Home Tools and Applications Executive Coaching Executive Coaches Share Openly and Unselfishly: Dynamic Panel Discussion at ICF Annual Conference 2003

Executive Coaches Share Openly and Unselfishly: Dynamic Panel Discussion at ICF Annual Conference 2003

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What Executives are Requesting

Moderator (Linda): What are the current themes that you find executives requiring or requesting coaching about?

Jeannine: My team is not performing well is the most common theme. So, a discussion must be pointed toward the fact that it is their direct responsibility and where are they in the fact that their team is not performing well. I typically move to discussion about performance and team interaction. It also usually requires a focus on the challenge of growing their successors.

Bill: Many of us desperately hope that what we’re addressing are things called puzzles. Things that have nice tidy answers and we know when we’ve solved it. I think that what most coaching I do is not about puzzles but rather complex problems or mysteries that are multidisciplinary, often nested and often filled with dilemmas. I find that most people bring me in to help them solve a puzzle. Normally, during the coaching process, we get involved in things much deeper in terms of problems which are mixtures of things that have both internal controls and things that are out of their control. I help sort those two out.

Klaus: The coaching issue that I see continuously coming up is the need for improvement of communication in general from a broad level into the organization. I am repeatedly dealing with this critical issue.

Executive Coaching Themes

Moderator (Linda): Are there themes that emerge as you all are coaching? I want to give something from my experience, just really quickly. We talk a lot about clear agreements–getting to clear agreements, especially at the end of meetings. So that’s one of the themes that executives don’t ever start with: “I need an executive coach because I need to talk about clear agreements.” But that’s one of the themes that emerge.

Val: My personal favorite (which we talked about in our group): even though they never come to coaching for this we always end up talking about authenticity–about how they can be real. So, my basic twenty second coaching is that the client says, “You know my people aren’t doing this and this is a problem and that’s a problem.” I say, “Well, have you told them?” They respond, “Well, no,” and I think, “Well that’s the problem. You’ve got to be real with these people.” That is where the real coaching begins.

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