Why did you consider executive coaching?
I was actually asked to go on the executive coaching programme by my bosses, they thought it would really enhance my skills and obviously give me more tools to work with clients.
What were your expectations?
I hoped that by doing the coaching it would make me more rounded professionally and help me understand how I work as a person. That is the kind of thing I hoped to gain, but actually I have gained that and more.
Were there any surprises?
I was initially surprised as it was quite a detailed first session about me and my personal life, but I understand why we had to dive that deep to understand my key drivers.
What have been the benefits for you?
The major benefit for me is positioning conversations better and going about situations a lot easier. Coming from where I was before, I now get better outcomes from things because I have taken on board how things could work and do work.
What do you notice to be the greatest impact from executive coaching?
I think emotional management. So, keeping myself in check so that I don’t go into a meeting led only by emotion rather than practicality, and asking the best questions in the best ways to get the best answers.
How have you measured your development and success?
I would say I measure it in terms of my relationships with people internally at work and with my clients externally.
Would you recommend executive coaching to other people?
Absolutely, I’d sing from the trees about it to people, and I’d tell them the amazing changes it has had on me and my life.
Has it helped with your overall sense of wellbeing?
Completely, obviously as a person you can get more out of being developed in that way, and overall it has changed my life really.
What did you like most about executive coaching?
I think the thing I like the most about it is seeing the change, year on year, comparing where I was before to where I am now.
Is there anything that is necessary to ensure you have a good coaching relationship?
You have got to connect with the person that is coaching you. Everyone has got a way of understanding people or working with people, and you have got to connect with the coach for that to work.
Did you find any part of the process difficult?
No, it’s not difficult. But I guess it is challenging because you have got to look at yourself in the mirror to analyse who you are and work on changing the aspects that you don’t really like.
How frequently would you recommend having coaching sessions?
I think that in the beginning it is really good to have very regular, say monthly, sessions. After that once you have worked on that plan for the year and looked at the things that are going on in your life, you can have them more spread out, maybe every three months.
How long do you think each session should last?
I really don’t like having a restricted time on the session because you never know what you are going to cover and how much detail you will need to go into, and how you are going to work on that issue. So I don’t like being restricted but maybe a maximum of three hours.
What in your words makes a good coach?
You have to be able to get on with different types of people, because obviously not everyone is the same, not everyone takes on information in the same way, or makes things happen the same. Also, the confidentiality around what you discuss is really important, so you have to be able to trust them. Being able to have a good relationship and to connect with your coach will only help to enhance or speed up your coaching.
Do you think executive coaching helps to retain staff?
Diplomatically, I would say it depends on the type of company you work for and the opportunities that are available to you.
When would you recommend a person to have executive coaching?
If you don’t know what you want to do in a job, I would say that executive coaching is really helpful then. If you are not sure where you want to go with a career, or whether you want a change in your career, or when you are just starting out in a career.
Do you think it is important that your coach is qualified and part of a coaching federation?
I would say that is important in any industry because then you have an audience to learn from as well as a way to share ways of working.
Is it important that you have ‘actions’ to complete after each session?
I think it depends what you are going with, everyone is going to be different session to session. So, yes if there is stuff that you want to change, but if it is more checking what is correct maybe actions aren’t needed.
Could you sum up your experience in a few words?
Do you have any specific comments that you would like to make about Jaqui as your coach?
I just wish I had met her earlier.
And what would you say to someone who was considering having executive coaching?
What have you got to lose by trying it? If there is a question in your head that you can’t answer about you or your work just go for it.