Why does your coaching work?
Leaders and speakers rarely receive straight, specific feedback.  I tell people what works & doesn’t.  Video practice gets people to immediately see & shift what they need to do to improve – like athletes watching film.  I gauge how much push or support a person needs to try new approaches & produce results in challenging situations.

What’s more important – a presenter’s content or delivery?
It’s easier to deliver a focused, compelling message with conviction.
After rigorously streamlining content to have less detail, active headings & smooth transitions, they know highlights of their story.   Then they practice dynamic delivery by emphasizing key points with vocal variety & how to project energy to capture audience interest.

Who are your typical leadership coaching clients?

  • Leaders stepping up in their roles & strengthening their teams
  • Technical experts managing teams & focusing on developing people
  • Project managers influencing in matrix environments
  • Emerging leaders promoted to senior roles; managing upward
  • Senior leaders onboarding into a new culture; building credibility

Why do leaders need coaching?
Leaders are promoted from their previous success, but need to operate more strategically – develop talent, collaborative teams & organizational partnerships. They need to clarify expectations for people’s current role, set new priorities & plan resources for future growth.

Challenges facing emerging leaders
Building strong relationships with senior managers, communicating concisely/diplomatically, operating in an “acting” role, identifying as part of senior management – not just their team.

Typical challenges for presenters?
For expressive, somewhat experienced presenters – less “winging it”, more rigorous prep of a focused, clear message.  For introverted, technical people – practice a conversational, animated delivery with highlighting concise key points for decision-makers.

Is everyone coachable?
Coaching involves going through a change process (self awareness, setting goals, digesting feedback, trying new behaviors & adopting a more flexible, high level perspective).  Some feel they’d be changing who they are vs. how they need to operate now.  I determine if someone is willing to put the work into making the adjustments necessary for this kind of growth. People only change if they see a gain or to prevent a loss.   Change involves greater self awareness, willingness to experiment & not rely on previous competence. I help people make the transition of dropping automatic reactions/habits & learning new ones more appropriate to what they are trying to accomplish at this stage.

How do you use 360 feedback in coaching?
I interview the associates my client sees as critical to their success  (senior leaders, managers, clients, peers, direct reports) with customized questions (what it’s like to work with them, strengths, communication, style, development areas).   These anonymous responses – reviewed only with my client – provide real data for a coaching plan.   Unlike a standard 360 instruments – people’s specific comments clearly convey how they are viewed with suggestions for greater leadership impact.

Trends you see in your leadership coaching
Overuse of strength, not building a “bench”
, lack of career paths or motivating opportunities for emerging leaders, difficulty getting critical/developmental feedback from their manager.  Also minimal management skills, since people were often thrust into these roles early without mentoring.

Common pitfalls when hiring executive coaches?
Using coaching: 1) as a euphemism for a “job in trouble”  or 2) to fix a poor hiring decision, when straight feedback wasn’t given or undesirable performance accepted too long.  Not realizing the time & energy someone needs to put in to step up their level of leadership.  Critical is engaging their manager (or  someone on the ground) to give them feedback on our goals throughout the coaching engagement.