Over the years, usually as a follow up to some more formal training activity, we have been asked by CEOs and Chairs of organisations to support them in less formal ways. This has taken a number of forms and we have become experienced and able in each of them.
Sometimes the basics can get overlooked when working at this level and it is then difficult to see why things aren’t working. Asking someone with the right experience and no axe to grind to come and observe your board or senior team meetings, feeding back to you on the mechanics of what is working well and offering ideas on what could work better can be insightful and helpful in supporting the team to use their precious time together as productively as possible.
Sometimes the politics between roles and relationships can be overwhelming for the CEO or Chair who is trying to lead a team in a particular direction. Talking it through with someone who has witnessed the team interacting and has experience and ideas to offer can be helpful.
All of this activity can be done as a one off but is best supported when part of an executive coaching relationship. This kind of coaching is about supporting the CEO or Chair long term. Just because you are the head of an organisation doesn’t mean that you don’t have self-doubt and off days (in fact being in charge might mean you have more self-doubt and off days!) The difference is that, as CEO or Chair there may be no one within the organisation with whom you can share those moments and from whom you can seek support. Executive coaching provides a confidential, external relationship where problems can be discussed and solutions identified. It is also a place where self-development, reassurance and self-confidence can be nurtured.