Enabling executives reframe their challenges
From our experience a key benefit of coaching is to enable a leader, who is often under great pressure, to find the support, space and time to reframe the situation facing them in order to develop more effective strategies and approaches for managing and leading more effectively.
The process of coaching provides the opportunity for increased self-awareness around the following themes:
• How I am thinking and how I am developing conclusions
• How I am behaving and the impact it is having on others
• How I am interpreting the situations and behaviour I am facing and the resultant impact on how I react.
By carefully structuring the intervention and by astute questioning, the coach facilitates the conversation with the leader with a view to raising their level of self-awareness. The coach selects the appropriate technique or approach to fit the particular challenges that the leader is facing in order to build greater self-awareness. The choice of questions is important in enabling the leader to begin to see other ways of looking at the challenges they are facing. This is an important step in enabling them to reframe the situation and discover additional angles and routes to potentially better solutions.
Facilitating Conscious Behavioural Choice and Behavioural Change
People in leadership roles have blind spots just like everybody else. There are many things that they are aware of and there are also some things that they are not consciously aware of that are often visible to others. In some cases they may be unaware of the impact that their behaviour is having on the people around them. This can be partly the result of their colleagues and direct reports filtering what feedback they give; however it is also strongly influenced by the leader’s personality and experience. A well-crafted intervention by an executive coach will assist the leader to explore their blind spots; the coach will also carefully choose the most appropriate way to confront the leader with their blind spots and raise their awareness of them and their possible impact.
By increasing self-awareness, the leader is then able to make a more conscious and informed choice as to how they behave in particular situations. The coach can also help the leader explore and understand the likely impact of different ways of behaving, thus increasing the leaders understanding of when particular behaviour will be productive and when it may be counter-productive.
Realising latent potential and utilising strengths
Another important role for the coach is that of helping leaders and potential leaders see beyond their own perceptions of success or failure so that they can appreciate a potentially less subjective and more objective assessment of what success or failure look like. This is important because leaders differ in their ability to confront the success or failure of their actions; some may be overly negative and others overly positive. The coach uses powerful questions to prompt the leader towards a more objective assessment, thus helping the leader to build an awareness of strengths to build on, and also potential areas that they may not have previously realised they could tap into. This is a further way in which the coaching process can be hugely beneficial to a leader.
Leveraging psychometrics and behavioural inventories for personal growth
Developments in psychology and neuroscience combined with software and big data advances have increased the impact of psychometrics and behavioural inventories. These can now bring more powerful feedback to leaders based on their personal profile, which in turn provides a very impactful way of increasing self-awareness. In most cases the feedback comes from the leader themselves via the vehicle of the instrument, which makes it all the more believable to the leader, and thus difficult to argue with.
Some relatively new and also some well-established psychometrics and behavioural instruments are now available which provide valuable insights according to the particular needs of the leader. In this area, our Network has a variety of tools that we can call upon and apply. We have very much made a point of staying abreast of developments and using both new and tried and trusted tools to enhance leader self-awareness.
Aligned with ICF and EMCC
PPI Network Coaches are aligned in their coaching approach with both the International Coach Federation and the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. Both these reputable organisations provide a disciplined framework for professional coaching practices to operate in, and our coaches are fully aligned in their practice with the approved competence-based approach.