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Executive Coach --- Would I Benefit?
by Dr. Rick Johnson
February 17, 2012

The answer to that question is simple: In most cases, yes, what is good for the individual is also good for the company. When one needs help separating the forest from the trees, they normally find the forest within the confines of the company. When one is making decisions from a position of stress, they find that stress is normally ascribed to the requirements of the job, and stress relief usually allows the job to be done better, faster, and with much more enthusiasm.


The higher you are in the management hierarchy, the more solitary the decision-making base becomes. Regardless of your experience, you can use a third party whose future does not rest on one decision or an action. You can use the coach as a sounding board for a concept that might seem foolish or embarrassing, that even your most trusted insider is better off not knowing initially. Sometimes listening to yourself explain an issue, defend a position or just brainstorming provides the kind of clarity that is often missing in your normal day to day thought process.

Executive coaches will not function as business consultants during the coaching process although many coaches are consultants; they're not psychotherapists that will help you work through emotional issues. An effective coach will concentrate on one thing: improving your performance as a leader. This is not an easy task because they effectively must help you help yourself by guiding you in making the most out of your natural abilities and finding ways to improve upon or work around your weaknesses. A good coach will make sure you meet your commitments, behave like a grownup, and otherwise stay out of your own way. Many coaches, including myself, may request that the executive allows them to interview the management team to get a perspective on leadership within the organization that is not singularly biased by the executives’ personal opinion. 

Coaching is about success – not Failure


Coaching is not reserved for problem managers. It is frequently sought by top performers whose organizations value their growth potential. Regardless of your motivation for hiring a coach, the following guidelines are important to consider:


Establishing Ground Rules



  1. Confidentiality ---- A coach must observe client privilege similar to what attorneys practice. Sharing information with upper management must be approved by the person being coached. Remember, coaching is about success not failure. If a client is not coachable, the coach has an obligation to cancel the arrangement.


  1. Expectations ---- The individual goals must always be in alignment with the corporate goals. This is rarely a problem but both parties must be clear on their expectations.


  1. Communication ---- Reference confidentiality, however, information gathering is often necessary. Interviewing of management team members may be necessary but must be approved up front.


  1. Objectives ---- Objectives are set during the initial coaching call as precall prep work is discussed. Focus on weaknesses and behavior modification is generally part of this process. Objectives are seldom revenue or profit related.


Getting the Most Out of Coaching


Once you have hired a coach the following principles will increase your desired results and ROI.


  1. Tell your coach what to ask of you, and what you need to keep you going.
  2. Report (email or fax)  weekly.
  3. Tell him what’s really not being handled or is holding you back.
  4. Tell him how to acknowledge and encourage you – we all have our special needs here.
  5. Ask him how he perceives how you come across and how strong a client you are.
  6. Accept his requests of you and GO FOR IT vs. resisting.
  7. Ask him what he has done to make changes in the quality of HIS life.
  8. Point out what he does well with you and encourage more of that.
  9. Tolerate nothing between you; clear out all misunderstanding immediately.
  10. Be grateful that you have a coach (part of your attitude of gratitude).



If you would like to explore the coaching process, e-mail rick@ceostrategist.com for a thirty minute coaching discussion at no cost to you.