CEO Today - March 2022

22 EXECUTIVE COACHING and discover instead that the leader has made a paradigm shift that encompasses a much broader perspective. This account illustrates such a shift: Roger sought coaching after he was demoted from being president of the company. Feeling humiliated, frustrated and angry, he wanted to vent. Respectfully, we took time to clear his feelings and face layers of truth. His perspective fundamentally shifted; he graciously accepted a lesser position and astonishingly, became the stellar leader the organisation and he had hoped for. A coach’s full presence is pivotal for the client. It allows true conversation, meaningful conversation, that invites the client to be most authentic and access their inner wisdom. A great coach sees who the leader is - grander than they ever dared to imagine. This confident stance invites the leader to actualise extraordinary possibilities, not only in projects but also in relationships integral to the projects. As top credentialed coaches, what are your tips on finding the right coach? Before you hire a coach, ask yourself this continually honing coaching skills to lead clients forward. The coach’s presence is equally crucial. It is an energetic force, alive to whatever is needed for the leader’s best possible life and contribution to the world. A great coach has an authentic presence, bringing themself — mind and heart — to each session. Leaders might think: “How could something like the heart be effective in a professional and competitive world?” Don’t be fooled! The powerful energy of the heart is like a laser beam that cuts through everything false to reveal the truth about what has been the cause of complications, disputes, or lack of productivity and revenue. C. Otto Scharmer, the influential MIT business professor, supports that notion and so did his colleague, Bill O’Brien, the late CEO of Hanover Insurance. Scharmer (2015) reported that in an interview, O’Brien said: “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener.” Scharmer continued: “We might say it this way: the success of our actions as change-makers does not depend on What we do or How we do it, but on the Inner Place from which we operate.” As the coach opens to be fully with the leader – mind and heart – in the deepest possible way, they facilitate progress. Their presence has a continuously adapting rigour – sometimes acknowledging and encouraging, other times firm and fiercely challenging. When the coach is expertly engaged, they can penetrate below the surface layers of a situation to its roots; the leader arrives at what is authentic and alive. It can be surprising to begin the coaching engagement with a specific goal in mind question: When my partnership with a coach is successful, what will be different? With the answer to that question in mind, do some research about coaches. Ask friends and colleagues to recommend excellent coaches. Look at the website of the International Coach Federation. Look at coaches’ websites or LinkedIn profiles that seem to match your needs. Check their professional credentials, but don’t let these alone make your decision. Make appointments to interview coaches (most coaches offer exploratory sessions without charge.) How you feel speaking with the coach is essential….is there good chemistry? Assess each interview asking yourself questions such as the following: • Does the coach listen deeply, probe respectfully? • Receive nuances below your words? • Do you sense they are 100% invested in you? • Can they make it safe to speak about anything, no need to edit yourself? • Are they someone who isn’t afraid to challenge you? • Do they inspire you to think in new ways? • Do they have the capacity to expand your reality? • Can they hold your feet to the fire? • Do they have experience working with leaders at your level? You will get a sense of these things in a oneto-one conversation. Close rapport, respect and radical curiosity help clients navigate current situations. When both client and coach are leaning in completely, the breadth of what is possible in coaching is astounding. As a shift in the client occurs, their responsiveness flows freely to the people in their lives, projects and the world in meaningful ways. A great coach has an authentic presence, bringing themself — mind and heart — to each session. “ “ For more information, visit or email

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