5 Questions you should ask your Executive Coach during the 1st Chemistry Session
As an executive, it’s important to have the support you need to succeed in your career. One way to get that support is by working with an executive coach. Executive coaching is a professional development approach that helps you enhance your leadership skills, improve your decision-making abilities, and achieve your career goals. However, it’s important to find an executive coach who is a good fit for you and can help you reach your goals effectively. That’s why it’s essential to ask the right questions during the first chemistry session with your executive coach.
“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.”
– Sir John Whitmore
The first chemistry session, also known as the introductory session or consultation, is an initial meeting between an executive coach and a potential client.
During this session, the executive coach and the client have the opportunity to get to know each other better and determine if they are a good fit to work together. The executive coach may ask questions to understand the client’s goals, challenges, and expectations, while the client can ask questions to learn more about the executive coach’s approach, experience, and qualifications.
This session is important because it sets the foundation for the executive coaching relationship. If both parties feel comfortable working together and see the potential for a productive executive coaching relationship, they can move forward with scheduling additional executive coaching sessions. If not, the client can choose to look for a different executive coach who may be a better fit for their needs.
“The art of coaching is the art of assisting discovery.”
– Mark Twain
Here are five questions you should ask your executive coach during the first chemistry session:
What is your executive coaching experience?
One of the most important questions to ask your executive coach is about their executive coaching experience. Understanding their level of experience and expertise can help you determine if they are the right fit for your needs. An experienced coach can help you navigate the coaching process, provide valuable insights, and offer feedback that can help you achieve your goals.
Ask your executive coach about their executive coaching experience, including how long they’ve been executive coaching, the types of clients they’ve worked with, and their success rate. You may also want to ask if they have any executive coaching certifications or professional credentials.
Executive coaches often specialize in working with leaders in specific industries or fields. This is because leaders in different industries or fields face unique challenges, and it’s important for executive coaches to have a deep understanding of those challenges to be effective. If your executive coach has experience working with leaders in your industry or field, they will have a better understanding of your context and be better equipped to help you navigate the challenges you face. They will also be able to share insights and best practices from their work with other leaders in your industry or field.
An executive coach who has experience working with individuals in similar positions or industries to you may be better equipped to guide you toward success.
What is your coaching philosophy or approach?
Every executive coach has a unique coaching philosophy or approach that they use to guide their executive coaching practice. Understanding your executive coach’s approach can help you determine if their style will be effective for you.
For instance, some executive coaches might be more directive in their approach, while others might be more facilitative. Some executive coaches might have a specific coaching model they use, while others might be more flexible and adapt their approach to each client’s needs.
Ask your executive coach about the methods and techniques they use to help clients achieve their goals. Do they use assessments or other tools to help clients gain insight into their strengths and weaknesses?
Understanding their approach will help you determine if it aligns with your learning style and goals.
How do you measure progress and success in executive coaching?
Measuring progress and success is a critical aspect of the executive coaching process. Knowing how your executive coach will evaluate your progress and define success can help you determine if their executive coaching style will be effective for you.
Ask your executive coach about how they measure progress and success in executive coaching. Do they use specific metrics, such as goals achieved, increased revenue or profitability, or improved performance? How do they track progress, and how often do they provide feedback? Understanding the executive coach’s metrics and feedback frequency will help you establish clear expectations and goals for the executive coaching process.
What are your expectations of me as a client, and what can I expect from you as my executive coach?
This question is important to ask because it helps establish clear expectations between you and your executive coach. By understanding what your executive coach expects from you as a client, you can determine whether you are willing and able to commit to the executive coaching process. Additionally, understanding what you can expect from your coach as your coach can help you determine whether their coaching style and approach will work for you.
Your executive coach’s expectations of you as a client may include things like:
- Committing to the executive coaching process: Executive coaching requires time, effort, and commitment. Your executive coach may expect you to commit to attending executive coaching sessions, completing homework assignments, and actively working towards your goals.
- Being open and honest: Executive coaching is a confidential space where you can be open and honest about your challenges, goals, and aspirations. Your executive coach may expect you to be honest and open with them about your experiences and thoughts.
- Willingness to learn and grow: Executive coaching is a process of learning and growth. Your executive coach may expect you to be open to learning new things, trying new approaches, and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
What you can expect from your executive coach as your executive coach may include things like:
- Providing guidance and support: Your executive coach is there to guide and support you on your journey toward achieving your goals. They may provide insights, ask thought-provoking questions, and offer advice to help you overcome challenges and achieve your goals.
- Holding you accountable: Your executive coach may hold you accountable for your progress toward your goals. This may involve setting goals and milestones, reviewing progress, and offering feedback.
- Tailoring executive coaching to your needs: Your executive coach should tailor their executive coaching approach to your specific needs and goals. They may adjust their executive coaching style, techniques, and exercises to best support your growth and development.
What is your confidentiality policy, and how do you ensure that our executive coaching sessions are confidential?
Confidentiality is a critical component of executive coaching. As a client, you need to feel safe and secure sharing your thoughts, experiences, and challenges with your executive coach. Asking about your executive coach’s confidentiality policy and how they ensure executive coaching sessions are confidential can provide peace of mind and ensure that your executive coaching sessions remain confidential.
Your executive coach’s confidentiality policy may include things like:
- Keeping your personal information confidential: Your executive coach should keep your personal information confidential, including your name, contact information, and any information shared during executive coaching sessions.
- Maintaining privacy during executive coaching sessions: Your executive coach should ensure that executive coaching sessions are private and confidential. This may involve using a private location for executive coaching sessions or using secure video conferencing software.
- Not sharing information without your permission: Your executive coach should not share any information about you or your executive coaching sessions without your permission. This includes not sharing information with your employer, colleagues, or anyone else without your express consent.
Additionally, your executive coach should explain how they ensure executive coaching sessions remain confidential. This may involve things like password-protected documents, secure email communication, or other security measures to protect your personal information and executive coaching sessions. By understanding your executive coach’s confidentiality policy and how they ensure executive coaching sessions are confidential, you can feel secure and confident in sharing your thoughts, experiences, and challenges with your executive coach.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
In conclusion, the first chemistry session with your executive coach is a crucial opportunity to establish a strong foundation for your executive coaching relationship. Asking the right questions can help you understand your executive coach’s background, executive coaching philosophy, and approach to executive coaching, as well as set clear expectations for the executive coaching process.
The five questions discussed in this article – about executive coaching experience and philosophy, executive coaching process, expectations of the client and executive coach, and confidentiality – can help you determine whether your executive coach is a good fit for you and your goals. By having a clear understanding of your executive coach’s approach and expectations, you can set yourself up for a successful executive coaching experience that will help you achieve your professional goals and aspirations.
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Coaching 4 Companies – Your premier executive coaching service
We are a young, vibrant, and diverse executive career coaching group, with the operation registered in 2019, however, the formation was a 45-year career lifetime in preparation. During that period our founder Wayne Brown observed and worked with leaders of all levels in organizations across industries and cultures globally.
Based on that exposure, our company has intentionally set out to support those practicing the art and science of leadership – or as often referred to, “Executive Talent.” These are people who acknowledge that they are not experts. They are open to opportunities for continued growth and carry the desire for learning what is needed to become a success in today’s complexity and uncertainty.
To this end, we have purposely structured our company and engaged with associates in strategic global locations, so that we are able to provide the full suite of transformational executive career coaching, facilitation, and education support required.