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Mastering Mid-Year Excellence: Seven Pillars for Elevating Your Executive Coaching

As we near the year's midpoint, now is the perfect time to assess and enhance our executive coaching methods. We've pinpointed seven foundational elements crucial for nurturing growth and building a robust framework that supports ongoing success and meaningful impact in your coaching career. This article provides two guiding questions for each element, intended to prompt deep reflection and empower you to conclude the year on a high note.



1. Continued Education and Certification

Maintaining up-to-date skills and knowledge is essential. As we grow older, neuroplasticity—the brain's capacity to adapt and learn throughout life, and potentially delay age-related cognitive decline—decreases (Shaffer, 2016). Research conducted by Ruth Flexman, Ph.D., highlights that participating in lifelong learning activities is associated with enhanced cognitive performance and a reduced rate of cognitive decline in older adults (Flexman, 2021). Reflect on:

  • What areas of coaching should I study next to gain a broader perspective and enhance my coaching abilities?

  • What fears or hesitations do I have about further education, and how can I address these to move forward?


2. Networking and Collaboration

Establishing relationships and fostering collaboration within the industry is fundamental. Research suggests that networking and collaboration are pivotal for psychological well-being and resilience to stress (Ozbay, 2007). To guide your efforts in networking and collaboration, consider the following questions:

  • Which conversations or connections have I been avoiding in my professional network, and why?

  • How can I leverage my unique strengths to contribute to collaborations in a way that benefits all parties involved?


3. Enhanced Online Presence

Enhancing your digital footprint and engaging a broader audience is crucial in today's landscape. Research indicates that users form opinions about websites within a mere 0.05 seconds (Lindgaard, 2006). This underscores the significance of making a powerful first impression through well-crafted website design. To decide what to focus on to improve your online presence, consider the following:

  • What authentic stories or experiences can I share online that would deeply resonate with my target audience?

  • How does my online persona align with or differ from my real-life coaching persona, and what does this say about my brand?


4. Feedback and Self-Assessment

Regularly assessing your performance and actively seeking constructive feedback are essential practices. Evaluations offer insights into strengths and weaknesses, allowing employees to pinpoint areas for growth and set specific goals (Kluger, 1996). For coaches, evaluations provide valuable feedback to enhance their coaching methods for clients. Furthermore, self-reflection fosters a deeper understanding of one's strengths, weaknesses, values, and motivations, facilitating better decision-making and personal development (Grant, 2002). Consider reflecting on the following:

  • What specific instances in my coaching have made me uncomfortable, and what can these moments teach me about my coaching style?

  • In what ways might my personal biases influence the feedback I receive, and how can I mitigate this?


5. Client Experience

Focusing on delivering exceptional and personalized coaching experiences is crucial. According to PwC’s Future of CX Report, “43% of all consumers would pay more for greater convenience; 42% would pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience. And, among U.S. customers, 65% find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising.” Reflect on the following:

  • What assumptions might I be making about my clients’ experiences, and how can I validate or challenge these assumptions?

  • How can I create more meaningful, transformational experiences for my clients?


6. Mindfulness and Self-Care

Prioritizing your well-being to maintain effectiveness and resilience is fundamental. Researchers analyzed over 200 studies on mindfulness in healthy individuals and found that mindfulness-based therapy is particularly effective in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression (Khoury, 2013). Consider the following questions to gauge your success in achieving mindfulness:

  • What personal triggers or stressors affect my coaching effectiveness? How can mindfulness help mitigate these?

  • How does my own self-care practice reflect in my coaching philosophy and advice to clients?


7. Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

Crafting a clear vision and actionable goals for your practice is imperative. Strategic planning helps organizations focus on key priorities and align resources and efforts towards achieving common goals (Kaplan, 1996). Consider:

  • What underlying fears or beliefs might be holding me back from reaching my full business potential?

  • How can I align my personal values more closely with my business goals to create a more authentic and fulfilling career path?


As we navigate through the year, it is essential to engage in this mid-year introspection to identify and overcome any barriers to progress. By rigorously examining these ten areas, we can better position ourselves and our clients for significant achievements in the latter half of the year. Embrace this opportunity to challenge your assumptions, push beyond your comfort zones, and set the stage for continued success.


References

Flexman R. (2021). Lifelong Learning:: A Key Weapon in Delaware's Fight Against Cognitive Decline. Delaware journal of public health, 7(4), 124–127. https://doi.org/10.32481/djph.2021.09.015


Grant, Anthony & Franklin, John & Langford, Peter. (2002). The Self-Reflection and Insight Scale: A New Measure of Private Self-Consciousness. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal. 30. 821-835. 10.2224/sbp.2002.30.8.821. 


Kaplan, R. S., & Norton, D. P. (1996). The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action. Harvard Business Review Press.


Khoury, B., Lecomte, T., Fortin, G., Masse, M., Therien, P., Bouchard, V., Chapleau, M.-A., Paquin, K., & Hofmann, S. G. (2013). Mindfulness-based therapy: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(6), 763–771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2013.05.005


Kluger, A. N., & DeNisi, A. (1996). The effects of feedback interventions on performance: A historical review, a meta-analysis, and a preliminary feedback intervention theory. Psychological Bulletin, 119(2), 254–284. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.119.2.254


Lindgaard, G., Fernandes, G., Dudek, C., & Brown, J. (2006). Attention web designers: You have 50 milliseconds to make a good first impression! Behaviour & Information Technology, 25(2), 115–126. https://doi.org/10.1080/01449290500330448


Ozbay, F., Johnson, D. C., Dimoulas, E., Morgan, C. A., Charney, D., & Southwick, S. (2007). Social support and resilience to stress: from neurobiology to clinical practice. Psychiatry (Edgmont (Pa. : Township)), 4(5), 35–40.



Shaffer J. (2016). Neuroplasticity and Clinical Practice: Building Brain Power for Health. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1118. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01118


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