Hiring an executive coach is a powerful step towards creating positive change that helps you achieve your vision and results.
As you progress with your coaching engagement, your success and growth from coaching hinges on how you engage with the process and the programme.
An executive coaching programme enables learning new behaviours and responses to the challenges you might face in your professional or personal life. It is also about elevating yourself and your leadership to greater heights. So the essence of coaching lies in how and what you learn, to both grow and develop.
Two types of learning are critical components of our growth.
External learning: In this kind of learning, we learn about the outside world, environment, new skills, other people etc.
Inner learning — is learning about ourselves- who we truly are, what we value, our aspirations, what motivates us, our habitual patterns of behaviour, our beliefs, emotional responses etc.
It is not easy for most people to look within and uncover aspects of themselves that may be suppressed over a period of time. We can feel fragile when we face our fears, disturbing emotions, and when we touch those parts within us that have been safely tucked away in remote corners of our being. We would rather not face the strain of dealing with them.
However, it is only when an individual is transparent and open that they are able to see with clarity what reflects in the mirror. So the most important quality that one can bring to coaching is the ability to be vulnerable.
In the coaching context being vulnerable means opening the space to go within and share your real challenges, becoming comfortable with discomfort, expressing your feelings and emotions and trusting that whatever emerges is going to serve you in a powerful way. In the words of Bene` Brown “Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
Unfortunately, individuals who fear vulnerability and look at it as a sign of weakness may miss opportunities to understand themselves — the human being behind the persona. This prevents them from stepping into their full power and possibilities.
As a coach, I find that people who allow themselves to be vulnerable, walk away from coaching engagements with richer experiences and make more positive changes.
If you have chosen the power of coaching for self-development, then to get the most out of the engagement, check into how you feel about being vulnerable.
Asking yourself these questions before you embark on the journey is helpful:
Which parts of myself am I comfortable sharing and which ones make me uncomfortable? What emotions come up for me when I think of sharing the uncomfortable parts of myself? What do I need from the coach, to help me overcome the discomfort?
Preparing for a coaching engagement is important. Share your thoughts and feelings with the coach before you begin coaching to maximise your benefits from the powerful methodology.