Ten Tools to Help Career and Executive Coaches
Here are ten tools that I have curated from the hundreds of tools, skills, and techniques that the best coaches use to help their clients succeed.
There are hundreds of tools, skills, and techniques that the best coaches use to help their clients succeed. While you can’t know or use all of the tools available with a client, having additional ways to invigorate clients isn’t a bad thing. I have listed below a thumbnail of ten tools that I have found helpful.
1. Wilber’s Integral System: Use this tool to organize different types of information or ideas. Categorize each item into one of four quadrants: Internal/Individual, Internal/Group, External/Individual, or External/Group. For example, when a client says, “I am struggling to communicate effectively with a vendor sales representative.” This issue might be categorized as External (because it involves a vendor outside of the organization)/Individual (because the problem involves a single person). Once classified, you can coach your client to develop strategies to address changes for each quadrant, so the next time your client is faced with an External/Individual issue, he/she can use similar solutions that proved to be successful in the first case.
2. Codependency: At some time, you may face a client who is being a bully or is being bullied. Understanding toxic codependencies helps you coach your client to recognize their role and how they might avoid them. “Persecutors”, “Rescuers," and “Victims” form the players in the “bully triangle” of codependency. The addition of “Seducer” turns the triangle into the form of a square and makes the codependency more complex and difficult to influence. Toxic codependencies are not uncommon, and you will likely encounter one of these players. I will help to understand how to coach each of these.
3. Snap Coaching: Everyone’s time is precious and limited. Your client may have typical sessions with you that last 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or an hour. But what can you do when you get the frantic call for help and only have a brief time. Short and to the point, Snap Coaching takes about two minutes to learn and implement and will be valuable for a lifetime of coaching. You can use Snap Coaching for self-coaching as well to make simple changes to your life.
4. How will you feel in the future?: Executive coaches are career coaches. The executive coach is working with the leader to help them become more successful in their career. As a coach, you can use the power of forward-thinking to break through a stagnant mindset. Work with your client to imagine more than just the impact of their decision but how their decision may change their career trajectory. Help your client evaluate a decision by projecting into their future how they will feel.
5. Decisions: People often struggle to choose. Your coaching clients may be faced with some decision, whether about life, work, or passion. Your clients will welcome some help or clarity that would make their decisions easier.
6. Don’t be Duped: All coaches want more clients. To be successful in the long run, coaches must recognize pitfalls. Coaches can learn how to avoid becoming the blunt instrument of an organization. An organization may want to use you as a coach to remove or performance manage one of its employees.
7. Listen with two ears: Listen, listen, listen. Coaches want their clients to think and unlock their potential. To get clients to expand their thinking, open-ended questions that get the synapses firing and prevent a simple “yes” or “no” response; and then listen. Deep listening requires you to use all of your senses and instincts. Never interrupt silence! The person is thinking! Thinking is a good thing.
8. Situational Leadership: There are some substantial differences in how a coach approaches an individual depending on where they are with respect to the skill they have to perform their role and their willingness to do what it takes to get their desired results. Thus the relationship between situational leadership and skill/will matrix is vital to consider.
9. Story Telling: Encourage your coaching clients to use their stories as valuable learnings. Stories may be told about the current situation, future situation, past situation, or desired situation. The coach can use stories to help the client create their new reality.
10. Generalize: There is an art to generalizing experiences. You can generalize your experience playing a team sport to leading a team of accountants. Have your coaching clients use past experience and help them learn to generalize when they are struggling to make a significant change that they feel is beyond their scope and capacity.