Press Enter to Search

Forbes: Could An Executive Coach Help You Succeed In Business?

June 21st, 2016

Forbes recently ran an excellent interview of Jody Michael, CEO of Jody Michael Associates by contributor Larry Myler, (MAY 24, 2016).

I particularly love the comment “Great coaches don’t do the work; they hold their clients accountable to do the work for themselves. A coach is a catalyst for change.”

Coaching is still in it’s infancy in India, and while the awareness of Executive Coaching as a powerful process of change is taking place, there is still a lot of ambiguity around Coaching as such. And this is compounded by many “Coaches” acting like teachers or trainers in a session, forgetting that the role of the Coach is not to do that. Neither neither helps the Coachee develop nor the Coach learn, and only serves to discredit Coaching.

960x0

We all have issues that sometimes prevent us from performing at our peak. Lack of discipline, blind spots about how we come across to others, feelings of low confidence or self-esteem, the absence of clear goals, out-of-place priorities, or fear of rejection and failure can derail our best efforts and loftiest intentions. Athletes rely on coaches to reach optimal performance. Maybe sales people, business leaders and career-minded individuals should, too.

I recently had an interesting conversation with Jody Michael, CEO of Jody Michael Associates, about the role that coaching can play in enhancing business performance. Following are excerpts from the interview that give insights into the world of coaching for executives, sales professionals, those with career questions, and individuals trying to reach their personal best.

Larry Myler: What is a common challenge that keeps people from performing up to their full potential at work?

Jody Michael: When we get into that triggered place of fight or flight—when we feel threatened, fearful or inadequate—that’s the time when research shows that we can actually lose up to 40 IQ points and, as a result, feel like we’ve lost our personal identity, and start making inexplicably poor decisions.

Larry: What causes us to become “triggered,” and does this happen to everyone?

Jody: Events from our childhood, scripts from our family of origin, and defenses we set up before we had cognitive abilities to deal with things in a more mature way—these all carry forward into adulthood. Early coping strategies that served us well in the past are no longer effective or desirable. And, yes, everyone is potentially subject to these factors.

Larry: What is the goal of coaching and what should someone expect if they go through this process?

Jody: In transformational coaching, we want deep change. The story you’ve been telling yourself up to this point needs to be replaced with a more accurate and empowering story that can enhance performance, not just change a few of your tactics. Depending on the desired outcomes (more sales success, stronger leadership, best career path, etc.), a coaching program could take from a few weeks to a year or more. There’s often a lot of personal work to get through, as well as regular one-on-one sessions in person or over the phone/computer.

Larry: What is the most important thing participants can do to make their coaching experience as beneficial as possible?

Jody: They must take personal responsibility for their own outcomes. Great coaches don’t do the work; they hold their clients accountable to do the work for themselves. A coach is a catalyst for change.

Larry: Can you give an example of how a business leader was able to change through executive coaching?

Jody: I was called in to help a young CEO step into his new role. He was highly talented, but not well seasoned. The board needed him to rise to the occasion with self-assurance and a powerful presence. His hesitancy and trepidation were getting in the way of building trust and confidence with his employees, and with the company’s customers. After six months, he was a completely transformed leader whose observable actions matched his intellect. He became the CEO whom others would enthusiastically follow.

Larry: What could someone do, short of hiring a coach, to improve personal performance?

Jody: There are some great books on self-awareness and mindfulness. Self-study would be a great first step for anyone wanting to improve personal and professional performance.

Larry: What about being a coach is most gratifying to you?

Jody: Every morning I wake up excited about partnering with people for change. Coaching creates a very connective, intimate experience that has the capacity to change the trajectory of one’s future. What could possibly be more powerful than a transformative engagement of that nature? That’s what’s most gratifying—that shared transformative experience.

We all have areas in which we could improve, but we may not be able to change on our own. Could an executive coach help you?

Larry Myler: CEO By Monday, Inc., adjunct professor in the Rollins Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology at BYU, author of Indispensable By Monday.
t Twitter f Facebook g Google+