The good news is you have an executive coach. The bad news is that the process of personal change and transformation is not easy. It requires a great deal of personal commitment on the part of the leader being coached. I’ve found in my work as an executive coach as well as my personal growth work, that most changes we are seeking on the outside (for example to get promoted to the next level, to have greater influence with peers, etc.) require significant changes within ourselves.
The role of the coach is to bring their skills to raise self-awareness, to challenge the leader’s paradigms, to share insight, and to hold accountability. Yet, the heavy lifting is done by the leader. The leader brings their courage to dig deeper to understand themselves, to see how they stand in their own way. They bring their openness to experimenting with new ways of being and behaving. They bring their commitment when the going gets tough.
In my experience, there are three tools the turbo-charge the impact of the coaching process. My ask is that you commit to practicing these tools during our coaching process. As you practice these tools, you create excellent leadership habits that will sustain the behavior change, and also help you continue to lead and grow – well beyond the coaching process.
Daily accountability questions. This is a practice recommended by the renowned executive coach, Marshall Goldsmith. You pick a list of questions you ask yourself every day to hold yourself accountable to your vision of who you want to be as a leader. The exercise takes less than five minutes. I recommend no more than 10 questions that link to your coaching goals. Here is a quick article on this.
Keep a leadership journal. A leadership journal will help you to grow in your self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and sense of well-being. If you’re new to journaling, you can read this article for useful prompts for your leadership journal. You can choose to customize your journal by noting your progress on your coaching goals. If you set aside 15 minutes, you can get great benefits from journaling.
Practice mindfulness. A lot has been written recently about mindfulness and its impact on well-being, emotional intelligence, and resilience. I wrote about my own experience with mindfulness. There are lots of apps you can research. I have used HeadSpace and Calm and found them both useful. My recommendation is that you start with just 10 minutes of mindful breathing.
So now, look at your coaching goals and imagine yourself achieving them. Imagine better well-being, greater peace and joy, a stronger ability to connect with yourself and others, and strengthened resilience. Imagine these practices as gifts you give to yourself to become a more powerful, purposeful, and inspired leader. Will you take these on?