The Two Biggest Lessons Learned from Executive Coaching in 2017

2017 delivered 19 unique individual executive coaching engagements over the course of the year. My definition of executive coaching would be at least 4 one-on-one meets on a regular basis helping individuals accomplish their goals.  This was not training. This was not a one-and-done, “hey, can I pick your brain on a phone call or over coffee”. This was in-depth executive coaching. And, while I generally use the same process for coaching, the word “unique” applies to the individuals as not any two people were the same.

Everyone Has A Story

As a result, the single biggest lesson I learned this year is, “Everyone Has A Story”. Every person has a unique story as to how they got where they are today. Joshua Lifkin, Director of Mental Skills for the Chicago Cubs says, “You don’t have to be sick to get better.” Nobody I coached was sick, and most of them wanted to get better. But, they all had a story that got them to Right Here, Right Now (Van Halen anyone?). As a leader of people, I assure you one of the best investments of your time will be to take the time to find out your employee’s stories. You have succeeded at this part of your leadership with an individual when they can say, “You get me and what I’m trying to do”.

One More Question

Just as all of the year’s coachees were unique, they all had different tools that resonated with them; some liked using Driving Forces to uncover motivation, some liked the Behavioral Shift model, some liked “Name An Animal That Swims”, and some liked Bumper Sticker Leadership. However, they all liked one of our most simple concepts of 2017: “One More Question”. How do you “get someone and what they’re trying to do”? You ask them. There’s no single magic question that works every time, and you usually won’t figure it out with only one question. You have to ask one more question. For more information on potential questions to ask, check out our July 2017 blog from here: RealTImeCoaching Blog Have a great 2018!

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