Coach from the inside out AND outside in

This past week I got to work with a former client of mine who is now an extremely successful executive coach. We worked together on a proposal.

He wins many jobs because his methodology leads to rapid improvements and results — and makes his clients feel great. That’s because his coaching (like the method we teach at The Center for Executive Coaching) focuses on both the leader’s inside state and external behaviors. A good coach needs to work with clients on both — and too many get stuck in one or the other.

Many executives lack the right focus, mindset, beliefs, and attitude to effectively mobilize people. They have the skills, but lack the right orientation and state of being. Therefore, they fail to engage their colleagues and gain their commitment through authentic and powerful communications. Or, they need to develop better judgment to make more effective decisions that takes the organization where it needs to go.

Others have the right mindset and “inner game,” but lack the raw skills to get the results they want. They never studied appropriate influence, motivation, negotiation, and other conversations. A good coach can rehearse the right types of conversations to have for a given situation.

There are other ways to look at coaching, besides “inside out” and “outside in.” For instance, the most effective coaches focus on the mind, heart, soul, and body of the client. Mind refers to beliefs and critical thinking. Heart is the ability to forge relationships and connect with others. Soul is about common values and vision. And body means that the client is recharging and doing things to stay healthy in a stressful environment.

I hope your approach to coaching is comprehensive, addressing all of the elements that make for an effective leader.

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