Executive coaching really can bring out the best in people and help them deliver tasks that they have struggled with for a very long time. In fact I would go so far as to say that the real power of executive coaching is to help executives unravel their own situations, making sense of their world.
Let me use an anonymous example. Last week, one of my clients, commented to me that he was a little lacklustre after the New Year and didn’t know why. He felt exhausted, lethargic and generally fed up. His relationships were suffering, as he knew he was being prickly. He wasn’t sleeping well.
I asked him to reflect back on what has been happening over the last few months and he mentioned a number of things, some great and some not so great. In particular he felt like he had been working hard but not getting anywhere and he knew just how important these projects had been
Overall, I got a sense that he had put a great deal of effort into a number of different things and had so far not received any credit for that effort. The insight for me was that my client was lacking confidence as he had allowed his momentum in his various projects to slip, and it became tougher to get things moving again. So to help my client, I first of all asked him to rate his own confidence and reflect upon his score. What was it that was driving his score? He saw for himself that his momentum and confidence had gone, and there was a danger that this awareness would then mean he stayed in that feeling following his introspection.
Rather than allow him to wallow in this awareness of lack of momentum, I chose to switch to a solution focus approach, allowing him to picture what he wanted to achieve, which was regaining that feeling of being on top of his game, re-energised and focussed behind his goals. I asked him how far he was from that vision, and he said he thought he was miles away!
I thought he was giving himself a hard time, so I asked him to write down a full list of tasks for the day, including the most mundane tasks. My thoughts here were to help him see just the level of work & achievement he was getting through on a daily basis, and how valuable those achievements actually were to him.
This week I received an email from him that said “I’ve been knocking it out the park”, a clear indication that he had again found his momentum mojo.