Your company has engaged a professional coach for its leaders and high potentials and you are one of them. How do you make the most of this investment in your personal and professional growth? Here are a few tips to consider:
- In the context of your job role and career in the organization, reflect on your strengths and areas for development based on past and present, formal and informal feedback, from your superiors, peers, and direct reports. Identify possible developmental goals you may want to be coached on by your professional coach.
- Talk to your executive sponsors about what they see as your strengths and areas for development that they would like you to be coached on, Take note of where your and their perspectives may be similar or different. Ask questions to better understand the perspective of your executive sponsor and share your own views as well. Ask about what specifically they would like to see change and improve as outcomes of coaching.
- If the company invested in a 360 feedback survey as an input to your receiving coaching, learn as much as you can about the tool and what feedback were given to you by the people you selected to be your 360 respondents. Keep an open mind and receive all feedback as the gifts that they are, both positive and negative. You may not agree with the feedback, nevertheless, that is how you show up to the 360 survey respondents.
- Remember that our intentions do not always manifest in ways that others perceive them. Sometimes, if not often, there may be disconnects between our intentions and the perceptions people have about us and our actions. Areas where there are huge disconnects between our self perceptions and that of others are helpful places to start our reflection on how come there are these gaps and what actions we can take, things we can do differently (e.g., start, stop, continue doing), to bridge these gaps.
- Identify the initial top three priorities you need and would like to be coached on by your professional coach and build agreement with your executive sponsors about these. If it’s too soon to have specific goals at the start of the coaching, that’s fine. The initial coaching sessions can focus on deepening your awareness and understanding of the situation you are in and what makes sense to work on with your coach.
- Between coaching sessions, be sure to work on whatever assignment or actions you agreed to do with your coach, and learn what you can from these. No excuses. Being a more self-motivated and self-directed adult learner, you take responsibility for yourself. Keep a learning journal to write your questions, perceptions, ideas and insights that can help you move forward with your intentions and goals.
We are all always learning, and brain research shows that we continue to rewire our brains through neuroplasticity and nuerogenesis even as we grow more experienced and older. (Bergland, Christopher, Psychology Today, 2018) (Bergland, Christopher, Psychology Today, 2017)