Executive coaches (or, how I learned to stop worrying and put things in perspective)
Five reasons to work with an executive coach:
- get another opinion
- get some perspective
- get best practices advice
- get new ideas for better ways of doing things
- Because you might just learn something about yourself, your patterns, the way you think, and the good and bad habits you’ve learned and picked up along the way.
These were not the reasons I had in mind when I started working with an executive coach. In fact, I had no idea what I wanted at first. What type of person does executive coaching, what do they do, why do people go to them, are they really just shrinks by another name?
To answer my questions, I called up three coaches and interviewed them to find out what their styles were like, how they work with customers, and what one could expect to get out of the experience. The answer is that it’s different for everyone. Everyone has different goals and comes with different needs, so coaches tailor their programs individually. Similarly, every coach is different—their style, background, approach, etc.
One of the conversations I had was with Betsy Gullickson, a coach in Marin. We hit it off brilliantly. When I got an annual bonus this year, I decided to spend part of it on some personal and professional growth, so I gave Betsy another call.
I was hoping to learn better communication skills to help manage upwards and downwards more effectively. And while this remains a key goal of mine, the real task at hand became time management; how can I learn to better balance work, family, and health? (All the GTD blogs and bloggers are great, but I’ve found it invaluable to work with someone face-to-face).
We’ve been meeting for over four months now. Just about every week, we sit down for a Peet’s coffee before work. It’s been immensely helpful. Betsy offers an unpartisan, clear, and, very frequently, blunt perspective. Putting the advice to work is the hard part. I realize that I’ve developed habits and a style that have worked for me so far — it’s gotten me to this point in my life, but will it take me any further?
Will blog again at the year’s end on progress made.