Executive Coaching from the Executive’s Perspective

Not long ago I invited several CEOs and Presidents to share what executive coaching is as they experience it and define it. To continue this Series, here are their thoughts and commentary to Question 8.

Q 8:  How important (or useful) is it for all members of an executive team to be simultaneously engaged in executive coaching?  Why? 

“If you have some members of an executive team who don’t want to participate, or are unwilling to participate, then I’m not sure it’s worth forcing them…they’ll just go through the motions and nothing worthwhile will happen.”

“I think that it tells you something about your team members to the extent they are not willing to engage with an executive coach.”

“One of the challenges that hadn’t occurred to me before is how difficult it must be to coach someone in isolation, divorced from first-hand knowledge of the context the person is in, and seeing the rest of the organization and the peers and colleagues and subordinates and superiors, and so on solely through the eyes of that individual.”

I would think that the hardest thing to pull off in a coaching context is where a coach ‘parachutes’ into an issue and is dealing with one individual executive and has to learn about and sort through the biases, the blinkers, the blind-spots, and the prelims the individual is seeing with. I have to wonder given the impediments and inhibitions that that puts on effectiveness, whether that is even ever worth doing…which is a thought that hadn’t occurred to me before.”

Next K&S: Leadership Alchemy blog entry Q 9:  What parameters or conditions need to be considered when executives from the same team are engaged in executive coaching?

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