By Maren Perry, MA, PCC
Founder and President, Arden Coaching
So you’ve reached the end of a fulfilling and intensive executive coaching experience. You feel good about the progress you’ve made, the feedback from those around you has been gratifying and so different than the feedback you’d received just nine short months ago. You’re now at the next level – you’ve graduated!
Well, yes and no.
Yes, you should celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishments! You did a lot of work!
And… what we as executive coaches know about human behavior and adult learning is that when we make changes, we are prone to backsliding if we do not have support structures in place to sustain and support the progress we’ve made.
So what can you put in place after your executive coaching is complete to help you? We suggest any or all of these:
- Get or keep a development partner. This can be your coach, supervisor, mentor, HR business partner, or trusted colleague. Many people have executive coaches for years on end, either continually or off and on. Whoever the partner is for you, you’ll want someone who has your own developmental needs at heart, no ulterior motives, someone who will tell it to you straight and ask you thought-provoking questions.
- Create an accountability plan. When you’ve made such progress in your coaching, it’s hard to imagine needing to be held accountable to the things you’re so proud to have learned. But six months from now, you may be distracted by a huge work project or in a new department; it’s easy to forget. Create a plan now (ideally with that development partner) for how you’ll hold yourself accountable to the next steps in your growth.
- Get feedback regularly. “Perception is reality” is true for leaders. You need to know how you are perceived: candidly and frequently. If people aren’t volunteering this to you on a regular basis, you likely haven’t set the environment for them to come to you easily. Ask for lots of feedback yourself, and/or get someone else to solicit it for you.
- Be committed to your own growth. Leadership is never done; there’s always the next thing you can grow into and work on. Be curious about new ideas. Take a class, read a new industry magazine, sit in on a meeting to see how someone else leads. Learning is available anywhere you choose it to be.
Reaching the finish line of your executive coaching is a wonderful accomplishment… and it’s just the starting line for the next phase. None of us can do this alone: get support, ask for help, be curious and keep going!
Wishing you continued success,
For help is creating your own post-coaching plan, contact us today.