What kind of advice does an Executive Coach give?
An Executive Coach does not generally give advice and he or she may not be a subject matter expert in the coachee’s business field or specific role. If you are looking for technical advice, specific to your industry, then you probably need a Consultant rather than a Coach.
How does the Coach help the client if he knows little or nothing about his client’s industry or role?
The Coach’s skills are in the ability to challenge the client’s ideas, thinking and intentions by using timely and thought provoking questions, which cause the client to find new and improved ways of doing things. Coaching helps people achieve clarity of thought on issues which are causing them concern or in which they are in a state of indecision. Once the client has decided on an approach to a business situation the Coach will co-create with the client an action plan to ensure that great ideas turn into a successful reality.
What kind of issues can I discuss with my Coach? What happens if I disclose a lack of confidence or a self-limiting belief that I think is holding back my success?
A professionally qualified Coach has a duty of confidentiality towards his or her clients, in the same way that a doctor or lawyer is bound by an obligation of confidentiality. Nothing said or discussed in a coaching session will be repeated outside without the client’s express permission. Some coaches are equipped with tools to assist with self-limiting beliefs as well as helping with business and career goals. Those who are not qualified to help with these deeper issues should refer you to a professional who can.
My company already has a policy of mentoring within the organisation. Why would I want an external Executive Coach as well as, or instead of a mentor? What’s the difference?
Mentoring is a good way to develop talent within an organisation by enabling less experienced employees to learn from the knowledge and experience of more senior managers. Mentors tend to focus on how to get things done within the context of organisational politics and will also pass on functional and technical knowledge.
An external Executive Coach may not have knowledge of your industry, or even your function within the company. However, the Coach works on leadership behaviour by helping you establish business and personal goals. He will help you to build an achievable action plan to reach those goals, all the time acting as a mirror and sounding board for ideas and behavioural adjustments. The Coach’s goal is to help his client become an effective leader and become more influential in his or her dealings inside and outside the company.
Coaching sessions are 100% confidential and an excellent opportunity for clients to explore any behavioural issues that may be standing in the way of progress. The client may not want to discuss such personal and delicate issues with a senior colleague acting as mentor.
I see the word “Coach” on many business cards these days. How do I know I’m dealing with a genuine Executive Coach?
Unfortunately, because of the increasing popularity of coaching there are many trainers and consultants who have started to label themselves as a “Coach”. To establish whether you are dealing with a professional Coach ask them which Coach training school they trained with and if they are accredited by a coaching professional body. If the person you are talking to has not undergone any formal training as a Coach, then they are not a Coach. If the Coach is accredited by a coaching professional body such as the ICF (International Coach Federation) or WABC (Worldwide Association of Business Coaches), then they have completed a formal training programme and have at least a minimum amount of coaching experience to attain accreditation.
I’ve heard that Individual Executive Coaching is very expensive? Why is it more expensive than other forms of personal and career development?
“Expensive” is a relative term when compared to the cost of having leaders in an organisation working in an ineffective and unproductive way. A successful coaching programme at leadership level can produce outstanding results, well beyond that of traditional training or academic study. Studies have shown that the return on investment of a six-month coaching programme with a professional Coach can be in excess of 500%. Properly qualified Executive Coaches are trained professionals, usually with an extensive career background in the corporate world. Their unique skill sets and insights provide their clients with a learning experience and degree of self-awareness that no other intervention can match. The results are often felt in their personal as well as business lives and can be literally “life changing”.
What happens when a Coach encounters a corporate executive who resists working with a Coach?
This normally happens when HR, or the Learning and Development Director of the organisation have not properly explained the concept and purpose of coaching and the coachee perceives the process as remedial. Once a professional Coach explains that they only work with successful people and that the employer is investing in the coachee because they want to build talent through coaching as part of a developmental and retention strategy, this negative view can be reversed. It is essential that the coachee has a positive view of coaching and is committed to success before a coaching contract is signed.
What does a typical executive coaching programme entail?
A typical WayAhead executive coaching programme runs over six months. Before a contract is signed an introductory meeting with the coachee takes place, to see whether both parties are happy to work together over an extended period and to check that the coachee fully understands the nature of coaching. Once the coaching contract is signed the Coach will begin a series of twelve, one-hour meetings spread over the six months, often starting with feedback on a 360 assessment measuring the coachee’s leadership behaviours.
Each meeting will focus on current business issues faced by the coachee. The Coach will help his client work through the issues, whilst at the same time paying attention those behavioural traits that may need adjusting to bring about successful outcomes. Interruptions, mobile phones and laptop computers are not allowed in these sessions. Each session is like a sanctuary, allowing managers time and space to reflect on their actions and plans and think more deeply about how to improve results with the help of an impartial, non-judgemental third party.
Where can I find professional and qualified Coaches who operate in S. E. Asia?
If you are reading these FAQs then you have obviously come to WayAhead’s web site, one of the leading providers of executive coaching in the region. We hope you will call us first! However, if you would like to see profiles of other Coaches working locally, you can go to the Singapore ICF web site at: www.icfsingapore.org. As well as Executive Coaches, Life and Career Coaches are also listed on the site.