Frequently Asked Questions
What is Executive Coaching?
Executive Coaching is professional coaching aimed at developing the skills of leaders at the top of any organization. The leadership skills we focus on are those that build strong teams and elicit best performance, that can address - or drive - change as needed, and that provide a strong personal foundation that can withstand the various phases any business may be expected to experience.
Executive coaching gives you unparalleled insight into the essence of "who you are", but most importantly, you will discover the massive potential you possess to become an even stronger leader and bring even more value to the organizations you serve.
Using behavioral techniques, we help the client identify goals that will improve his or her leadership style. You’ll often hear me refer to “blind spots”. The fact is, even the strongest leader will have blind spots worth addressing. By highlighting them and creating useful, direct strategies to work around them, we help leaders get out of their own ways. This clears the road for them to have the type of impact they want to on their employees and their organization.
How do I know if I would benefit from Executive Coaching?
If you’re on this page, chances are you could benefit from Executive Coaching. You are likely someone who is curious about how things work, and how to make them work better. Those are the candidates whom we see benefit strongly from Executive Coaching.
Executive Coaching isn’t about fixing something wrong. Although coaching can and certainly will address problematic areas of leadership, many strong, successful leaders retain executive coaches to continuously elevate their performance. We often hear the example that Olympians have coaches. They are clearly already at the top of their game, but there’s always somewhere you can be doing better, and it’s well worth exploring.
What is the difference between Executive or Leadership Coaching?
Some people use these terms interchangeably, but Executive Coach is the term we hear most in the high-level corporate world. As an Executive Coach, I'm typically hired by corporations to coach their Directors, Vice Presidents, Managing Directors, or other senior leaders. My responsibility is to focus on their personal development, facilitating positive changes in the leader's behavior. These behavioral changes address personal effectiveness, interpersonal interactions - both with those who report to the leader and any senior executives to whom they report - and more. While the focus is always on the individual client and personal changes, the benefit and impact is typically felt departmentally or organization-wide. Time after time, I’ve seen our sessions improve individual performance, which in turn improved team performance and organizational performance.
What’s the difference between Executive or Leadership Coaching and life coaching?
As an Executive Coach, I focus in on my client’s professional aspirations. Life coaching is typically focused on finding life balance. The fact is, many of my clients end up experiencing a better life balance once they have their professional realm in order. For example, a leader who has struggled with delegating for years may feel sudden relief once we find useful strategies to work through that. The weight of doing it all themselves comes off, and, as a result, they immediately improve their life balance. So while there are significant “life” effects of Executive Coaching, the focus is really on how the client interacts and operates in their work sphere.
What types of issues can Executive Coaching address?
There are many scenarios we see come up repeatedly with high performance leaders. Some issues Executive Coaching can address are:
- Analysis Paralysis - leaders who struggle with decision-making
- Conflict avoidance
- Burnout, sense of overwhelm
- Lack of delegation
- Negative patterns
- “Drill sergeant” management style
- Patronizing interactions with employees
- Intra-leader conflict; Board of Director or C-level conflicts
This is just a shortlist of examples, believe it or not. Management styles and leader personalities are as varied as the people walking this earth, so there is rarely a shortage of material. My goal is always to help the client identify goals that they can satisfy and evolve from, and to create strategies that promote successful leadership styles for the unique scenarios and environment in which they operate.
What are typical results of Executive Coaching?
Results of coaching are tailored to the unique situations a leader and organization may be facing. Some examples are:
- Clear goal setting; constant, evolving improvement of personal leadership style
- Improved relationships with superiors
- Strengthened rapport and leadership of those who report to him/her
- Easier decision-making
- Ability to use conflict, when it happens, to serve shared goals
- Ability to successfully resolve conflict
- Identification of personal patterns; strategies to work around less favorable tendencies
- Improved sense of work-life balance, renewal of energy and dedication to cause
- Stronger, more effective communication
- Better relationships with Board of Directors, fellow C-suite executives
- Temper control
- Better ability to represent the organization
- Strong, high performance teams united by shared purpose
How do I get started?
Please contact our office to set up your first consultation.
We’ll begin with an initial consultation to discuss what you hope to achieve from coaching and to explain my style and process. Then, you’ll complete a detailed intake questionnaire that allows us to go deeper regarding your values, goals, style, personal challenges, and more. Then, the coaching begins. We will meet weekly for 30-45 minutes; typical engagements are 3-6 months, although some of my clients find that they find continued value in coaching and continue on beyond then. We will do an assessment at the midpoint to gauge progress and adjust your coaching plan accordingly. My coaching sessions are completely customized to your changing needs, situations, and challenges.
How do I find the right Executive Coach for me?
Finding the right coach requires the same diligence as your search for any other professional partner. Find out more about the coach’s history and experience:
- Do they have personal experience interacting with leaders and employee teams, or are they more theoretical?
- Are they familiar with the scale of environment or the type of business you operate in?
- Do they have a strong work history?
- Do they have verifiable client testimonials about their work and feedback on how clients enjoy working with them?
Referral is another strong way to source the right Executive Coach for you. Those who know you are in a great position to recommend a coach you’d enjoy working with.
Do you specialize in any particular industries?
Executive coaching is appropriate for leaders across industries. It can be effective for public and private sector leaders, nonprofit executives, and others. Although my clients come from a range of backgrounds, I do have extensive experience working with technology and startup firms, both in the Bay Area and Seattle.
How big does my organization have to be for me to benefit from Executive Coaching?
It’s not so much about the size of the organization as it is the executive’s willingness to be coached. Executives who get the most out of coaching have a fierce desire to learn and grow.
An organization of any size will benefit from coachings for its leadership. To strengthen these benefits, focus on finding the right match - having good chemistry with your coach. Selecting a coach you relate to and trust, and whom you are ready to learn from, lean on, and work with through the process, is the best way to achieve optimal executive performance.
Do you coach women?
Yes! I love working with women; in fact, they’re some of my favorite clients. Female executives often face a unique dynamic in the workplace, so customized leadership coaching is a perfect fit for women in high places.
I also have a passion for coaching women in the early stages of their careers, those looking to find their voices and expand their power and influence in the workplace. Throughout the years, I’ve encountered so many women who fail to get promoted as fast as their male counterparts—not for lack of credentials, aptitude or acumen—but for lack of knowing how to advocate for themselves and charge forward boldly the way many men do. Many women—my former self included—have the mindset that you simply work hard and management will notice and promote you accordingly. Guess what?? It doesn’t work that way. Studies show that people who are assertive and intentional about their growth aspirations tend to move through the ranks more quickly. I deeply enjoy working with young females who are determined to excel, rise, and succeed in their chosen career paths, whatever the industry.
What is the difference between coaching and therapy?
Executive coaches and therapists serve different functions, although some people certainly have both. Therapy is a very personal, emotional-driven study of the subconscious and conscious mind, often diagnosing and treating problems with historical origin.
Coaching is appropriate for those who would like to put focus on their actions and results specifically with relation to their professional career and their work-life balance. Coaching is not psychological therapy (although the wonderful benefits may feel like it!)
Coaches work with clients to identify personal professional goals, creating strategies and reflections to achieve outcomes the client is seeking. This allows for a measurability not always found in therapy. Ultimately, coaching is a strategy to help the client manifest their career and leadership potential. While both involve exploration, coaching is about exploring the most effective ways to become the executive you want to be.
Is coaching in-person or by phone?
My clients are typically extremely busy executives with serious constraints on their time. Typically we use Skype sessions to conduct our coaching sessions. This offers the increased benefit of making coaching a consistent presence in their lives, even when they’re on the move.
Skype Coaching is currently available to my clients worldwide.