At Stanford University, the Miles Group research found that 96 percent of CEOs say they want coaching and leadership advice from outside coaches and professional advisers, but less than one-third of them receive it (Larcker et al. 2013). Therefore, it seems that excellent coaches are needed more than ever.
Before making clear what extraordinary coaching is, let’s zoom in on different types of support available.
Where can you get help?
We all have blind spots, and hence we seek help to learn and improve our lives. Professional support may come from teachers, trainers, therapists, consultants, managers, mentors or coaches. They all demonstrate different attitudes, behaviors and competencies (ABCs). By way of illustration, the teacher teaches, shows and tests. The trainer, for example, identifies gaps and develops skills by training. The therapist goes back, diagnoses and fixes dysfunctions. With regard to the consultant, (s)he answers and tells as well as influences but has no direct power. Relating to the manager, (s)he manages and has direct responsibility. The mentor advises and supports.
Critical Clarification on Coaching
Coaching is all about building and sustaining an amazing life personally and professionally. Evidence shows that coaching works. But what do exceptional coaches actually do? They look forward and help clients develop themselves and achieve their personal and professional best. For that reason, coaching is all about the relationship. How does it work? The coach energizes the relationship. At the same time, the coachee empowers it. As a result, the relationship re-energizes the coachee, and thus the coachee is now able to better understand, gain confidence, transform and deliver.
Five Fundamental Principles of Excellent Coaches.
Hiring a coach is a major decision. Finding an excellent one is not as easy as you might think. I recommend the following five fundamental principles that an excellent executive coach needs to adopt.
1. The client sets the agenda.
2. The client is resourceful and has potential.
3. The coach uses clear evidence-based methodology but doesn’t deliver answers. The coach energizes, asks, listens and invites the client to discover, dream, re-design and deliver.
4. The coach helps really good leaders excel and succeed.
5. The coach/client link is a synergistic, professional and an equal one.
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