Executive Coaching FAQs

Executive Coaching FAQs

Why hire a coach?

An article by David Nadler in the Harvard Business Review noted that, “Leaders are often poor observers of their own behavior.” Consider hiring a coach if:

  • You’re stuck, things aren’t getting done or you need someone to hold you accountable.
  • Your performance is not what it should be.
  • You feel you’re not getting the truth from your director reports, your peers or those to whom you report.
So how does it work?

I generally follow a model that has been successful for me working with leaders over the past 10 years:

We meet once each month for 2 uninterrupted hours; everything said during the session is confidential. My goal is to make these one-to-one coaching sessions the most important meetings you have every month.

The agenda is yours; I start by asking, “What is the most important thing we should talk about today?” If the thought of discussing a particular issue makes you uncomfortable, that’s a sign that you should put it on the table. Success is predicated on my ability to engage you in conversation that will invoke change. I will push you to make decisions or to take action, and I will hold you accountable for the commitments you make.

What can you expect?

With me as your coach, you can expect:

  • What the Jesuits call Aptissimi – to become the best. My role is to help you aim high and to keep you focused on your goals.
  • Fierce conversations. You have my commitment that I will say what others leave unsaid, even if it makes you (or me) uncomfortable.
  • What presidential advisor Clark Clifford called a “third opinion.” I bring to our coaching sessions an outsider’s perspective with no agenda other than to help you succeed.
What do I expect?

I expect 3 things from all my coaching clients:

  1. Candor. A one-to-one coaching session is a place for openness and honesty. Coaching cannot be effective if you’re unwilling to discuss your real issues.
  2. Commitment. Be steadfast about getting better by honoring your promises.
  3. Vulnerability. A one-to-one is a safe, high trust environment, a place to be honest, a place to take risks.
When does a coaching relationship end?

A coaching relationship is ongoing; the client normally decides when it ends. From time to time, a coach has to fire a client. This is rare; I’ve done it just twice.