After 15 years in the professional coaching business it is clear to me that there is one goal that is above any other goal, that executives bring to their coaching conversations:
It is the goal of clarifying and defining their personal leadership path ahead. Often, the executive himself is not aware of this fact.
Typically, the executive hire a coach because he/she wants the structure and the time for a reflective practice amidst a busy schedule: The coaching serves as the sacred time to reach deeper, re-gain a strategic overview, get rigorous feedback, be challenged, and to make sure that I keep developing along with my business and the growing number of demands from line managers, direct reports, from customers and the market.
That’s what I hear from the executives I meet. That’s why they call me.
To make sense of what is really going on in themselves and in their organization, to identify patterns of power and influence and the dynamics of different relationships AND relate all the stuff that is going on, to their personal purpose, visions and worries, is what they are really curious about:
How Do I Need to Develop in order To Be on Top of Things?
What is My Leadership Path Ahead?
These are the real questions executives keep coming back to.
To be able to identify the path ahead, the coach and the executive must together define their unique partnership. And shoulder to shoulder step out of the known-kind-of-conversation and into a new territory of intuition and exploring the not-so obvious, below the surface. It is when we reach that level of trust and curiosity together and start opening doors into our own presence and wisdom, new perspectives open, we start finding a beautiful simplicity in the situations; a simplicity we treasure and which creates both an aliveness, alertness and a sense of inner peace.
This is the art of executive coaching: Finding the right doors and help people stepping powerfully through, into the most compelling path ahead.
Tine Gaihede is an international executive coach and a pioneer of professional coaching in Scandinavia.
Since 1999, she has helped more than +450 leaders in Northern Europe challenge their leadership style, grow their impact and live a more fulfilling (corporate) life.