At LWF, we work with a wide range of businesspeople and organizations interested in our executive coaching services. One misperception we sometimes hear is the belief that executive coaching should primarily focus on advancing that executive’s own career. While that may be a long-term goal, we believe executives should first help nurture the careers of those around them.
While every executive coaching relationship is unique, here are 5 general tips:
Resist the tendency to put off dealing with people. Have the courage to initiate difficult conversations and say what needs to be said. Remind yourself of the importance and long-term benefit of your contributions to developing people.
When giving feedback, don’t be brutal; combine honesty with sensitivity. Make sure you are open and forthright with feedback so the message does not get lost. Speak with facts and feelings. Remember that honest feedback is necessary for people to grow and develop.
Recognize any reluctance to deal with conflict within yourself and your team. Talk openly and directly about handling conflict and the benefits of reaching constructive outcomes. Facilitate collaborative discussions of challenging issues.
Provide your direct reports with the stretch assignments needed to grow and meet challenging objectives. Help them to learn from their mistakes and build in their areas of strength. There is too much to be done for you to do it alone. Deal more directly with sub-optimal performers, striving to help them learn and advance their careers.
Frequently assess what is working and what needs to be reevaluated. Find ways to motivate your direct reports to better serve you, their team, and the organization. Recognize and respect the process, and offer appropriate rewards. Remember that your people play a vital role in making your organization great.