knock us off our perch? Where do you stand on the spectrum of risk adversity versus risk awareness versus preparedness to take some (calculated) risks? Often hard to assess on our own, isn’t it?
How much better could you be operating if you had that executive life coach as your thinking partner who you could bounce the options off first and then pick the best ones with confidence – every time?
4. Life And Career Plan – Fact Or Fiction For You?
Do you have a life plan and a career plan that will take you to where you you want to go? If so, are you living it? If not, aren’t you like a yacht without a rudder – directionless and at the mercy of the winds and tides?
How much better do you think your life’s work could succeed if you had a plan that you could follow with confidence and with a coach that wouldn’t allow you to cop out?
5. Are You In or Out Of Balance?
How well are you balancing your health, wealth, work and play in your life? If these attributes made up a wheel, would it be a round and smooth or very bumpy ride? What needs to change to make it round?
If you haven’t given this any thought or emphasis in the last 5 years, and you don’t change anything, what will be different for you at the end of the next 5 years? Won’t you be letting yourself down if you don’t actually do something about it now?
How much surer could you be of the outcomes you aspire to if you had an executive life coach running alongside you to hold you accountable that you did?
6. Are You Taking Leadership?
Have you taken leadership over your life, are you just coping? Can those that depend on you, count on you “delivering”? Can you look them and yourself in the eye in a mirror and confidently state that you are “on top of it all”?
Wouldn’t the accountability conscience of a coach help make all the difference for you and your loved ones?
7. Frustrated By Not Overcoming Obstacles?
What’s holding you back from raising your game? Are you hiding behind your conditioning or are you ready and willing to tackle some bad habits, personal attitudes, behaviour patterns and other influences that you know are limiting you?
Isn’t it high time to address them with your own sounding board that can help you tackle the really tough ones with ease?
8. Stretching The Edge Of Your Comfort Zone
How close do you allow yourself to “the edge”? Do you always prefer to “play it safe” and sometimes regret that you “never had a go”? What’s it going to take to get you out of your comfort zone?
Can you see how having a coach can have you stretch yourself outside of that comfort zone to chase down some outcomes you have admired others to have achieved? Why not you?
9. Tired Of Lacking Visibility & Credibility?
If I asked you what you thought your credibility and your visibility was, what might you say? And how would your partner respond? And what you do you think your friends would say? And your boss? And your customers? What do you think you are lacking and how might you go about rectifying that?
Politics can be so draining and eradicate so much hard work in an instant, can’t they? What if you had your own thinking partner to help guide you through them with outstanding results?
10. Are You Driving Your Bus Or Getting By?
Who is driving your career bus? Did you “fall into” your profession and did you perhaps also “fall into” your last few roles? Are you firmly in control of grabbing the right opportunities for you or are “taking what you can get”?
Who are you strategizing with that’s helping you with your “reality map”, leveraging your best skills and talents and then holding you accountable so that you end up doing what you love doing best – even what you were born to do?
The Secret Of Success When Choosing A Coach
The 8th Sherpa Coaching Survey in 2013 established a few interesting facts, some of which I’d like to share with you today. Almost 40% of coaching clients described results as “good”, almost 60% as “excellent” and only 2% had problems with coaching. They also found that “externally engaged coaches” had substantially better outcomes than “internal coaches”.
What I found interesting was that “veteran coaches” (that is with more than 10 years coaching experience) had 25% of their outcomes reported as “good” and 75% reported as “excellent”, while coaches with only 2 years coaching experience reporting a 50/50 ratio.
All of the above attributes and thoughts surrounding coaching are valid in finding a good coach. But how do you know from their website or advertising that they deliver what they preach?
The Proof Is In The Track Record
Like many leaders, I too still work personally with a range of different coaches all the time. To me there is no better benchmark for selecting a good coach than their track records of helping clients just like you and me to superb outcomes; ones they would not have achieved by themselves.
Having decades of personal business and leadership experience, coupled with state of the art professional human expertise training, including NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), perhaps even credibly documented in a book or ongoing collection of professional publications is a good starting point, wouldn’t you say?
And then a track record of results independently confirmed in authentic testimonials by heaps of happy clients is what matters. In The Trust Triangle I speak of how referrals from trusted sources work so well in the confident selection of the right professionals for the right outcomes. You have been doing that successfully all along in all your business partner or vendor selection, haven’t you? Why not leverage that same benefit from a collection of personal testimonials where coaching clients outline what results they were able to achieve through a good coach?
If the above has resonated with you, and you can see what a difference coaching can make for you as well as taste the success that you personally aspire to, then you could now:
- Have a read of my track record via my Linked-in page
- Visit my About page and see for yourself what this executive life coaching is all about and what I can do for you.
Please feel free to book one of my no-obligation exploratory coaching conversations in which you will quickly be able to assess how I can help you kick the goals you seek.