CEO Today - March 2022

20 EXECUTIVE COACHING clients experience its power. Life coaching allows leaders, teams and organisations to live to their highest potential, to thrive and to prosper. How does coaching work? A coach and client meet, often remotely, every week or two. The coach creates a safe, confidential space for clients to explore their concerns and aspirations. The coach operates as a sounding board, a thought partner, asking questions, teasing out the client’s wisdom. The partnership is a laboratory for reflection, continued learning and expansion. Through asking powerful questions, coaching allows the client to uncover what is cloaked. This dynamic stimulates understanding, change, progress and transformation. The coaching relationship includes: • looking at the client’s life, including, but not limited to, work objectives • examining thoughts, perceptions, assumptions • creating clarity • improving relationships From your point of view, why has life coaching grown exponentially? Why do you recommend it? Coaching embodies hope, courage and a quantum shift in consciousness. Life coaching is about how to live, be totally alive, engaged and have relationships that work. Coaching helps clients embrace who they want to be and how they want to contribute to the world. In the 1990s, Thomas Leonard, a certified financial planner, found his clients needed help with their whole lives, not just their finances. Dubbed the father of modern coaching, Leonard called it “personal coaching.” It is now also referred to as life coaching. As the power of coaching to accelerate change and leadership development was recognised, coaches were engaged for high-potential employees. Coaching in organisations is now standard as an executive benefit. Awareness of professional coaching continues to trend upward. A study, as early as 2009, published by the International Coaching Federation, stated that 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence and over 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships and more effective communication skills. 86% of companies report that they recouped their investment in coaching and more. With the relentless speed of life today, leaders feel an urgency to know, to act and react in the face of many uncertainties. Coaching creates a reflective pause: time to clean the lens, clarify situations, reach beneficial solutions and take action. Coaching has grown exponentially because it is effective. It keeps expanding because • testing ideas and • gaining the confidence to take bold action Who needs a coach? Why? Coaching is markedly effective with aspirational leaders - those who do well and know they can be even more effective. Leaders promoted to new levels of responsibility, with a broader scope of work, find coaching valuable in expanding their view and thinking in new ways. Leaders who need clarity to generate momentum or congruity also benefit from coaching. They know change is needed, but they might experience inertia, overwhelm, or confusion. They may have trouble seeing their contribution to the situation. Sometimes leaders simply need a champion, someone who sees and appreciates them. Coaching has grown exponentially because it is effective. It keeps expanding because clients experience its power. “ “ Ironically, two opposing realities are often hidden from self-view 1) what gets in our way and 2) the vast upside of possibility. Coaching uncovers both. “ “

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