Just as successful athletes move from group training to individual coaching as their abilities grow, so executives learn more quickly through individual attention that is designed around specific learning needs at key career points.
Those points can include when:
- A specialist is moving into a leadership role with wider responsibilities
- There is a step-change in the demands of the role that takes the individual outside of their established strengths
- Transitioning into a new role
- When the demands of the role are impacting on confidence and resilience
- Intellect is not enough, and the individual needs to be able to inspire and motivate others
How Executive Coaching Works
All programmes are designed around the specific needs of individuals but is based on key principles:
- Establishing that the coach and coachee can work together through an initial chemistry meeting
- Clear contracting on what the individual and organisation is wanting to achieve from a coaching assignment and agreeing measures of progress.
- An acceptance by the coachee that change requires persistence, as developing new habits that are hardwired into the brain needs repeated practice.
- That the coach is responsible for finding ways of addressing issues that work with the style of the individual and helps build their confidence in doing things differently.
- Regular progress review
- Sustaining change so that new habits continue when the coaching ends.
A career is no longer a one-off decision taken in early adulthood and then established through regular progression up an organisational structure. Careers are now less predictable, not just because organisations are constantly changing, but also because individual lives are less predictable.
Careers are an ever evolving ‘deal’ between an individual and an organisation. The organisation can change what it wants and rewards, which can lead an individual to seek career help. An individual can feel their work is no longer satisfying and want support to think through what next.
Career coaching is no longer just for those deciding what they want to do as they enter work or those wondering what they can do after losing their job. It is relevant for every age and career stage. Clients can be 2 years into their working lives, or 2 years away from retiring. They can be senior executives or rising talent.
Clients can seek help because :
- Their ambitions are re-ignited as children get older.
- They have achieved a lot in their careers, and are asking ‘what now?’
- They are finding a role less satisfying, but don’t know what else they could do.
- They are discovering that the ambitions others have had for them, no longer match with who they have become
- They are planning for a next life stage
How Career Coaching Works
Career coaching looks at the whole person. It is interested in how you have made the choices you have – even though your career may well have been unplanned.
Career coaching focuses on:
- Strengths, interests, values and motivations
- How you have built your career and what has influenced your choices
- What career success now means for you
- Your approach to risk and change
Career coaching also looks at reality. The reality of your situation, of the opportunities available to you and constraints. It recognises that careers can be changed by unpredictable events, but also looks at how you can work with opportunities that come from unpredictability.
Resilience is sometimes misunderstood as the ability to be armoured against difficulty. It isn’t. It is the capacity to remain flexible in thoughts, behaviours and emotions when under stress. That stress may come from a one-off event, such as career setback. It can also come from being exposed to relentless demands over a period of time. The demands of being asked to do more, quicker, with less resource and with no end in sight. When flexibility goes, clients can report any of the following:
- Loss of self confidence
- Difficulty in decision making
- A changed outlook: optimists become pessimists, pessimists lose their counterbalancing perspective
- Reduced creativity
- Difficulty in managing their emotions
- Reduced desire for social contact
Resilience coaching focuses on what aspects of your resilience have been impacted, and the building of capacity.
How Resilience Coaching Works
Resilience can be measured by psychometrics. Those have a value, but they assume that you will act the same way in any situation. For example that if you score high on self-confidence you will always be self-confident. It ignores context which is an important part of resilience.
Resilience coaching is instead interested in:
- What is different for you about this situation
- The narrative you have created about yourself in relation to this situation
- The resilience gap
- Helping you address a new narrative that will address that gap
- Enacting that new narrative