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 9.

Q 9:  What parameters or conditions need to be considered when executives from the same team are engaged in executive coaching?

“I don’t think you can take a standard formula and apply it to each person. Each person is going to need their own strategy and structure around which to be engaged in EC. Different things will work for different people; one size will not fit all.”

“The degree of respect, the degree of trust, the degree of fellowship among members of the group will influence people’s readiness and willingness to participate in EC.”

“The President should not be inquiring about them; like asking the coach, “What did they say”, or asking them how come they are not meeting with you (the coach) more regularly.”

“There needs to be a non-defensive attitude by the CEO. Not everyone is going to be pleased by everything the CEO does. This may come out in their coaching sessions. The CEO can’t give undue concern to this.”

“The CEO has to trust the process, trust the executive coach, and make it easy and OK for people to participate (in EC), or perhaps to not participate.”

“Define the roles and the process up front. I think they are different for a coaching engagement with an individual versus a team. Just think of the complexity involved regarding confidentiality when engaging a team…it is immense. So, the rules have to be different and clearly explained up front.”

“I think as the senior person who understands and values the EC process, I need to make sure that people don’t somehow feel unfairly punished if they have chosen not to engage in EC. Everyone grows and moves at their own pace…I have to help them find something to help move them developmentally forward that fits where they are at the moment.”

Next K&S: Leadership Alchemy blog entry Q 10:  How important (or relevant) is it that an executive coach be trained in business? …in psychology? …in human resources? …in some other discipline?  Why?

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