Eric Jacobson

Posts Tagged ‘Executive Coaching’

How To Make Your Coaching Experience A Success

In Coaching on July 11, 2015 at 10:00 am

If you are a leader already engaging with an executive coach, or contemplating engaging one, here are four ways to make your coaching experience a success, as reported in a relatively recent issue of Fortune magazine:

  1. Find the right match.  Find someone to push and challenge you.  To encourage you and to hold you accountable.  Be sure the person you engage with is a person you can trust and can talk to easily.
  2. Be aware of your company’s expectations.  If your boss hired the coach to work with you, make sure your boss, and your boss’s boss, share their expectations and hoped-for outcomes with you.  Then, make sure your coach knows that those things belong at the top of your goals list.
  3. Get your money’s worth.  Work with your coach on issues or questions that have a direct correlation to success in your job.
  4. Be sure your coach sees you in action.  Allow your coach to observe you interacting with your peers or direct reports.  This also gives your colleagues a sense that you’re seen as valuable and promotable.  And, it shows them that you’re working on improving yourself.

How To Maximize Your Executive Coaching Experience

In Coaching, Eric Jacobson On Leadership, Executive Coaching on September 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Eric Jacobson

If you are a leader already engaging with an executive coach, or contemplating engaging one, here are four ways to make your coaching experience a success, as reported in a relatively recent issue of Fortune magazine:

  1. Find the right match. Find someone to push and challenge you. To encourage you and to hold you accountable. Be sure the person you engage with is a person you can trust and can talk to easily.
  2. Be aware of your company’s expectations. If your boss hired the coach to work with you, make sure your boss, and your boss’s boss, share their expectations and hoped-for outcomes with you. Then, make sure your coach knows that those things belong at the top of your goals list.
  3. Get your money’s worth. Work with your coach on issues or questions that have a direct correlation to success in your job.
  4. Be sure your coach sees you in action. Allow your coach to observe you interacting with your peers or direct reports. This also gives your colleagues a sense that you’re seen as valuable and promotable. And, it shows them that you’re working on improving yourself.

4 Ways To Make Your Executive Coaching Experience More Successful

In Executive Coaching, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Marketing on April 15, 2012 at 8:04 am

If you are a leader already engaging with an executive coach, or contemplating engaging one, here are four ways to make  your coaching experience a success, as reported in a relatively recent issue of Fortune magazine:

  1. Find the right match.  Find someone to push and challenge you.  To encourage you and to hold you accountable.  Be sure the person you engage with is a person you can trust and can talk to easily.
  2. Be aware of your company’s expectations.  If your boss hired the coach to work with you, make sure your boss, and your boss’s boss, share their expectations and hoped-for outcomes with you.  Then, make sure your coach knows that those things belong at the top of your goals list.
  3. Get your money’s worth.  Work with your coach on issues or questions that have a direct correlation to success in your job.
  4. Be sure your coach sees you in action.  Allow your coach to observe you interacting with your peers or direct reports.  This also gives your colleagues a sense that you’re seen as valuable and promotable.  And, it shows them that you’re working on improving yourself.

How To Know When You Need An Executive Coach

In Coaching, Executive Coaching, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on January 22, 2012 at 7:26 am

More business leaders today are turning to executive coaches to help them become:

  • more personally fulfilled with their contributions
  • more effective with direct reports, peers and other executives
  • better able to coach their team members
  • more flexible in challenging situations

Susan C. Gatton, a Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX-based executive coach, has worked with a many leaders and she says that if you answer “yes” to any of the following ten situations, you are a likely candidate for executive coaching:

  1. I need an objective sounding board.
  2. I know some things are not working as well as they should.  I don’t know what to do to change the situation.
  3. I want to go to the next level.  I’m ready. Why am I not being promoted?
  4. Work has taken over my life. How do I make my family a priority?
  5. I may be over my head with these new responsibilities.
  6. My 360 degree feedback had several surprises.
  7. I’ve never interacted with the Board of Directors before.  I don’t know what to expect.
  8. I need more visibility and don’t know how to get it.
  9. I avoid social situations. I don’t do well with the small talk.
  10.   I have a strong feeling I am not hearing the whole story from my direct reports.

Executive coaching programs often take six months to one year to complete and include both in-person and via phone conversations and meetings.  You can use a coach in your area or from another state (you’ll likely use video conferencing or web conferencing for your “in-person” meetings).

In a recent interview, Gatton explained why building relationships is important to help someone to become a better leader.  She said, “The higher you go in an organization the more crucial building relationships becomes.  The picture is bigger at the top and the focus shifts from what is good for a team or department to what is beneficial for the company.  Leaders need to collaborate with their peers to remove obstacles for their team and to get buy in for what the company needs to be successful.”

“At times,” she continued, “leaders want to implement an initiative that affects a multitude of functional areas.  Without strategic alliances, it will be a no-win undertaking.  Individuals will become territorial–creating an adversarial situation.”

During Gatton’s nearly 30  years in business, she’s found several areas that continuously surface for leaders to become more effective or for potential leaders to shorten the learning curve as they climb up the ladder.  She said those include:

  • A thorough understanding of the company’s financial picture
  • A broad perspective of the business from a variety of hands-on experiences
  • Highly effective interpersonal communications skills
  • Exceptional presentation and public speaking skills
  • Extraordinary ability to lead

Leaders: Here’s An Inside Look At Executive Coaches

In Executive Coaching, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Books, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on August 7, 2011 at 7:47 am

Five New York City-based executive coaches and trainers have banded together to write the new book, Becoming An Exceptional Executive Coach.

Although the book is intended to give all coaches at whatever level fresh ideas about how to improve their skills, it also provides business leaders interesting in hiring a coach an inside look at what to expect from an executive coach.

Some of the most interesting sections of the book are:

  • Understanding adult change and growth through theories that apply to coaching
  • Typical phases of executive coaching
  • Specific topics that are usually addressed in a standard coaching contract
  • Building trust, honesty, caring and credibility with the person you are coaching
  • Guidelines for the first coaching session
  • Suggestions for structuring ongoing coaching sessions
  • Questions to address when creating a development plan for your client
  • Bringing closure to the coaching process

The authors are:

  • Michael H. Frisch
  • Robert J. Lee
  • Karen L. Metzger
  • Jeremy Robinson
  • Judy Rosemarin

They firmly believe that executive coaches achieve results by facilitating client discovery.

The book also explains that senior leaders generally do not get to their positions because they are reflective or even conceptual.  And, senior leaders often do not want to give up whatever set of skills and behaviors got them to their current level.

Therefore, the authors recommend that when building credibility with senior-level managers, coaches should avoid:

  • too much introspection
  • abstraction
  • or critiquing past habits

Additionally, senior leaders are apt to treat coaches as consultants, so mission creep needs to be monitored.  Most leaders, however, really value a coach’s observations and perspectives as a counterbalance to the isolation of their executive roles.

Helping coaches to be the best they can be is important to the authors because they explain that the quality of the coach-client relationship is the most important ingredient under the coach’s control in the client’s progress and change.

The book features:

  • engaging case studies of actual coaching challenges
  • sample coaching documents
  • a variety of useful tools
  • self-assessment questions

How To Know When You Need An Executive Coach

In Executive Coaching, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on June 23, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Nearly every leader can benefit from executive coaching at some point in his or her career.

According to Susan C. Gatton, an executive coach, there are multiple times when coaching is appropriate:

  • After a person has been promoted and needs to acclimate to their new role quickly and effectively.
  • When a leader wants to increase his/her effectiveness with their team, peers, senior managers and/or customers.
  • When performance is meeting expectations, but now it’s time to exceed expectations.
  • When a leader gets derailed by a slippage in work performance.
  • When a leader has a limited communication style, unproductive work relationships or lacks political savvy.

Typically, there are five steps in the executive coaching process:

  1. Become aware of the present situation
  2. Assess the issues
  3. Design an action plan
  4. Implement and measure action steps
  5. Celebrate successes and follow-up to maintain momentum

Executive coaching projects often range from six months to one year, depending on the scope and depth of the issues being addressed. Coaching involves regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings and phone conversations.

Gatton, who during her 25 years in business worked for The Forum Corporation, an international leader in management and sales training, said leaders often don’t achieve optimum success because:

  • they don’t embrace change in the workplace
  • can’t motivate others
  • can’t achieve buy-in to their vision
  • ineffectively embrace their role and responsibilities
  • ineffectively manage upward

Leaders who experience any of these shortfalls are prime candidates for executive coaching.

During Gatton’s career she’s seen a lot of different types of leaders. She thinks there are indeed differences
between leaders who are entrepreneurs versus leaders who are in non-entrepreneurial businesses
. For example, Gatton said:

  • Leaders who have the entrepreneurial spirit move at a quick pace, take risks, create visions, embrace change, and break the rules.
  • “Leaders who are in non-entrepreneurial businesses are more focused on improving efficiency and productivity. They will assess and streamline work processes, implement policies and procedures, set objectives and expectations, and play by the rules.

“Each of these leaders has a different focus and mandate, said Gatton. “However, both contribute tremendously to the bottom line.”

Within Greater Kansas City, Gatton has been impressed by UMB Financial Corporation for its strong leadership. She also admires Alcon Laboratories.

Gatton, based in Dallas/Fort Worth, TX, offers coaching services throughout the U.S from her company, S. C. Gatton & Associates. Her clients have included Verizon, Marriott International, Pembroke Hill School (Kansas City, MO), Hallmark Cards (Kansas City, MO), Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline. She can be reached at (817) 267-5890.

How To Select A Good Executive Coach

In Executive Coaching, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Leadership Training, Management on May 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

When a leader or manager is considering using an executive coach, Marilyn O’Hearne, Master Certified Coach in the Kansas City metro area, said that person should at a minimum:
  • Make sure the coach is certified and subscribes to a code of ethics.
  • Ask for referrals about the coaches you are evaluating.
  • Read testimonials on websites and on LinkedIn about the
    coaches.
  • Have an introductory, no-obligation phone conversation with the prospective
    coaches.
  • Discuss with the prospective coaches their experience and training.
O’Hearne started executive coaching in 1998 and served as one of the Vice Presidents of the Board of Directors of the International Coach Federation, which has over 15,000 members in 92 countries.
“Coaching will benefit any executive who wants to become a more effective leader,” said O’Hearne. “Especially useful times to engage a coach are when a leader is moving or preparing to move into a new executive position, and when there is a merger or other cultural change,” she added.
O’Hearne said she also finds many leaders struggle with setting aside time to focus on their vision when there are so many other people and circumstances vying for their attention. That’s another time when coaches can help those leaders clear the needed time to hone their focus.
Executive coaching can also be useful for someone during a career change. “It can help to clarify their vision, mission, purpose, values and strengths,” said O’Hearne. “A coach can support and encourage a person making a career change and can help them co-develop an action plan.”
O’Hearne’s favorite leadership books are:
  • All those written by Patrick Lencioni and John Maxwell, such as those found on the list of the favorite leadership books by a group of Keller Graduate School of Management members of the professional social media website LinkedIn.

When working with an executive coach, O’Hearne recommends the person commit to a minimum of three months and ideally should devote six to 12 months to achieve the maximum benefit.

Her favorite type of executives with whom to work is those who are willing to take responsibility and then own results, and those who work in organizations that value service and sustainability.

10 Reasons You Need An Executive Coach

In Company Culture, Executive Coaching, General Leadership Skills, Leadership, Leadership Education, Leadership Skills, Listening Skills, Management, Motivating Employees, Soliciting Feedback on April 11, 2010 at 7:56 am

More business leaders today are turning to executive coaches to help them become:

  • more personally fulfilled with their contributions
  • more effective with direct reports, peers and other executives
  • better able to coach their team members
  • more flexible in challenging situations

Susan C. Gatton, a Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX-based executive coach, has worked with a number of leaders and organizations in the Kansas City area, including Hallmark Cards and Pembroke Hill School.  She says that if you answer “yes” to any of the following ten situations, you are a likely candidate for executive coaching:

  1. I need an objective sounding board.
  2. I know some things are not working as well as they should.  I don’t know what to do to change the situation.
  3. I want to go to the next level.  I’m ready. Why am I not being promoted?
  4. Work has taken over my life. How do I make my family a priority?
  5. I may be over my head with these new responsibilities.
  6. My 360 degree feedback had several surprises.
  7. I’ve never interacted with the Board of Directors before.  I don’t know what to expect.
  8. I need more visibility and don’t know how to get it.
  9. I avoid social situations. I don’t do well with the small talk.
  10.   I have a strong feeling I am not hearing the whole story from my direct reports.

Executive coaching programs often take six month to one year to complete and include both in-person and via phone conversations and meetings.  You can use a coach in your area or from another state (you’ll likely use video conferencing or web conferencing for your “in-person” meetings).

In a recent interview, Gatton explained why building relationships is important to help someone to become a better leader.  She said, “The higher you go in an organization the more crucial building relationships becomes.  The picture is bigger at the top and the focus shifts from what is good for a team or department to what is beneficial for the company.  Leaders need to collaborate with their peers to remove obstacles for their team and to get buy in for what the company needs to be successful.”

“At times,” she continued, “leaders want to implement an initiative that affects a multitude of functional areas.  Without strategic alliances, it will be a no-win undertaking.  Individuals will become territorial–creating an adversarial situation.”

During Gatton’s 25 years in business, she’s found several areas that continuously surface for leaders to become more effective or for potential leaders to shorten the learning curve as they climb up the ladder.  She said those include:

  • A thorough understanding of the company’s financial picture
  • A broad perspective of the business from a variety of hands-on experiences
  • Highly effective interpersonal communications skills
  • Exceptional presentation and public speaking skills
  • Extraordinary ability to lead
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