Why You’re Not Getting the Most Out of Your Executive Coaching
So you’ve chosen to work with an Executive Coach, but you don’t see much changing… why not?
Well, consider these reasons:
- You’re not putting in the time/energy/effort. Be honest: do you have time/space set aside in your calendar for the developmental steps you and your coach are creating for you? Keep in mind it may not be time you need, but mental or emotional space. Changing habits may require a different level of thinking, which takes a different level of focus. Maybe you need more planning time in your calendar, or just to lighten your load on days you have those big meetings so you can mentally prepare. Maybe you need to be willing to try new things or those that are uncomfortable. Whatever you need in order to implement what you’re working on with your coach, make sure you have that set up.
- You’re not being totally honest with your coach. Are you holding something back? Are you trying to look good to your coach rather than share the whole picture? If you need to re-clarify your confidentiality with your coach to feel comfortable sharing something, do it. Not sharing the whole picture with your coach can lead you both in the wrong direction. Be honest and tell the WHOLE story.
- You haven’t set clear goals or action steps. If you’re having “interesting conversations” with your coach but not leaving with specific items that you can implement between sessions, bring this concern to your coach. You want to have a SPECIFIC end goal for your time with the coach, as well as tangible milestones and actions to get there. If you don’t have them, talk to your coach about it.
- You’re not doing what you said you’d do. A coach can ask you if you’ve taken the actions you said you’d take, but you are the one who has to do them. You will only be as accountable as you choose to be.
- You’re not getting a big enough picture. A coach’s job is to reflect back to you patterns in your behavior that the coach sees, or what you look like from a 30,000 foot altitude. If you and your coach are stuck in the details, you may not be getting the feedback that would move the most mountains. Request it from your coach.
If none of these seem like the reason, consider the following: you may not be open to changing anything.
When you read that, keep in mind: IF someone were not open to changing, IF someone were righteous about their own way of doing things, IF they thought that there was nothing to learn… they wouldn’t even be able to hear the options that anyone presented. So if you’re not open to considering that you may not be interested… you may not be interested.
That’s OK of course, but it will make working with a coach frustrating — for you and them. I’d recommend you have a serious conversation with yourself, and then with your coach. Tell them you thank them for their time and commitment but that you actually are not interested in the goals you set out saying you wanted to achieve. Tell whoever hired the coach (if it’s your company) that you don’t want to waste their money on a coach when you really aren’t interested in the work. I know that may be a hard conversation to have, but it’s much better than pretending you’re going to change something that you clearly don’t want to change. That way you and your company can figure out appropriate next steps that will work within what you ARE willing to do. Transparency lightens everyone’s load.
If you think there’s some other reason you’re not progressing in your coaching, feel free to contact us for a complimentary consultation to discuss how you could get more from your Executive Coaching engagement.