Effective communication is essential for successful executive coaching – not only for my own coaching techniques but also to help clients to improve their communication techniques. I take time to assess clients for behavioural habits so I can learn their ‘codebooks’. I enjoy and excel at spotting patterns of behaviour and metaphors which help me explore at a greater depth.
Many people are guilty of thinking that talking is the only form of communication, however they are wrong. Listening is more important than talking; it is astounding how many people interrupt colleagues and friends so they can talk over them. Now you are aware of this, take time to notice how often it happens to you, or perhaps you interrupt others.
Giving and receiving of effective feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is an essential part of communication and leadership development: “Feedback is just another word for effective listening” (cambridge.org) and as such, I lead by example. Giving and receiving feedback means I can make sure that clients are aware of developments in our coaching relationship.
The Johari Window: The Johari Window is a matrix formed of four sections: OPEN / BLIND / HIDDEN / UNKNOWN and is useful as a model for giving and receiving feedback. Although the quadrants are equally sized on paper, the aim is to get the OPEN section as large as possible, and minimise the others.
- OPEN: is what we know about ourselves and others know about us. This means we can be authentic leaders and nothing is hidden, we share our ideas and co-create
- BLIND: this is what others know about us that we don’t know. It could be something personal which is embarrassing; maybe we smell. After getting over the initial shock and embarrassment, we can do something about it. A 360 degree assessment is perfect for uncovering blind spots because you are inviting others to give feedback. It is natural to to feel resistant to hearing critical feedback, but how can you change and improve if you don’t know what to improve?
- HIDDEN: these are things we keep hidden away. The larger this box, the more baggage you are carrying around which isn’t good for your health. There are some things in business that we need to keep confidential, however, they are not usually personal issues so will not affect your health so much; unless the secret is unethical
- UNKNOWN: this is the most exciting box which executive coaching can help to unleash new ideas and hidden talents that no-one knew. It is when we explore this quadrant through deep listening, deep questioning, reflection and feedback that we find AHA moments and exciting strategies which set you apart and help you excel in leadership roles. It is my responsibility to ensure my clients feel safe enough to explore and question assumptions. Some people may fear coaching because they fear what they will find, however, the longer your fear stays with you, the darker and scarier it will become, because the shadow belief surrounding it becomes larger
My executive coaching techniques will unleash hidden skills which you were unaware of. Others will notice positive changes in you and each coaching session will uncover more exciting skills as you become more open and trusting. I enjoy the Gestalt approach where I use myself as a tool and feedback my feeling to clients.
Executive coaching session evaluation
Clients are required to complete an evaluation form after each session. This is essential feedback to help me to continually improve my Executive Coaching and Mentoring techniques.