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As the war on talent continues to present recruitment and retention challenges in every industry, progressive companies have become more amenable to engaging the expertise of an executive coach as a development differentiator for their emerging leaders. Where before executive coaching was offered exclusively to executive-level leaders, I’m now meeting more new engagement prospects who have been identified as top future senior leadership talent for their respective firms. It’s a refreshing trend.
Working with an executive coach, if you are offered the opportunity to do so, is a significant investment in your development and success as a leader. As such, it’s important to adopt the mindset that I’ve seen modeled by my clients who have achieved the greatest benefits and professional growth during the time we’ve worked together.
I call this mindset my “Four Cs Coachee Mindset”. The traits that make up the Four Cs Coachee Mindset are Coachability, Conscientious, Curiosity, and Chemistry.
The most effective coach/coachee pairings feel seamless and the conversation seems to flow organically. Within short order, when the chemistry is right, your executive coaching sessions develop into a relationship of candor, vulnerability, and trust. The safe space created during an executive coaching engagement creates the appropriate container for the coachee to learn and explore aspects of their personality and their impact on others. In this safe space, there is time and opportunity provided to prepare novel ways to experiment and grow ‘real time’ in between coaching sessions.
At the end of each chemistry meeting with a new prospect, I remind them to leverage the opportunity to seriously consider chemistry when they select the person with whom they believe they will be most comfortable sharing and partnering on their exciting new leadership development journey. I also, have recently, started to share my Four Cs of Coachee Mindset in each meeting, as a primer to what they should expect from themselves throughout their coaching engagement.
There is a lot of ground that you will cover with your executive coach throughout the coaching engagement. The experience will not only raise your awareness, profile, and impact as a leader, but I’ve consistently heard coachee clients rave about the value added of having an executive coach partner with whom they authentically connect. When all is aligned, executive coaching is an amazingly impactful development opportunity, unequaled by any training program that you could attend. And frankly, it’s why I can sincerely say, I love my job.
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