Assessing an Executive's Readiness for Executive Coaching
Not every executive or leader is well suited for executive coaching. And no amount of time or money spent on coaching is likely to benefit someone who lacks the desire or support for change. It pays to really think about the executive's readiness before deciding coaching is the right performance-improvement method. Here are some things to consider:
- Is the person truly open to exploring and changing?
- Does she have the self-esteem and self-awareness to examine how her behavior affects those around her?
- Is he emotionally secure enough to receive feedback that's less than favorable?
- Is she capable of helping the coach understand major organizational factors that influence her performance?
- Is this a good time for major change in the executive's life—as a function of recent promotions, challenges, organizational changes, and so on?
- Does the executive agree about her need to change, or does she see her workgroup's performance as being limited by what others are doing?
- Does the executive realize that success will require time outside of coaching sessions to learn and practice new knowledge, skills, and behaviors? What's more, does the executive really have the time?
- Is he open to coaching as the beginning of a long-term development process rather than a short-term fix?
If your answer to most of these questions is yes or I think so, the person likely will benefit from executive coaching. But if you have major doubts, the executive's effectiveness could be limited by factors outside the workplace or by deep-seated psychological issues. No one's perfect, and we all have our challenges. But such issues are not the legitimate purpose of executive coaching. If the executive's "acting out" is disturbing many people, it might be in your organization's best interest to refer him or her for training, therapy, or counseling.