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I'm a manager who wants to grow into an executive role. Am I a strong prospect for your coaching services?

With such aspirations, leadership development is certainly right for you.  It may be coaching, but you may first need to learn core leadership and management skills before you will truly benefit from coaching.

Another option is to look at forming a small group of managers who have similar aspirations and talk to us about putting together a group coaching experience.  We have done this by putting learning modules just in time, and spending time on applying the learning with your peers.

Finally, while there is no hard and fast rule, the people we most often see benefiting from our executive coaching are business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders.  They are nominated and selected by the executive team, human resource or talent development team after they have reviewed the company’s strategic plan and/or succession plan.

Why should I select coaching vs. a multiple day leadership development training course?

Both are valid development strategies in the toolbox that you can use to increase your leadership skills.  If you need to increase your knowledge and skills on certain leadership and management topics, I’d go with the training workshop.  If you are have the knowledge and are working to implement what you know more effectively, given your role and responsibilities, coaching may be your better choice.

I’ve never hired a coach before. How do your clients make the decision on which coach is best?

Great question.  Here are some of the questions I would first ask of yourself:

1. What skills are you working to improve and enhance?
2. Is the focus more on learning or applying those skills?
3. What will a successful outcome look like as you define it?
4. What type of personality and fit with the coach will be important to achieve the results you are looking for?

In addition, here are several key questions I would have you ask each of the coaches you are considering?

1. What type of coaching do you offer to clients?
2. How long have you been coaching leaders & executives like me?
3. What type of clients have you worked with, and to what end?
4. How do you measure success?

There are so many coaches, and a wide variety of coaches. What type of coaching do you and your firm offer?

I agree.  In the last 10 years, many people have hung out a shingle, and there are many different types of coaches – life coaches, sales coaches, business coaches, executive coaches and several other types.  My focus is executive coaching, which means that I work with senior leaders to build, sustain and continue growing their leadership and management skills.

If we meet and I believe you need and will benefit from the executive coaching I offer, I will suggest we consider moving forward.  If I feel that you will be better served with another type of coaching, I will refer you to a coach that I greatly respect and trust.

Who pays for the coaching – the person getting coached, or their company?

In nearly all the coaching we do, the company is sponsoring the coaching, which means that in nearly all cases, the company will pay for the coaching.  There are occasions when the individual wants to develop their skills proactively, so they will foot the bills.

What steps or process should I expect when going through coaching with you?

There are multiple steps, all in place to ensure your success, but the typical process you will go through starts by discussing the need and establishing the partnership between the company, the leader and the coach.  Everyone needs to be on the same page, and the leader working with the coach needs to feel extremely comfortable with the coach.  Once we are out of the gates, we work through discovery and assessment to see where you are today, and define the plans you have for success in the future.  This most likely includes a review of your work product, interviews with those you work with, and taking 360-degree leadership assessments. When we’ve completed that step, we move into coaching and development.  We’ll not only meet for our regular one-on-one meetings, but have you work through some learning experiences on the job.  As we make process, we work to anchor the gains you’ve achieved, continue setting new goals and move through issues and experiences you need help with.

While the process is similar from client to client, my 25 years of experience helps me navigate your needs and opportunities in different ways.  I may de-emphasize some elements of the coaching process, and emphasize others.  Obtaining leadership growth and sustainable results will sometimes be part science, part art.  In the end, I hope to provide each client.

How long will the coaching process last?

We do not offer coaching as a quick flyover, nor to fix someone who is a great producer but a bull in the china shop.  Our coaching engagements start with a six month retainer, and go from there.  Ideally, we continue assisting the client and their company well into the future.

I see you have different coaching programs. How are they similar and different? How do I know which is what I need?

All programs will help you develop the leadership skills and capability needed to successfully carry out your professional roles and responsibilities, as you help other move towards the strategic future that the organization has established.  Leadership does not occur in a vacuum, but in alignment with your professional role and the strategic direction of the organization.

So while all will further develop your leadership and executive capabilities, the nuance is determined more by the context of your work, the skills required to succeed, and your specific situation.

LEADERCoach is by far the most popular and well received choice among our coaching programs.  EQCoach focuses more on the people and relationship-based skills that people need to succeed with others.  CHANGECoach helps functional leaders who have well developed professional and technical skills implement new changes across the organization with our help on the people and process side of the equation.  Finally, TALENTCoach, will most often be selected by your HR Director because they are looking for coaching for a number of people that need to be developed for the near term future.

The responsibility is our to help understand your situation, and recommend the right program for your situation.

I hear that some coaches coach over the phone, some in person, and some over their computers using programs like Skype or FaceTime. What do you think is best?

The vast majority of our coaching is done face-to-face.  We realize more and more coaches, especially life coaches, are coaching over the phone.  This allows them to coach nationally and even globally.  Coaching people face-to-face is not only my personal preference, but is what I believe offers you the greatest chance of success, and has the best line-of-sight to help our local and regional economy grow and prosper.

Have other questions that you’d like answered?  Let us know.