Coaching is becoming an indispensable tool in our everyday lives to guide us with step-by-step instructions to reach our goal and to get us on the right track if we ever take a wrong turn. In the book, The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead, the author talks about executive coaching as a career GPS, a very important tool you need to have to progress your career.
Executive coaching is very essential to women in the workplace because they face many obstacles and unexpected transformations along the way. They need to constantly reconsider and reevaluate their next move with a lot of shrewdness and good strategy. They also need to negotiate toughly because they confront problems due to business politics and to gender bias. Not to forget their fears and self-doubt…
In their article Gender and Career Success, the authors Pamela L. Perrewe and Debra L. Nelson express that women need to work with an executive coach because of the unusual challenges they encounter in the workplace. They declare, “The focus of executive coaching is usually on skills such as political savvy and strategic vision.” They state, “The unique problems that women managers face can be addressed with an individually tailored approach, as offered by executive coaching. Executive coaching increases psychological and social awareness and understanding, as well as the ability to develop and maintain effective interpersonal relationships.”
Coaching makes it easy for ambitious women to:
- Think strategically about their careers.
- Increase self-awareness
- Manage the politics
- Work through challenging relationships
- Create a plan for increased visibility and influence
- Strengthen leadership skills
- Overcome limiting beliefs and self-doubt
- Move out of their comfort zone
Moreover, coaching helps ambitious women to well position themselves known the reality of their workplace.
What to seek in a coach
You need to have chemistry in your relationship with your coach in addition to his or her background and experience. If you styles are compatible, this coaching connection will succeed. However, a strong personal relationship with your coach is critical.
You need to ask the below questions to a prospective coach:
- Where did you get your coach training?
- Are you certified by any accrediting organization for coaches?
- How long have you been coaching?
- Who is your typical client?
- What is your business background?
- How would you describe your coaching style?
- What are your different programs and fees?
- Can your programs be customized for my needs?
- How often do you meet with clients?
- Do you meet live or by phone or Skype?
- Do you use assessments? If so, which ones?
- Are you available to shadow me at work?
- Do you coach both men and women?
- What are your payment terms?
- Can you share some relevant experiences you have had with clients?
- Will you provide at least two references?
Make sure that the potential coach genuinely seems interested in you and your career, understands your challenges and that you feel comfortable talking to him.
Set up the relationship
It is vital to establish realistic goals and periods from the beginning with specific metrics. You have to review periodically these goals to assess the effectiveness of the coaching and your commitment to do the work. Sometimes, you need to modify your goals and periods.
Return on investment
Any coaching relationship can succeed with a solid plan, realistic objectives, a good coach and your determination to do well the work. However, many women are afraid to invest in themselves and their careers. They fight with the idea of placing themselves on the front position and following through with what they state to be their career ambitions.
In conclusion, high-achieving women encounter many challenges in aggressive, male-dominated environments. Office politics can disturb them at any time. Moreover, lack of confidence, hesitancy to self-promote and network and avoidance of politics contribute as well to their lack of advancement.
An executive coach will make it easier for you to navigate through the difficulties of the workplace, to overcome your fears and to position yourself for success.