TEAK Coaching will help you to create a personalized, transformational plan for your professional and career development that is uniquely designed for your needs. We will do this both in the context of your current situation as well as in preparation for your future personal and organizational goals.
- Are you at a crucial time in your career, or in the life of your organization, where your next steps are critical to your success?
- Have you reached a personal or professional plateau in your current position?
- Are you looking ahead to the next stage in your career and realizing that you need to remake or re-brand yourself so that you will reach your highest potential?
Whatever your situation, TEAK Coaching will partner with you in a thought-provoking and creative process that will identify your current strengths and use them to build a strong foundation for your professional development.
Explore more about coaching through these frequently asked questions:
- What is executive coaching?
- Is coaching really right for me?
- How is executive coaching different?
- Why would someone work with a coach?
- Why are so many people and organizations using executive coaching?
- What does the executive coaching process look like?
- How long does an executive coach work with an individual?
- How do you ensure a compatible partnership?
- What are the responsibilities of the executive coach and of the client?
- What does executive coaching expect of an individual?
- What types of assessments can be employed?
1. What is executive coaching?
We define executive coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. A coach is an objective partner who will help you to define your goals and objectives and discover solutions by offering an important third-party perspective.
2. Is coaching really right for me?
We often need someone from “the outside” to give us an objective view of our situation. Coworkers and colleagues in the same field can be of benefit, but an experienced coach—someone who has been there—offers a view that is outside of the current crisis, problem, sticking point, or uncertainty. No one “operates on an island,” even though you might often feel like you do.
Partnering with an executive coach does not mean that you are weak and it does not reflect poorly on your leadership. Just the opposite, it shows that you are strong enough to realize that you don’t have to do everything by yourself. It shows that you are confident enough to seek guidance when you can’t afford to let your future rest on chance.
Additionally, if you are going through a career crisis of some kind, executive coaching can help you to come out of it stronger, healthier, and prepared for whatever the future brings.
3. How is executive coaching different?
Executive coaching focuses on setting goals, creating real outcomes, and managing personal change. It is not the same as:
- Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction, and conflict within an individual or in relationships. Coaching supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. While therapy is focused on the present, executive coaching is future focused. While positive emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life.
- Consulting: Organizations retain consultants for their expertise. The assumption is that the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe solutions. Coaching, however, assumes that individuals and businesses are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
- Mentoring: A mentor is an informal expert who provides wisdom and guidance, usually for free, based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling, and coaching. Coaching might include some mentoring, but it is a fee-for-service relationship that focuses on individuals and businesses reaching their own objectives.
- Training: Training programs are based on educational objectives that are set by the trainer. In contrast, executive coaches clarify objectives that are set by the individual being coached. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum, while coaching is less linear and uses no set curriculum.
4. Why would someone work with a coach?
There are many reasons to hire an executive coach. A few include:
- Your performance, or the performance of your organization, compels you to take action
- A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence, or resources
- You desire to speed up results
- You need clarity on making key decisions
- Success is becoming problematic
- Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
- Your core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them
5. Why are so many people and organizations using executive coaching?
Executive coaching has grown significantly for many reasons, such as:
- Rapid changes are constantly taking place in the external business environment.
- Downsizing, restructuring, mergers, and other organizational changes have radically altered the “traditional employment contract.” Companies can no longer achieve results using traditional management approaches.
- With the growing shortage of talented employees in certain industries, companies must commit to investing in individuals’ development.
- The disparity between what managers were trained to do and what their jobs now require of them is widening due to increasing demands for competitive results.
- People are wrestling with job insecurity and increased workplace pressures to perform at higher levels than ever before.
- Companies must develop inclusive, collaborative work environments to achieve strategic business goals and to maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.
- Individuals who have experienced the excellent results of coaching are talking to more people about it.
- People today are more open to the idea of being in charge of their own lives. Coaching helps them do just that.
6. What does the executive coaching process look like?
Coaching typically begins with a personal interview (via phone, Skype, or in person) to assess the current opportunities and challenges of the client,, define the scope of the relationship, identify priorities for action, and establish specific desired outcomes. Coaching sessions last a preset length of time. Between scheduled coaching sessions, the client may be asked to complete specific actions that support the achievement of one’s personally prioritized goals. The coach may provide additional resources in the form of relevant articles, books, checklists, etc. The coach may also use assessments or conceptual models to support the client’s thinking and actions:
- Assessments: A variety of assessments are available to support the coaching process, depending upon the needs and circumstances of the client. Assessments provide objective information that can: enhance self-awareness, as well as awareness of others and their circumstances; provide a benchmark for creating coaching goals and actionable strategies; and offer a method for evaluating progress.
- Conceptual Models, Theories, and Principles: A variety of concepts, models, and principles drawn from the behavioral sciences, management literature, spiritual traditions, and/or the arts and humanities may be incorporated into the coaching conversation. These can help to increase self-awareness and awareness of others, foster shifts in perspective, promote fresh insights, provide new frameworks for looking at opportunities and challenges, and energize and inspire forward actions.
- Appreciative Approach: Coaching incorporates an appreciative approach, grounded in what’s right, what’s working, what’s wanted, and what’s needed to get there. Using an appreciative approach, the coach models constructive communication skills and methods to enhance effective personal communication. The coach incorporates discovery-based inquiry, proactive (as opposed to reactive) ways of managing personal opportunities and challenges, constructive framing of observations and feedback to elicit the most positive responses from others, and visions of success as contrasted with focusing on problems.
7. How long does an executive coach work with an individual?
Coaching is entirely a voluntary activity. The length of a coaching partnership varies, depending on the individual’s or team’s needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months may suffice. For other types of coaching, you may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that could impact the length of time include goals, the ways that individuals or teams prefer to work, or the frequency of coaching meetings.
8. How do you ensure a compatible partnership?
Coaching is a partnership, so you will help to design the coaching partnership with your coach. For example, think of a strong partnership that you currently have in your work or life. Look at how you built that relationship and what is important to you about partnership. Those same things should be built into your coaching relationship. Here are a few tips:
- Look for stylistic similarities and differences between the coach and you and how these might support your growth as an individual or the growth of your team.
- Discuss your goals for coaching within the context of the coach’s specialty or the coach’s preferred way of working with an individual or team.
- Talk with the coach about what to do if you ever feel like things are not going well; make some agreements upfront on how to handle questions or problems.
- Remember that coaching is a partnership, so be assertive about talking with your coach about any concerns.
9. What are the responsibilities of the executive coach and of the client?
- Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual’s or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others
- Listens closely to fully understand the individual’s or team’s circumstances
- Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision-making
- Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations
- Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives
- Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios
- Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the code of ethics of the coaching profession.
- Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals
- Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness
- Envisions personal and/or organizational success
- Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions
- Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives
- Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations
- Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills
- Takes the tools, concepts, models, and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions
10. What does executive coaching expect of an individual?
To be successful, clients should:
- Focus on self. Ask the tough questions and the hard truths about your success.
- Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
- Listen to your intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way that you sounds when you speak.
- Challenge your existing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors and develop new ones that serve your goals in a superior way.
- Leverage your personal strengths and overcome your limitations to develop a winning style.
- Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable they may be and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
- Show compassion for yourself while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks. Show that compassion for others as they do the same.
- Commit to not take yourself so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
- Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
- Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self-examination without fear.
11. What types of assessments can be employed?
Coaching clients can explore their own personal, professional, and career development through assessment surveys that cover things like:
- Emotional Intelligence
- Cognitive Intelligence
- Critical Thinking
- Leadership/Management 360
- Stress Management
- Conflict Management
- Organization Culture
- Teaming and Team Building
Any relevant assessments will be identified for each coaching client and the projected costs of such assessments will be conveyed to the client or sponsoring organization.