Executive Coaching – A Conversation

Executive CoachIn the blog on Monday was a snippet of an executive coaching conversation.  With the executive coach, the client explored what was happening, gaining valuable awareness which results in an opportunity to strategize change.  In this blog post the conversation is continued.

Following the client identification of reasons for complaints about being too demanding, the executive coach moves the focus forward.

Coach:  Brainstorm some options for how to handle it differently.

Client:  Well, I could call the vendor and say I want to know what is happening when orders get delayed.  I could ask them how business is going.  I could ask what they expect me to do when we can’t get our order.  I could ask them what to do when this comes up.

Coach:  What is your plan?

Client:  I am going to call this vendor to ask how business is, tell them I value them as a vendor, let them know it is a concern for me, and ask them what the options are – they can figure out how to make it work.

Next the coach brings the focus back to the original concern.

Coach:  What is your plan for your conversation with a direct report that comes in with a problem?

Client:  Well, they can figure it out too – I am going to ask them how they want to make it work.

Coach:  How will that influence the perception that you are too demanding?

Client:  Well, if I let them figure it out instead me having to get mad about it, then that should take care of it.

Coach:  How will you have the conversation with the employee?

Client:  I am just going to tell them I know they can figure it out and ask them to tell me their options and what they want to do.

Coach:  In addition to what you say, what else matters?

Client:  Well I guess whether I am yelling it or just saying it, so I am going to work on saying it.

Coach:  What is the benefit of your plan?

Client:  Well, besides not being told I am too demanding it means people start figuring out how to do their jobs and it takes less interference on my part so my life gets easier.

Coach:  How would you like to follow up with me on the outcome?

Client:  The next time we talk I will let you know how it is going and decide if there is anything else on that issue or if there is something else to talk through.

Coach:  Sounds like you chose an action plan – good work.

The flow of the conversation seems easy and natural.  Without an executive coach, this client would have continued the derailing behavior because exploring the situation and options takes time and focus.  The executive coaching session provides the client with this process.

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