Do I do coaching? – yes.
Do I work with executives? – yes. Only executives (and almost always CEOs or C suite level).
Is my 30 years experience in the business world and with business people? – yes.
Many people also find me by searching for ‘executive coaching’.
But … what I work with people on is their LIFE. What makes them feel fulfilled. Happy. Energised. And with time for all the important parts of their life.
I care about the PERSON. I care about their happiness and them living their life in a way that’s right for them.
Work in the context of your life
Do I care about their work? – yes, of course! It’s a huge part of any of our lives and massively impacts our quality of life, our sense of wellbeing, our physical and mental health, our happiness, our sense of achievement, our sense of purpose or belonging, our energy levels.
When it’s good, it positively affects almost all other parts of our life and relationships.
And when it’s not right – perhaps it’s making you too busy, or you’re finding it hard to switch off, or it’s not allowing you enough time or energy to focus on other important parts of your life, including your family and friends – it can have a very negative and often pervasive effect on your quality of life – your mood, energy, feelings of satisfaction and wellbeing.
So of course we talk about work – usually a lot. But it’s always while making sure it’s working for YOU. That you enjoy it, that it suits who you are as a person, that it’s aligned with your values and what you want out of life, that it fits with the other parts of your life.
In other words, we explore work in the context of your life, who you are as a person, what makes you tick, what makes you happy.
Traditional executive coaching
Executive coaching is often focused on goals and performance and ultimately, the organisation. A Google search of the definition of Executive Coaching, for example, found the following:
“Executive coaching focuses on developing individual performance for the achievement of organisational goals.”
“Executive coaching is defined as a helping relationship formed between a client who has managerial authority and responsibility in an organization and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioural techniques and methods to help the client achieve a mutually identified set of goals to improve his or her professional performance and personal satisfaction and, consequently, to improve the effectiveness of the client’s organization within a formally defined coaching agreement” (Kilburg, 2007, p. 28).
So by that definition, I am definitely not a traditional executive coach. And neither am I a performance coach.
Do we work on you getting better at certain things? Of course. But not because your default is to always want to perform at your very best. Or to achieve. Or to be competitive. Or not because you feel you ‘should’ be better at certain things.
I challenge your default thinking. Your conditioning. And we will only work on you improving something if it’s right for you. If it aligns with your ‘why’?.
What you really want
Most people come to me about something to do with their work. They want to enjoy what they do more. Or they want to figure out what they want to do next. They might be wondering about doing something different. Or about trying to use their skills and talents in a way that is more meaningful and about more than money. Or they want more time for other parts of their life, or other projects or interests. They often describe feeling at a bit of a crossroads.
So on the face of it – this might look like executive coaching. It’s coaching. It’s with executives. And it’s about work.
But while on the surface people often come to me because they are thinking about changing something about the work they do, when they dig a little deeper, they often realise that what they really want is to FEEL different. Perhaps happier. Or more fulfilled. Or less busy or less like they’re on a hamster wheel. Or more energised. Or more present. Less pressurised or more at ease. To be enjoying their life more. Or to have a greater sense of purpose.
And this type of coaching often takes us into the territory of why you may not be making these changes. Why might you want one thing, but be doing another. What is getting in the way? What is blocking you? And what would help you get there?
Often the very characteristics that have created your success – being driven, hard working, determined, ambitious, resilient – are the very characteristics that make changing gear or changing direction harder. These behaviours are often the subconscious programme that we default to without even being consciously aware of it.
So we dig deeper. We get under the bonnet. We challenge some of the thinking, assumptions and patterns of behaviours that can get in the way of making positive changes in the way you work or live your life. That can get in the way of creating more balance, fulfillment or joy in your life or work.
So this IS coaching. It’s with executives and CEOs and business owners. It’s often about work (but not entirely). But it’s definitely not executive coaching in the traditional sense.
Instead it’s about you, your life, what you really want and what will get you there.