Common concerns about Executive Coaching

If you’re at the stage where you’re considering coaching, you’ll probably have some concerns about coaching or doubts in your mind. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s natural to feel cautious.

Having supported many senior leaders over a 20 year career, I want to ease any concerns that you have so you can feel confident stepping outside your comfort zone.

Remember coaching provides the time and space away from the chaos and pressures of work. It’s there for you to reflect on yourself. The main focus is to explore factors that enable you to grow personally and professionally.

It’s not easy, and at times it will feel uncomfortable. Believe me, that’s a good thing.  It means you’re:

  • Listening to your inner self
  • Facing up to your areas for development
  • Stretching yourself to make positive changes

Here are some of the common concerns my clients have faced before they started working with me:

I’m way too busy to make time for coaching

Having no time is a common concern faced by senior leaders. You’ll find yourself faced with a diary full of meetings, ever-changing targets and limited resources. Additionally, you’ll notice you’re going through the motions, focusing on ‘stuff’ and not making a difference, despite all your hard work.

While they tell themselves, they’re ‘doing OK’, deep down they know they’re capable of so much more.

This is where taking time out for you, away from the chaos and pressures, gives you ‘thinking time:’

  • A time for you to slow down
  • A space for you to truly speak your mind without judgement
  • A space for you to boost your confidence and achieve the results that matter to you

Often, you have time available if you stop focusing on ‘stuff’ and start focusing on what’s important to you. Learn how other senior leaders took time for themselves.

Coaching is too expensive

The senior leaders I work with fall into two categories: those accessing coaching paid for by their organisation; and those self-funding the coaching. Either way, this still shows up as a concern.

Costs can vary depending on what your individual needs are; whether it’s a package or a one-off session. When you start to look around at different coaches, you’ll find they have different fees based on their level of experience and the results you can expect to get from the coaching sessions.

It’s important to realise that coaching is an investment in yourself and your career. It’s an invaluable resource for helping you become the best leader that you can be.

Coaching isn’t a one-size fits all situation and so the costs can vary depending on what your own personal circumstances are. Most coaches, myself included, offer a complimentary call to discuss what you’re looking for in a coaching relationship, your challenges, and an initial identification of your coaching needs. This is so you get a quote tailored to what you need along with an idea of the tangible benefits to you.

I’m not very good at asking for help or being vulnerable

This is very common among senior leaders, as you have people constantly looking up to you; and you need to be seen as strong, confident and decisive. But you’re only human, and being able to ask for help isn’t a weakness; it’s actually a strength.

As an external coach I’m completely impartial and as I don’t work in your organisation I come with no prior knowledge or am affected by any internal politics. You can be confident that anything you share is confidential and it’s a safe space to discuss anything you might be uncomfortable sharing with colleagues or your own line manager.

Learn how other senior leaders took time for themselves.

I can do this on my own

Some senior leaders are hesitant to start coaching as they feel they’re OK reading books, researching and accessing free information etc. Whilst accessing this information is great for gaining knowledge, it will only take you so far.

As a coach, I help you make sense of what you’re learning, and more importantly support you to put this learning into action.  If you’re doing this on your own, who holds you accountable when you just don’t get round to doing something? I’ll hold you accountable to your commitments and goals and to the coaching process, to encourage personal ownership.

What I find with some clients is they know what to do, but something’s just getting in the way that doesn’t allow them to do it / change it. Coaching finds that ‘something’.

I don’t want my organisational sponsor to know everything

If you are working within an organisation and you have a sponsor as part of the coaching, remember their role is to provide encouragement and leadership to you throughout the coaching relationship. They will be involved in the initial objective setting session to agree your coaching objectives and measures of success; and the regular check-ins to evaluate the outcomes of your coaching sessions and evaluate the overall coaching experience.

They are not involved in the coaching sessions and therefore any content discussed during these sessions will not be shared with your organisational sponsor unless there is a serious concern about the safety of you or others.

Confidentiality is maintained between you and I in line with the Association for Coaching and European Mentoring and Coaching Council Global Code of Ethics.

 

So remember you’re not alone in these concerns and it’s natural to feel cautious; and rest assured safe in the knowledge that senior leaders who’ve worked through these concerns have developed into great leaders who are flourishing in their life and work.

If you’d ready to take the next step, let’s have a conversation to see how I can help you:

  • Believe in yourself and your abilities as a leader – Instead of experiencing overwhelm and crushing self-doubt, you’ll feel confident, inspired and actively seek opportunities to grow.
  • Boost your resilience – Develop the mental and emotional toughness to stop overthinking and stand by your decisions. Discover the tools to address under performance, manage conflict, and clearly express what you think and feel.
  • Feel energised and reconnected to your purpose – With a clear vision for yourself and your organisation, you can focus on where you add value and what you do well. You’ll soon feel you’re making a positive contribution at work.

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