Journey to be an executive coach, learnings, and the Coaching Demystified e-book.
Many times, we do not understand why certain things happen, but after a few days, months, or years, when you connect the dots, meaning emerges, isn’t it? As a child, I had this dream of flying all around the world, naturally, I got drawn to study International Marketing and then took up a career in international business. At some point, I was traveling 200 plus days a year and was at the peak of my career, but there was still a lacuna. I reflected, did get some insights, but still was unable to move forward. This was when I was introduced to an executive coach by a friend. Seldom did I know at that point in time that I would quit my high-flying corporate career to become a full-time Executive coach in Bangalore. What started as a passion is now my full-time profession!
Myths and Facts about Coaching
As a coachee, I learned that Coaching is not mentoring, training, or consulting. Coaching is:
- Partnering and exploring beneath the surface to understand and identify what values, attitudes, beliefs, and emotions drive you.
- Coaching helps you to differentiate fulfilments from achievements, helps align your professional and personal life, provides clarity about self, and how you connect with others.
- Coaching is where you own up your actions and you become accountable.
- With coaching, You are the driver of your life.
Some myths I had about coaching were that I would be inquired about my past life and that I would be told what I must do to bring the desired change. This was completely wrong.
In Coaching, the focus was on the present and where I wanted to go. It is about forward movement.
Learnings from my coaching engagement
I discovered that I get my energies from people, co-creating something that is meaningful for them and for me. I discovered that I wanted to be independent and operate in my own world, I did not necessarily like structure and reporting. I wanted it to be free-flowing. This was a big revelation, and this helped me to take the decision to do, what I am doing now.
When I undertook my coach training to be a Professional Certified Coach, I identified that there are many niches that a coach could focus on depending on their interest, It could be life coaching, business coaching, health and wellness coaching, etc. I chose to focus on executive and leadership coaching.
What makes executive coaching interesting for me is the fact that,
- When a leader plays at their full potential, becomes more self-aware, and address ineffective behaviours, the impact is just not personal,
- There is a larger impact on the team and the entire organization.
As a coach, You are not just empowering a leader; you are empowering the entire system.
What makes coaching essential for leaders
Today, Executive Coaching is one of the most important leadership development interventions for some organizations. They recognize that, when a leader grows up the ladder, it is no more about the individual’s acumen, knowledge, or capabilities, it is more about how they relate with others and draw the best out of others.
In one of my recent conversations with the CEO of a budding company, he identified one of the mid-level leaders for executive coaching. This leader was a performer, achiever and was a candidate to be the next division head, however, he was abrasive to his colleagues and subordinates, he had a high sense of insecurity and never delegates important tasks, as a result, he ended up doing everything on his own. This impacted his delivery timelines and performance. There was constant attrition in his team. The CEO believed that through coaching this candidate would let go of his insecurities and step up to play a bigger role. This is one of the myriad ways in which executive coaching can help leaders in an organization.
Questions that I am asked about executive coaching
The most common question I am asked about a coach is the coaching process, how I would go around coaching a client? While there is no one process that fits all, I adopt a process that is bespoke as per the coaching objective, level of awareness the client possesses the intent of the client. Another common question that bumps us is the time required for a coaching engagement. Any change requires time, so the minimum time required is 6 -8 months, however, I know some leaders who engage and work with a coach for a much longer time.
As I speak to more people, I understand that the awareness of coaching is still at a nascent stage, many still have to go through multiple resources to understand what is coaching and how it works and have a lot of questions. This is when I decided to bring out a small e-book called Coaching demystified.
Coaching Demystified is an e-book that provides basic answers to all the questions that one might have about coaching and you get an opportunity to understand how coaching works for you.
I invite you to download this e-book and do share your views, comments, or ask questions that you may have.