Executive Coaching: Conversations for Change

Successful executives – the ones that get promoted more often – are adept at managing others’ perceptions of them. Many of them learn to do this through coaching conversations.

Perception management is tricky. On the one hand, who has time to worry about what others might think? On the other, it matters tremendously if you want to extend your influence and get them behind your projects.

Executive perspective is the ability to see and understand complex relationships. These perceptions are often biased by people’s previous experiences with you. And those preexisting judgments are as resistant to change as your own behavior is.

The most important tool that exists for broadening perspectives is the coaching conversation. This is not goal-oriented or motivational coaching. It’s developmental in nature.

The developmental coaching conversation clarifies your current perspective on a specific situation. When I’m coaching executives, I use questions and observations to help discover different ways of looking at a situation.

Repeated coaching conversations helps you move from your current perspective to a broader perspective. Unless you’re discussing your underlying beliefs and assumptions, you can’t discover how they may be limiting you. It’s difficult to grow away from self-limiting ideas without the coaching conversation.

And yet, I know many people who, although they are working with a coach, don’t go deep enough with their conversations. The motivation to improve is there, the direction is there. But when it comes to exploring developmental issues, the barriers go up.

Yes, it’s risky to do this work and to discover your way may not be working, you don’t have it all figured out. Yes, it can be scary. Fear is powerful and cunning. It will stop people from doing the work that will take the fear away.

“The purpose in life is to be defeated by greater and greater things.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Growth comes from going beyond our comfort zones. Aside from fear, the second self-defeating action is not spending the time required to map out what needs to be done differently. The exact steps are missing. That is where a good coach can help, by providing creative suggestions to break the perplexing walls of inertia.

If you haven’t experienced the growth you need to get the promotions you deserve, consider executive coaching. Check out my services over at ScholzandAssociates.com, and give us a call.

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