Executive Coaching Worries

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Many executives are hired for their technical skills and experience and fired due to a lack of leadership skills.

Of 462 executives who were asked, "What characteristics are needed to be an effective leader today?" 56 percent ranked ethical behavior as an important characteristic, followed by sound judgment (51%) and being adaptable/flexible (47%).

When asked, "What are the biggest challenges to implementing executive coaching in your organization?" 56 percent of 220 human resource professionals polled said the lack of HR inclusion in decisions was the biggest hurdle. Other responses included, time constraints due to business demands (39%), management unaware of coaching's value (20%) and a perception that coaching is punitive (8%).

If your employer hires an executive coach to polish your prowess should you celebrate or worry that you're considered damaged goods?

Executive coaches often are brought in to help a star player navigate a new role or advance faster inside a company. Other businesses, however, hire a coach to fix a manager's flaws, such as poor interpersonal skills.

Whatever the reason, be smart and maximize the career benefits of having a coach. Outright resistance or passive aggressiveness are bad ideas. Coaches cost a lot of money and using this personal development resource wisely is in your best interest. Getting an outside point of view can help you become clearer on who you are and what you need to do to get to where you want to be.

--Sources: American Management Association, DBM and The Wall Street Journal

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For reasons why you don't think you need a coach and how a coach should challenge your reasoning:

Top 5 Objections That Potential Coaching Clients Raise.

by Thomas J. Leonard (1957-2003)


Most potential clients want to work with a coach. But, being potential clients, they often have objections to starting. Usually, these objections are not real; they are simply perceived. So, your job is to help them get through/over these, without being too pushy. Remember, your prospective clients DO want to work with you; they are simply afraid, slow, or unclear on their focus. You can help them make a great buying decision. Remember the first "NO" is just the beginning of a wonderful relationship...

Here are some ideas.

1. Objection: "I don't have time work with a coach."

Possible responses:

"Why are you that busy?"

"And how healthy is the stress is your busy schedule is causing you?"

"Perfect! I only work with clients who are way too busy to work with me."

"Perfect! Let's spend 30 days getting you ahead of your busy schedule."

2. "I can't afford the coaching fee."

Possible responses:

"We all have the money we need for what we really want. What's the goal you'd set for yourself that you REALLY want?"

"Are you living that close to the financial edge?"

"Perfect! Let's first start working on getting you a financial reserve!"

"No problem. Let me discount it for you for the first 90 days. How much do you feel is both fair and affordable for you, to get started."

"Are you sure?"

3. "I'm not sure what I would work on with a coach."

Possible responses:

"Yes, that's pretty typical. We usually spend a couple of sessions to sort out the various priorities you have. That itself is coaching."

"What are the 3 biggest challenges you are facing right now?"

"What is draining/zapping your energy most?"

"What the opportunity that's going to pass you by if you don't act on it?"

4. "I'm not sure that a coach can help."

Possible responses:

"Really. How come?"

"Is the problem overwhelming."

"Would this be your first time working with a coach?"

"What part don't you think a coach could help with?"

5. "I've already got a mentor."

Possible responses:

"What aren't you working on with him/her that you would still like some strategic support with?"

"Do you have a personal goal or problem that would benefit from immediate, dedicated attention?"

"Wonderful! What sort of things do you two focus on?" (then, listen for what else YOU could offer...)

Copyright 2001, Thomas J. Leonard. All rights reserved. May be duplicated with attribution and copyright notice intact.

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Where do you want to be in three years? What's the biggest challenge you have? Are you doing today what you do best?

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If you are really committed to what you want to do, let's have a conversation about getting there from here. Call 734.426.2000 (US Eastern Time Zone) or email me to arrange for a free 20-minute telephone conversation to discuss what interests you about coaching. To learn more about John Agno, certified executive & business coach, click here.

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