Executive coaching is one of the hottest practices in business today! As resources and budgets shrink by the day, organizational leaders find themselves in new territory which can be overwhelming and uncomfortable to say the least. Managing change is a complex process requiring new attitudes, knowledge, skills and behaviors. By definition, coaching is the process that can assist executives with navigating through these challenging times. But it’s not for everyone. Or is it?

Executive coaching, just like any other coaching niche is only effective if you have two fully engaged participants; the coach and the coachee. One perception that exists about executive coaching is that there must be something wrong with an executive if his boss or HR wants him or her to be coached. Many executives have a need to be in control and can feel threatened by coaching. Allowing a stranger into their inner sanctum is not something they are accustomed to. Some executives believe they are bullet proof, which makes coaching very difficult for them to grasp. Taking 360 degree assessments, an important tool used in executive coaching, can be the equivalent of sticking needles into the executive’s eyes. Ego is one of the biggest obstacles to a successful executive coaching engagement. Best selling author Ken Blanchard translates EGO as Edging the Good Out.

Another perception about executive coaching is that it can greatly enhance performance, accelerate goal attainment and provide a significant return on investment for the executive as well as the company. This is accomplished by addressing blind spots, known and unknown, that can be derailing to career success. Although difficult for some to admit, we all have blind spots. Enlightened executives know this and view engaging with a coach as a way to get better results in all areas that are important to them. They think the same way great athletes do; they wouldn’t be nearly as successful without their coach. It’s interesting to note that the most successful executives have engaged with coaches throughout their career, but some still view coaching as a way to “fix” something. I would say “enhance” is a much more accurate word.

Because we are all creatures of habit, coaching takes time in order to be effective. The average executive coaching engagement is approximately one year. New ways of thinking and doing things will be discovered in the coaching process and time to practice what is learned is essential to success. If Tiger Woods’ coach has to re-engineer his golf swing for better accuracy, it’s going to take time for him to perfect it. That can be very frustrating for someone who has excelled in his sport for years and now has to learn a new way of doing things. But he will commit to doing it because he trusts his coach and is committed to being even more successful. Tiger knows his coach can see things that he can’t.

So is coaching for you? Answer these two questions to find out:

Are you interested in dramatically improving your performance?

Are you willing to commit to a course of action to dramatically improve your performance no matter how uncomfortable it might be?

If you answered yes to both questions, you are a good candidate for a successful coaching engagement. If you answered no to either question, coaching is obviously not going to be a good experience for you.

Bob Nardelli, former president and CEO of Home Depot and current Chairman and CEO of Chrysler is quoted as saying, “You cannot reach your full potential without ever having been coached.”

In summary, those executives willing to learn, evolve and fully engage in the coaching process will get the best results. Coaching will not work for executives who already have all the answers and are not willing to work on their shortcomings. Currently, executive coaching is not a one-size-fits-all, but it has the potential to be. Every executive (and athlete) on the planet, even the legends, have untapped potential that is just sitting idle. Coaching shortens the gap between where an executive is today and their highest potential.

What lies in the gap? Improved attitude, confidence, vitality, communication skills, fulfillment of purpose, trust, engaged employees, increased profits and a more balanced life just to name a few. Can you imagine if every business leader on the planet committed to having these things? Couldn’t everyone benefit from having a coach? The possibility exists.

Author's Bio: 

To learn more about Chris and Inspirational Consulting & Coaching, please visit azhospitalitycoach.com. There you can read dozens of articles on Chris's blog and sign up for his free ezine called "The Inspiring Leader." For a free 30-minute consultation with Chris, email him at chris@azhospitalitycoach.com or call(928)284-1509