Make us your home page
Instagram

Coaching can help executives explore new ground

Executive coaching as a technique for enhancing a leader's skills has grown significantly over the past decades. No longer is it viewed as a sign of trouble if a top executive signs up for coaching. Rather, it is viewed as a perk. A recent book by some of the foremost scholars and practitioners on coaching, Advancing Executive Coaching, edited by Gina Hernez-Broome and Lisa A. Boyce, estimates that 70 to 80 percent of companies are using coaching. The increase in the use of coaching for leaders can be attributed to the greater demands of managing global, more diverse teams in more challenging technological, uncertain environments. Leaders today are expected to quickly deliver results while managing more workers of varied backgrounds and talents all across the world. How can you effectively use an executive coach?

Think about what you want out of a coaching relationship.

Coaches come with all sorts of training and backgrounds. As a result, they can provide varying types of services to you. Most coaches should:

• Support and challenge you.

• Help you better understand your strengths and areas for improvement.

• Talk with you (and possibly assess) your values and purpose.

• Help you create a developmental plan.

• Maintain confidentiality.

• Serve as a sounding board.

• Broaden your perspectives by providing an additional viewpoint and serving as a devil's advocate.

• Provide you with specific tips on how to enhance your skills.

Define expectations

The coach should talk about goals for the sessions, and help you understand his or her approach. Coaches should also let you know what their role will be during the sessions and describe the degree to which they will challenge you.

The coach should also share expectations for you. For example, the coach will want you to be honest in communications, will want you to be open to feedback from others, come prepared for the meetings, be open to new ways of doing things, and to work hard on acting on feedback you get.

Define the scope of the relationship

Talk about how the sessions will be conducted — in person, e-mail, over the phone, etc. Have the coach give you some general idea of how many sessions you will have and how often you will connect. Determine a schedule and discuss "homework." Some coaches have very formal sessions and are not available in between. Others are more flexible and want you to contact them if important issues arise.

What can you do to get the most out of the coaching?

• Periodically provide feedback to your coach about what is, or is not, working.

• Remain open to feedback you get. You may hear new ideas. Ask questions to better understand it.

• Find a buddy who can share your goals and provide honest, timely feedback. This person may be able to provide added support as you try out new behaviors.

• Make sure your coach works with you on crafting a developmental plan. At a minimum, this should outline your key strengths, areas for improvement, obstacles to changing, and action plans along with timetables.

Russell is the director of the Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Program at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

Coaching can help executives explore new ground 03/29/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally

    Business

    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Tampa Club president seeks assessment fee from members

    News

    TAMPA — The president of the Tampa Club said he asked members last month to pay an additional assessment fee to provide "additional revenue." However, Ron Licata said Friday that the downtown business group is not in a dire financial situation.

    Ron Licata, president of the Tampa Club in downtown Tampa. [Tampa Club]
  3. Under Republican health care bill, Florida must make up $7.5 billion

    Markets

    If a Senate bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 becomes law, Florida's government would need to make up about $7.5 billion to maintain its current health care system. The bill, which is one of the Republican Party's long-promised answers to the Affordable Care Act imposes a cap on funding per enrollee …

    Florida would need to cover $7.5 billion to keep its health care program under the Republican-proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.  [Times file photo]
  4. Amid U.S. real estate buying binge by foreign investors, Florida remains first choice

    Real Estate

    Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate recently skyrocketed to a new high with nearly half of all foreign sales happening in Florida, California and Texas.

    A National Association of Realtors annual survey found record volume and activity by foreign buyers of U.S. real estate. Florida had the highest foreign investment activity, followed by California and Texas. [National Association of Realtors]
  5. Trigaux: Tampa Bay health care leaders wary of getting too far ahead in disruptive times

    Business

    Are attempts to repeal Obamacare dead for the foreseeable future? Might the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now in dire limbo, be revived? Will Medicaid coverage for the most in need be gutted? Can Republicans now in charge of the White House, Senate and House ever agree to deliver a substitute health care plan that people …

    Natalia Ricabal of Lutz, 12 years old, joined other pediatric cancer patients in Washington in July to urge Congress to protect Medicaid coverage that helped patients like Ricabal fight cancer. She was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in 2013 and has undergone extensive treatments at BayCare's St. Joseph's Children's Hospital in Tampa. [Courtesy of BayCare]