There’s a huge increase in people understanding that they no longer want to work the way they did. So what can YOU do to get yourself ready for the ‘New Normal’ – a world where we don’t go back to the old ways of working? Where more and more executives are looking for a different career path. For some that involves working out how to launch a new business. For others it’s understanding how to re-engage with a different type of environment.
Whatever the case people are treading on what, for many, is new ground and therefore they lack certainty about which way to go. It’s not going to get easier and the competition for good jobs is going to get stronger. The options to build a new career or niche aren’t obvious either. What if you want to quit the current rat race and go off in a different direction? Maybe you simply want to sharpen your skills and pitch for one of the top spots. So what do you do?
Should I get Help?
The answer to this question lies with the questioner. If you are wise enough to know you need help – then you are already on the way to doing something about it. For those who think in a traditional fashion that asking for help is a sign of weakness – have we got news for them. They’re wrong, it’s quite the opposite.
The simplest thing is to start asking questions. Go find an Executive Coach and have a conversation. We ALWAYS have a free conversation with executives who are uncertain about which way to go. Why? Because it’s essential not only to find the right coach for you but also the right type of coaching. Sadly there are many misconceptions about what sorts of coaching there are and what they can do for you. So ask yourself some fundamental questions too.
- Do you want career guidance?
- Are you looking to switch career?
- Do you want to get a leg up in your own organisation?
- Do you want to improve your leadership skills?
- Are you looking to improve your communication skills?
- Are you considering launching a new business?
- What else is there that you think may be missing from your personal toolkit?
- How are your influencing skills? Are they fit for the boardroom?
How to Ask for Help
Don’t just post on a search that you want one or more of the items listed above. That’s really not going to help a coach to decide whether they: (a) can help you; or (b) might want to talk to you. Instead prepare a couple of paragraphs setting out your current position, your present role (how many people you manage/size of your budgetary responsibility), the type of organisation you work for (size/location/area of business), and what it is you are hoping to achieve as a result of coaching.
You’d be horrified by the number of people who just say they want help with “Leadership Skills” “Confidence/communication” “Improve in current role” “Relationships/engagement” “Professional development” and then omit to tell anyone actually what they do! There’s a world of difference between the manager of an Engineering Workshop and the director of a Digital Agency. So help people to help you by giving a lot more information up front.
There’s no excuse for putting off a potential coach by not replying to their emails or messaging. It’s more than rude. If you want help – then engage with those who are prepared to give you some of their time to help you. This isn’t a pair of shoes you are buying, it’s your future that’s at stake. So be authentic and don’t just buy the cheapest quote.
Price or Quality?
This really should be a no-brainer. It’s QUALITY every time. Skimping on price is shaving lots off your future prospects. Yes there are a wide range of coaches out there, with different charging structures and prices, so which should you pick? The answer will become obvious as you talk to several coaches.
First of all you want a personal fit – is this someone you feel you can actually work with? Cheap and tacky isn’t going to do it here. Next you want a programme that’s designed around you and your needs, not some off-the-shelf package or one size fits all. So find a coach with a wide range of business experience, not just in your sector. They’ll bring insights you would otherwise miss. And finally – any coach worth the name doesn’t charge by the session. This is not sports massage. Instead you want a reasonable number of potential sessions but the focus should be on the outcome not the number of visits to the “treatment room”.
Which leads to something you need to understand – YOU are going to be responsible for the outcome. Your COACH is responsible for helping you to work that out. However, they are not your boss and they aren’t accountable for your actions. This also leads to a question you need to work out in advance:
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
Executive Coaching is a lot more expensive than Life Coaching. The two are poles apart and most Life Coaches simply don’t have the experience of working at senior levels in an organisation. So if it’s Wellness you want – then go there. Otherwise steer well clear. If you get someone who’s offering both then my experience says to stay away – you want clarity of approach not a blend of both.
That puts us into a different budget category. The only way to think of it is like this. What is it worth to you to get this right?
Being more confident in your leadership and influencing is a big plus for anyone in business. People will listen and act accordingly and the impacts are often very noticeable. Organisations sometimes are happy to invest £thousands in their senior people to help them get this right. Is your organisation prepared to help in this way? There’s no harm in asking (unless of course your agenda is to help you move somewhere else – in which case you probably want to keep it under wraps).
Don’t be Pushed
However if you have already found a coach you want to work with – then don’t let your organisation’s HR Department push you towards their “… panel of coaches we always use”. You can argue – quite reasonably – that you’ve done your research and found someone who feels right for you. Who are the HR Team to tell you otherwise?
So what should you expect to pay? Whatever a Life Coach is quoting you per session – then expect to pay at least 3x that amount for a good Executive Coach. Also, any Executive Coach worth the name is going to insist on some psychometrics up front because they need to know what’s going on. Think of it like the car dealership running the auto-diagnostics on your vehicle before they start a major service.
A coach needs to understand what makes you tick and, believe me, you need to get your head round that too before you contemplate what else needs attention. This almost always uncovers hidden gems of information that can make a huge difference to the overall outcome of the coaching.
If you are paying the bills yourself – then work out how much you can afford and talk to your coach about the options. Realistically you should expect to pay between £3,500-£7,000 at 2022 prices and don’t forget there’s likely to be VAT on top of that. One thing’s for sure, paying for a couple of sessions then dropping the whole thing is a waste of your money and time.
Buy a complete package and commit to getting it done – you are the one who will benefit. When all’s said, it’s not a lot different than the cost of an annual package holiday for a family of four (I just checked and two adults plus two kids for a fortnight in a good resort on the Algarve comes in at around £4,500). And NO – I’m not suggesting it’s your family holiday or the coaching but you need to get some perspective here.
To book a call to discuss your options click here.
You can also download our guide to Selecting an Executive Coach here.