Working with an executive coach can help you identify and achieve key professional goals—whether that means cultivating certain skills, building your confidence, clarifying your management style, or climbing the corporate ladder.
But while an executive coach can be an invaluable guide, the coaching process is ultimately a two-way street. Passive participants can’t expect to get much out of the process; on the contrary, you’ll get out of it as much as you’re willing to put in.
How, then, can you invest in the coaching process and ensure you’re reaping its benefits? Here are a few ways you can prepare for a fruitful executive coaching experience.
Investing in Executive Coaching
Establish trust. In any new relationship, it’s important to get to know one another, and to establish a baseline of trust. Sit down with your coach and share some of your goals and your drivers; your likes and your dislikes; where you’d like to be in five or 10 years; and what you ultimately hope to get out of the coaching process. Candor is key for building trust between you and your coach, so simply take time to talk with each other in an authentic way.
Embrace routine. Executive coaching doesn’t work very well when it happens irregularly or infrequently. Be ready to commit to regular sessions with your coach. You can work out the ideal schedule together, but once you do, stick with it; make coaching a non-negotiable within your weekly and monthly routine.
Be open. You hired a coach to provide you with feedback and with perspectives you may not have considered—so be prepared to accept some constructive criticism and to engage with some ideas that might be new or even a little uncomfortable to you. Open-mindedness is invaluable to the coaching process.
Be goal- and action-oriented. With your coach, lay out some achievable goals that you can work toward. This will lend some structure to your coaching sessions. Also, make sure each session ends with an action item or two. Reiterate those action steps to your coach, ensuring you’re both on the same page.
Do the homework. Your coach might give you some things to work on between sessions. Follow through with this and show up at the next meet-up ready to discuss your experience. This isn’t busy work! It’s something your coach thinks is important for you to progress toward your goals.
Coaching Involves Give and Take
To conclude, simply note that executive coaching is not a prescription. It’s not something you do unthinkingly. It’s a process you engage with, and that can involve some give and take with your coach. That makes it doubly critical to find a coach you feel really comfortable with.
We’d love to talk with you more about the executive coaching services we offer through Loeb Leadership Development, and to walk you through the best ways for you to truly engage with our coaches and our processes. To talk about executive coaching with us, reach out to Loeb Leadership Development today.