A key coaching competency that other executive coach training programs don’t cover

We get calls all the time from coaches who joined larger, older, better-known coach training companies. They tell us that they want to take their coaching practice to the next level and they don’t know how to do it. It is too bad that they hadn’t heard about the Center for Executive Coaching when they were researching top coach training programs. We specialize in helping seasoned professionals succeed in the executive and leadership coaching space.

One reason that coaches don’t make it into the top tier is that they only focus on basic coaching competencies. They learn how to sit down with a client and ask open-ended questions, hopefully not frustrating the client in the process. They have no idea about the difference between getting hired to offer a few coaching sessions and setting up a full-blown engagement that delivers massive value to the client.

Let me give you an example. First, assume that a client comes to you with the following issues, which is pretty typical for the types of clients that many top coaches attract:

1. I am new in my role as President of this company and want to be sure I succeed.
2. I am not sure that I have the right executive team in place.
3. There are lots of political dynamics in the company that I have to navigate.
4. We need a vision, strategy, and accountability plan fast.

Most coaches would say: Well, let’s sit down for a few sessions and tackle each issue one by one. I’ll ask you a bunch of questions, listen, and through our dialogue I hope you will figure out the answers.

Would you hire that type of coach? I wouldn’t. Neither would my clients. The coach doesn’t provide a pathway to success. It is all based on the hope that a series of questions leads to best-practice insights by the client. Unfortunately, that’s how most coaches are trained, and how they think. Even worse, some of them will add their own philosophy and evangelize that in the process. They are pitching a philosophy, fad, or academic theory that they happen to care about, but the client probably doesn’t. Or, the coach gets so hung up about transformation or coaching the whole person or seeing the client experience a huge cathartic moment that they take the client to places he or she has no interest in going. It is all about the coach being a guru or someone with some secret truths about life and success, not about delivering huge value based on the client’s real challenges.

At the Center for Executive Coaching, we teach you how to conceptualize a coaching engagement so that you come across as credible, as someone with an efficient and effective path to bring great value to the client.

In the above example, that means being able to speak with the client about how you can bring value to each of the above issues.

For instance, after exploring the results the client wants to achieve in more depth, you might let him or her know that you have a proven, 6-step approach to helping new leaders succeed in politically-charged organizations (which happens to be one of 27 coaching processes and toolkits that you receive when you join the Center for Executive Coaching). You can lay out the areas in which you will coach the client based on this approach. Then, you might discuss your approach to building a high-performance team, which might include how you assess the team, get the right team on board, set expectations, and engage them so that you bring out their best (again, this is another toolkit we provide when you join the Center for Executive Coaching). Finally, when it comes to strategy, you can let the client know that you have a 3-part strategy coaching methodology that guides the client to developing a vision, strategy, and plan to execute the strategy (yes, you get that toolkit, too).

Often in these situations, you might end up doing more than just coaching. You might assess, facilitate, train, and consult, depending on the situation and the client’s needs. The key is delivering value — in whatever way or ways works best for your client.

Some people think that the above approach — even the pure coaching part — is too directive. But it isn’t.  You are not telling the client what to do or how to do it. What you offer now are a high-level series of conversations to have with the client to help them get unstuck and come up with new ideas and insights to make progress. You are still following accepted coaching competencies — but in a way that helps the client understand the clear value you offer. Clients understand and appreciate this process because it is practical and focused on getting results.

When you are equipped to conceptualize an engagement, you come across as an expert and trusted advisor to the client. They don’t roll their eyes and think of you as a glorified therapist or, as one client told me about his previous coach, an expensive waste of time.

In addition, when you learn this skill….

More people want to learn about what you offer.
It is easier to get hired.
You can charge more.
You can use your approaches to offer repeatable programs.
You can write a book about your approach to helping clients succeed.
You can build a brand that sets you way apart.

There is so much more that you can do when you have this skill.

You need to know how to conceptualize engagements if you are going to be a top-tier executive and leadership coach. We show you how. Other programs do not.

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