CHOOSE THE RIGHT COACH
for a minute about how your leadership is influenced by things like
your organization's character and strategy, relationships with
colleagues and stakeholders, and the vagaries of the economy. So
you know from experience how context influences the way you lead.
This is why it is good to choose a leadership coach who understands organizational systems. A coach who is savvy about systems and relational dynamics is likely to be a better problem-solving partner in at least three ways:
- Asking powerful questions
- Sharing perspectives that open doors to your growth.
Gerry had been Executive Director for a dozen years and was feeling stuck. As we explored this stuck place, I used my organizational development expertise as I asked questions about how organizational pressure points and staff interactions influenced Gerry’s situation. As we worked together, Gerry discovered new ways he could invigorate his organization, and he found new energy and commitment.
Katy was a new CEO who wanted to figure out how to help her strife-filled organization and lessen her own stress. My expertise in managing change and in CEO transitions helped both Katy and me “hear” what was happening for her. One by one, Katy sorted out and calmly worked on each organizational, group and interpersonal issue. Comparing Katy’s experience with what new CEOs typically go through helped Katy learn to use her unique gifts to lead.
When you look for a coach, use this checklist as you interview coaches and explore websites:
- Where is evidence of working with interpersonal, group and organizational dynamics?
- Who has business savvy?
- Who knows a variety of frameworks for leading?
- Who uses various ways to do team and organizational development?
- What leadership and team assessment tools do they use?
Do they have deep know-how in adult learning and human development?
(These questions are adapted from research in effective coaching by Berglas, 2002 and Peltier, 2001).