Diversity Woman Magazine

SUM 2019

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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28 D I V E R S I T Y W O M A N S u m m e r 2 0 1 9 d i v e r s i t y w o m a n . c o m "If someone was not doing well, then a human resources partner might come in and say, 'Fix this,'" she says. "But leader- ship coaching now has evolved into help- ing outstanding leaders become even better, become the best version of them- selves. So it's used very often for high- potential people." e number of books, TED talks, and YouTube videos about leadership has ex- ploded in recent years. e word leadership generates more than 4.5 billion results on Google. Leadership institutes and sum- mits have blossomed in cities around the world. As a result, the field of executive coach- ing has expanded to include not only ex- ecutives at companies, but entrepreneurs as well. "When I first got into coaching," Krohn says, "people would look at me and say, 'What sport [do you coach]?' Today, it's not, 'What is it?' and 'Does it work?' but 'How do you apply it?' and 'How do you measure it?'" Jennifer Habig, the managing director for the western region at the Center for Creative Leadership based in Greensboro, North Carolina, says the industry has gone from "really no regulation on what made someone an executive coach to a place where we're getting more understanding of the kind of training and the ongoing development coaches need." She points to the International Coach Federation, which credentials executive coaches and accredits training programs. Her colleague, Rosa Belzer, a coaching tal- ent leader at the Center for Creative Lead- ership, says that two other major shifts in the past decade have boosted executive coaching: more research on the psychology of behavioral change and the virtual tools coaches have to connect with their clients. Most coaching was once face-to-face. Now a mix of Zoom, Skype, and phone calls is often incorporated into coaching sessions. e abundance of assessment tools at coaches' disposal has also altered their approach, says Rich Horwath, CEO of the Strategic inking Institute. "Coaching has evolved from being very general to much more specific because of the diagnostics that have come up," he says. "ey really help leaders understand, 'What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What are their capabilities?' And then home in on specific tools and techniques for those specific areas." Executive coaching goes beyond what books can do because of its customization and specificity. "Coaching is so effective because it finds the intersection of where individuals are as humans, what is expected of them inside an organization, and what their team may need from them in order to be successful," Bermes explains. "And it helps them cali- brate that situation in a way that hopefully draws on their strengths, their values, and their moral compass. Where a book is pre- scriptive, like, 'Just do this, and you'll be an effective leader,' I feel like our approach is so much more organic to the individual, to the situation, and to whatever the individual has been charged with.'" Many people engage executive coaches when they are at the midpoint of their ca- reer. Midcareer for a professional presents Finding a Great Coaching Fit H iring an executive coach is somewhat like hiring a personal trainer: if the chemistry isn't there, you might not show up, which means you might not get the results you want. Longtime executive coaches offer the following tips for finding a great coaching fit. • Your executive coach does not need to have the same work experience or have held the same position as you. Look for someone who can make you feel heard and who can challenge your thinking and assumptions. • Ask a coach about the last suc- cessful coaching engagement he or she had and why it worked well. • Ask about the coach's credential- ing with the Inter- national Coach Federation. • You should feel that you can have a great deal of trust with and respect for your coach. • Stay curious and be open to learn- ing new things. • Be vulnerable and open to feedback. • The coaching relationship should feel easy and com- fortable. Look for an element of fun. We Mean Business >

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