Our clients frequently inquire about the type of coaching engagements we work on at CPI Twin Cities. They are curious about learning and development trends at senior leadership levels. Primary focus areas in recent executive coaching engagements have included the following:
- Creating a leadership platform
- Navigating within the organization’s culture
- Developing executive presence
- Reestablishing trust
- Advancing self-management
The Leader’s Platform
Whether onboarding or established in an executive role, it is important for leaders to create and to revisit their leadership agendas regularly as organizations change at a rapid pace. This requires that leaders revisit the “burning imperative”, strategic initiatives, team activities, alignment of resources, and performance indicators within the context of organizational vision and strategy approximately every 18 months. Of key importance is the leader’s ability to communicate the vision (a picture that others can see themselves in) and platform pillars, rally the team, and sustain the energy of the organization in order to keep it moving forward in reaching its objectives.
Operating effectively within the culture of the organization is a critical learning need for leaders. For example, a company we are currently working with has a reputation for a very fast-paced and results-driven culture. However, when leaders received 360-degree feedback that they were too focused on getting things done versus building relationships, the company naturally became concerned. A goal in coaching executives for this company is to help them drive results, but not at the expense of developing and maintaining relationships. In many coaching situations, our intention is to prevent leaders from derailing by overusing their strengths (i.e., action versus interpersonal bias).
As leaders move from operational (delivery) roles to executive positions, they need to “hold their own” while interacting with other senior managers and establish a stronger executive presence with their teams. Working with leaders to develop executive presence requires that a number of variables be addressed including authenticity, composure, optimism, mature self-confidence, communication approach (i.e., speaking with authority but without arrogance), group presentation style, dress, etc. Coaching engagements that focus on development of executive presence may include the completion of a personal branding process as well as preparation for key presentations.
Establishing and maintaining the trust of others is an essential leadership skill. This involves getting curious about others – their work styles, needs, values, motivators – and honoring individual differences. It requires sharing important information, displaying good judgment, and being consistent in temperament and behavior. Little things can erode trust like saying one thing and doing another, forgetting about a promise that was made, or generating confusion or anxiety with something said or unsaid.
Depending on the level of infraction, it can take time and work to heal damaged relationships resulting from broken trust. Critical behaviors are necessary to earn back trust including validating others’ experiences, taking responsibility for hurting them, considering how they will be impacted by future actions, and consistently demonstrating respect. Because building and rebuilding trust are critical to employee engagement, the coaches at CPI Twin Cities often focus on this development need.
Effective, authentic leadership is built on self-awareness and self-management. Leaders need to understand their “back-up” management styles under pressure and develop tools for managing this behavior in order to remain credible. Frequently, assessment is important to understanding default leadership styles. Providing the means for leaders to acknowledge and learn to temper ineffective leadership behavior is an ongoing coaching need at senior levels.
We are privileged to have the opportunity to work with many talented leaders at CPI Twin Cities. We focus on delivering meaningful coaching experiences for leaders to enhance their effectiveness. During coaching, insight is created through powerful questions and nonjudgmental feedback, and strategies and support are provided to empower learning. Learn further information about our coaching service.