How do you find a great leadership coach, and do you do the coaching face to face, phone, what’s the best frequency, duration, industry? There are so many questions to consider when you choose your leadership coach.
If you’re someone who wants to do the best by your staff, for the business you lead and of course yourself. Then you’ll be going places you’ve never been before, and this will challenge your knowledge and your mental models. The latter of which can be done so much faster with the help of a leadership coach.
Finding the right coach
You can do this through recommendation. Ask your mentors, ask other successful leaders who they have used. You can, of course, search the internet or use LinkedIn etc. If they have a website, you can get a feel for their experience or style.
When you find someone, ask them what their background is. Who do they typically work with, i.e. level of leadership? What are some of their successes?
One question I get is, does the coach have to have experience of the industry. The answer is, maybe. This is coaching not mentoring, so technically, the answer is no. However, sometimes it can be advantageous as they are aware of the language, the challenges, the possibilities.
Probably what is more advantageous is whether the coach is a cultural fit for your organisation.
It helps you and the potential coach if you have a clear idea of what outcome you’d like to achieve, the reason you have chosen coaching. What are your expectations? What are your constraints (if any)? What else have you tried to reach your outcome? It all helps the coach determine if they can help you achieve your results. What level of change is required and do they work at that level.
This way, as you’re doing your research and having conversations, the best fit can be determined on both sides. You’re choosing them as much as they’re choosing to work with you.
There have been times I’ve known that while I could work with the person technically; I also knew there was a better person to coach them from a personality fit.
Duration of Coaching
This is a tough one because it depends upon what you want to achieve as an outcome. In some cases, the length is a few hours, which can be done as an intensive ½ or 1 day together. In other instances its say an hour a month over the next 6-12 months.
If it’s the latter route, then what is important is commitment. Protect those coaching slots as precious gold. It’s all too easy to let an urgent bit of work take over and ask can we just move our slot. We often confuse urgent and important. Your coaching session is important to you achieving your outcome. Whatever is urgent is, but forfeiting your coaching slot is often not the best decision to handle the urgent.
No one will value your coaching more than you do. My clients often say that these sessions are their lifeblood, their time to get perspective, to reassess and recharge. Initially, they may have let urgent takeover but not anymore. Instead, they looked at what was happening so that urgent kept coming up — root cause analysis rather than surface treatment.
Face to Face or Phone?
Coaching doesn’t have to be face to face to work. I’ve got clients all around the world, and we often chat on the phone. Of course, with advances in technology, we can skype or facetime, but it’s more a nice to rather than have to.
When I do my intensive coaching sessions, they’re either on the phone or face to face. I have several clients who again make the trip to see me and use that travel time to prepare for the session or to begin their action plan post the session. They prefer to come to me rather than me to them because of this reflection space.
As an aside when I run leadership retreats many comment on the benefits of being in a different place. Of the impact, a walk on the beach has while answering some tough questions.
What is vital is the level of relationship, connection and trust. If that’s not there, then it’s tough to help the coachee make the shifts required to achieve their outcome. However, it’s the coach’s responsibility to begin to build the relationship and establish trust. They’re trained in this, so they know how to do it.
Ready to take your leadership to the next level and release more of your potential? You could be ready for our resilient leader programme. Then again our ½ day VIP session might be just the ticket. And the best thing to do is contact us for a no obligation discussion. We can find out if, where and how we can support you on the next phase of your leadership.