Let’s face it good executive coaching is not cheap.
But it can be invaluable.
Investing a few hours and a few thousand pounds can deliver significant increases in productivity and returns of hundreds of thousands of pounds. As long as the leader in question takes full advantage of the opportunity and makes the most of their coaching sessions.
We all know a Personal Trainer won’t lift our weights for us
Similarly, a Coach is not going to do your thinking for you or tell you what to do. Instead, they will help you think about how to achieve your goals and desired success. And they will guide and support you through the process.
So, how do you get the most from your coaching sessions and set yourself up for success?
Here are my recommendations:
Good Executive Coaching | 5 Top Tips to Get the Most from Your Sessions
1) Make time for preparation
I know you’re busy. And I also know that sometimes you have meetings scheduled back to back so you literally have to run from one to another. That isn’t the best preparation for a coaching session. Why not schedule a meeting with yourself to give yourself the time you need to prepare. If you have a PA, enlist their help. Every time they book in a coaching session for you, ask them to schedule time for preparation too.
2) Think about what you want to achieve
I’ve noticed the clients who get the most from their coaching sessions are those who have given thought earlier to want they want to achieve. When they arrive, they’ll have a rough idea of what they want to get out of the meeting. The coaching conversation may not, in fact, go in that direction at all – after all, they go where it is most useful for the client at the time – but at least you have somewhere to start.
Ask yourself the questions:
* What do I want to focus on in this coaching conversation?
* How will I know at the end of the coaching session that it has been useful?
* What is the one area that, if I could change it, would make the greatest difference to me at work?
* What challenges am I facing right now? Why do I consider them to be challenging?
* Thinking back over the past week or month, what would I like to do differently if a similar situation arises again in the future?
3) Create the right environment
To get the most from your coaching session you need time and space to focus on the conversation and reflect on the discussion. If it’s a face-to-face coaching session, make sure you have a private room for the meeting and that you’re not going to be interrupted. If it’s a telephone coaching session, make sure you take the call somewhere where you won’t be distracted. Turn away from your computer and turn off notifications from emails and mobile devices. I had one client who was always in a café getting his lunch when I called for our sessions. It was clear he wasn’t really committed to the coaching process.
4) Make a record
Taking notes or recording the coaching session can be a powerful memory aid and serve as a useful tool for further reflection after the coaching session. They can be a quick way of reminding you:
* What you discussed
* Progress you’ve made
* Actions you’ve agreed to undertake
You may also want to make notes between sessions. As you go through the coaching process, you’ll start to notice when things happen that you might want to discuss in your next session. This may be, for example, how you react in certain circumstances, or with a particular person. It may be the realisation that you want to adapt your existing skills to new situations.
And you’ll also notice how and when you are now doing things more effectively. I encourage you to record and celebrate your progress so you can build on it.
5) Take action
Coaching is just conversation unless it leads to action. Your aim should be for you to leave each session with actions you can take or strategies you can adopt that will allow you to try something different.
As with any task in life, we get out of it what we put in. Do the groundwork and invest the time and effort to get the most from each and every coaching session to ensure it turns out to be a worthwhile investment.