My own approach to executive coaching involves finding the big limiting issues and behaviors and systematically attacking them. Initial assessments generally highlight one or two for focus and the coaching engagement turns around them. I have found this highly effective for two reasons. The first is that we end up working on challenges that matter – overcoming them will provide progress and open the door to personal and professional growth. The second is that the experience helps to build a relationship of trust by demonstrating that the time and effort is being well spent.
Many of my clients are facing challenges that have limited their potential. These arise because of either habitual behaviors or missing skill sets. As a coach, it is my job to bring focus onto these issues, help my client develop and implement a plan for growing beyond them and seeing that they are holding themselves accountable for making the changes required. I help in a variety of different ways. I don not do the work for the client nor am I involved in the minute details of the effort, but I have a positive effect by showing the way and providing guidance based on my years of experience.
The stress and aggravations that are part of an executive’s professional life can cloud and obscure their perceptions of both individuals and decisions that they may have to make. My coaching process encourages the client to take a breather from their day-to-day workload without feeling guilty. When they do return to their work they will be able to look at the problem from a different perspective and, usually, this is enough to see everything in a different light. More often than not, the executive can then make better judgments and decisions because they are able to see things more clearly. I have found this approach to be highly productive and supportive of real change.
During the executive coaching process, I provide guidance on how to step back from the immediate and usually urgent pressures of professional life. Many of my clients learn client learns how to centered themselves and become calm amidst the hectic business buzz of corporate finance and business management. This actually allows them to transition from being in ‘crisis mode’ to actually being able to visualize the ‘big picture’. There is something Zen about this approach that is highly therapeutic.
Being able to visualize the ‘big picture’ is essential to the interests of the executive as well as to their work. Many of decisions made in the heat of the moment have potentially devastating, and sometimes unforeseen, consequences. These are better in a more ‘reflective’ frame of mind. The pressures for instant results and short-term solutions will often rob the executive and the company or organization of their ability to make the best choices possible. My coaching process provides that perspective that ensures that the executive is seeing all the parts of the picture. This gives the client an added sense of confidence and clarity as they make the decisions that need to be made. This results in a renewed sense of confidence. The executive has now proven his leadership ability through personal growth.
In the rare instances when an executive cannot see the forest through the trees, I provide a very different perspective on the situation. By being able to view the situation through my eyes, a client may be able to see, not only the solution to the problem, but also a totally different way of looking at the problem that might actually indicate that there isn’t such a severe problem as was first thought.
Through my executive coaching services, I make available to different ways of looking at challenges. The purpose is to break the standing understanding and substitute a fresh look. Sometimes it is through the eyes of the executive after he has stepped away for a break, or at other times through my own. Either way, the client benefits immensely.
Executive coaching is all about making productive change. I bring that opportunity to my clients. If you want to learn more about my executive coaching, send me an e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk.
© Dr. Earl R. Smith II