Leadership Breakthrough https://www.leadershipbreakthrough.com Executive Coaching | Career Coaching | Leadership Development Wed, 24 May 2017 20:28:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 13681495 Coaching and Teaching in Executive Coaching https://www.leadershipbreakthrough.com/coaching-and-teaching-executive-coaching/ Fri, 23 Oct 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.leadershipbreakthrough.com/?p=1848 As a coach, maintaining a distinction between coaching and teaching is a challenge, especially with new clients. They get confused about when coaching or teaching is appropriate. There is a natural tendency for them to ask your opinion. Their experience with coaching may be more like teaching or training.

37557990_sCoaching is guided process to help clients develop their own solution. It is not the time for the coach to impose their opinions or preferences.

Teaching or training on the other hand does lend itself to a prescriptive role where a base of knowledge is established and then people move on to being more creative about their solutions. Coaching depends on the client having that base or developing that base of knowledge quickly if someone breaking new ground.

They probably selected you as an expert in your field, and after all…. isn’t that what you are there for – to impart knowledge? Well, yes and no.

Expertise in a field, industry or technique gives you an edge to ask compelling and thought provoking questions. Your experience lends itself to helping your client explore areas they may not have thought about.

However, it is not a requirement for you to have this experience to be an excellent coach. The art of asking great questions can be mastered without having specific knowledge of an industry.

Think about this – it is far easier for a new coach to learn enough about an industry or client group than it is for them to develop their coaching or questioning style. In fact, sometimes not knowing answers is more of an advantage.

So, how do you handle the coaching or teaching request?

Sometimes the client knows better and sugar coat their request, “You have so much experience with this, what do you think I should do…or what has been your experience around this topic?

It becomes a challenge when your client views your worldly knowledge and experiences as an opportunity to short cut the process of coaching – turning the conversation into a teaching instead of coaching session.

One of the ways I handle this request for experience is to let the client know I will share observations when them once we have had a chance to explore what they know and how they might develop their own unique approach.

This approach does two things – it lets them know I heard their request and will honor it and that I support them in building confidence in their own capabilities for thinking and reasoning.

Successful Executive Suite Integration https://www.leadershipbreakthrough.com/successful-executive-suite-integration/ Tue, 12 May 2015 16:50:31 +0000 http://dev1.leadershipbreakthrough.com/?p=1024 Congratulations! You just got promoted into a leadership position and building relationships with your boss and peers is integral to successful executive suite integration. It’s a big job. You don’t have an existing relationship with your new boss except for attending meetings in the past. As in life, things are never as straightforward as you might like. Once promoted, your boss immediately puts boundaries on their time and support.

24224465_sThe company promotes you into a new position where you have responsibility for profit and loss of a major revenue business segment. As the company looks externally for a candidate, they decide to give you a chance at the helm. Your feeling excited and overwhelmed at this opportunity and at the same time uneasy in how to deliver results quickly. The stakes are high and you are thrusted into a new political landscape. Are you ready and what levels of support will receive in your new position?

A few months later, you meet with your immediate boss. Until now, you have been flying solo with the help of people in the organization. Admittedly, you realize that your relationships are shallow at the level you are now operating – but that’s another story. However,  it does affect how you are perceived with your boss.

During the conversation, your boss tells you why you were selected for the role. While the company entertained bringing in a new leader to shake the organization up; they believe you could do the same thing as an internal candidate. Let’s be honest, it is often harder to shake things up as an internal candidate. Alternatively, you could be in repair mode from the last leader’s impact or lack there of.

At this point, you are feeling more confident in the company’s decision to promote you. They choose you over risking an external candidate. Then he says, “I want to let you know that I won’t have a lot of time for you.” He suggests you work closely with his controller. How do you interpret that statement?

  1. He has full confidence in you and you don’t need help.
  2. The business you are running is not on his radar screen.The business may be doing well and he has more important business that need his attention and focus.
  3. He is not sure that you will succeed – perhaps you were not his first choice candidate.

Here’s the thing – bosses need to be available. That does not mean they need to be a part of every decision you make. Ideally, establish when they want to be consulted or advised so that you have a clear benchmark for meeting and let the relationship grow from there. The more confident they become in you, the more opportunities you will have to interact with them.

It is important to establish a relationship with your boss and that requires contact – in person, by phone or email. If you were an internal candidate and you had a strong relationship with your new boss before the promotion, you will likely experience visible and underlying support from your peers. New employees will bask in the honeymoon period where the boss will play a visible role integrating you into the organization. If you do not have a preexisting relationship with your boss, be ready for an uphill climb because your boss is assuming you have a strong base and don’t need them. In many cases this is not true because your peer set has been redefined.

Don’t be surprised if you are getting tested. Especially in higher level positions, bosses are evaluating how you form relationships with your peers and make decisions in a collegiate way. Some bosses may help you navigate the waters, other bosses sit back and see if you sink or swim. How you handle these interactions in the first six months will establish your management and leadership tone with your peers and boss. Do not underestimate what affect your peers have on your successful executive suite integration – personally and with your boss.

It’s easy to get stuck in what you think is right. When you think you are digging in, take a deep breath. It’s hard to see clearly when the lines are drawn. Find a trusted internal confidant or external executive coach to help you think through all your options clearly. Challenge your assumptions – your landscape is changing as you move into the executive suite and how you adapt will influence your success.

Welcome to Think Like A Leader https://www.leadershipbreakthrough.com/think-like-a-leader/ Thu, 07 May 2015 20:43:26 +0000 http://dev1.leadershipbreakthrough.com/?p=1027 Being a leader in an organization can be challenging. The constant interference of competing forces can break down intentional leaders. Staying true to your self, knowing yourself and being yourself within an organization requires a certain amount of vulnerability that can make you uncomfortable.

And yet, if you give in to the forces you do not agree with, it’s easy to become lost – to the point you have to find yourself again. That’s what this blog is about…how to think like a leader – intentionally knowing that  you are so clear about your leadership style – knowing how it drives what you do, how you do it, who it affects and why you do it.

Before you dismiss it, think about the last time your leadership intentions were questioned – verbally, physically, mentally or subtly. How did you handle it? Were you satisfied with the results? What could you have done to take it up a notch? Those are some of the questions we will work through together.

To think like a leader takes a lot of work. It requires you to be deliberate about how you tackle every situation. Each of us has areas where we feel comfortable and areas where, let’s say is tougher to go to. Your organization demands that you visit both places before making a decision.

It is my hope that a question posed or a solution shared may make a difference in how you lead each and every day.

I welcome your comments and questions.