Leadership and Executive Coaching
Introduction Leadership and Executive Coaching
Executive coaching enables senior leaders to explore ideas, challenges and opportunities in a way that helps them to find a clear route through to the next step they want to take. The role of the coach is to be a partner in the process, one who listens, reflects and provides the space to the coachee to find their own solutions.
Leadership coaching is about growth. I believe that leadership without authority is the key to great leadership, and what I mean by this is a that true leadership can happen at any level in an organisation and at its heart is authenticity. Leadership coaching for me is about 'Authenticity in Leadership' and can easily be part of an executive coaching process as well as coaching leaders or potential leaders to 'be brilliant'.
Executive and Leadership Coaching is very much an heuristical process and more importantly is an innately human centred activity; one that requires both parties engaging in the coaching relationship to allow themselves to be vulnerable and sometimes lost as the conversations take place. It is an equal partnership where neither party is more important, although the process is always led by the needs of the client, and in my view the coach needs to be skilled, qualified and to care deeply in their practice for it to truly work.
(Wikipedia describes a heuristic as follows: "A heuristic technique, or a heuristic, is any approach to problem solving or self-discovery that employs a practical method that is not guaranteed to be optimal, perfect, or rational, but is nevertheless sufficient for reaching an immediate, short-term goal or approximation." )
How long have you known about Coaching?
I have over 30 years experience of working in large organisations. Mostly leading change and transformation. One of the things that has always struck me about leading change is that you, as the advocate must allow yourself to be changed as well. This is a challenging activity because coaching and mentoring for yourself has to take place for this to happen.
Really great teams coach each other, they have honest and open and authentic conversations and challenge each other in ways that many people might deem to be uncomfortable, but then 'comfortable never changed anything'. As the executive, you can't underestimate the influence you have on the organisations ability to do this.
I have spent over 10 years in senior management and director roles, leading and managing the delivery of change. I have used Coaching and Mentoring for my own developmental needs, and I have worked alongside colleagues to design and deliver and be part of leadership and talent development programmes, all of which have involved coaching and being coached and mentored. As a result I have a lot of of experience to draw upon to support my clients.
In 2018, I decided that I wanted to do more and become a more professional and qualified coach. I am now highly qualified to the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Level 7 - in Executive Coaching and Mentoring and I am also a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), a professional body with a clear directive for developing professional Coaches and Mentors working to a strict code of conduct. I am also regularly supervised in my practice.
Benefits and Outcomes
Executive Coaching and Mentoring is highly beneficial for Executives and Leaders in organisations who need a trusted companion for periods of time to enable them to unlock potential, overcome short term challenges and support them in decision making. The most important thing for you in choosing a coach and mentor is that you find the right match of coach and that you contract appropriately. A professional coach will guide you through this process to avoid any common mistakes that are made.
If you would like to find out more, please get in touch, I'd love to hear from you. And check out my blog and listen to Evan Davies in his podcast on Executive Coaching.