How can you evaluate whether your executive coach is positioning you for success? In essence, how can you critique the one who is critiquing you?
There are three principles that I use with my executive coaching clients that you can utilize in evaluating whether your coach is best positioning you to achieve your goals. I call them the 3 Vs – Venue, View and Vista.
Depending on the purpose and scope of the coaching engagement, I always make the determination if the coaching should be “backstage” (private and behind the scenes) or if it should include “real time shadowing” to observe the executive in action. Determining which venue is most appropriate may depend on this foundational aspect of the engagement. Has your executive coach used one venue, or both? Do you feel like the executive coach has “seen” you in your natural work environment?
When appropriate, I do some version of a 360 assessment for all executive coaching clients. This view is imperative in diagnosing the situation. This is not a survey or questionnaire – it’s always live conversation with the designated participants, with a focus on capturing the executive’s strengths as well as opportunities to improve. The information is entirely quantitative, not qualitative or binary. Has your executive coach engaged you in this type of initial assessment, with it being used as the foundation for the game plan going forward? If yes, you’re on the right track! This information also becomes a baseline, which can be revisited after the engagement to validate the success of the coaching.
Periodically throughout the engagement, is your executive coach asking where you’ve been successful and what areas you need to continue to improve? You may feel like you have been on a trek with their guidance – but has your coach stopped to help you assess the vista? It can also be effective to ask any stakeholders what successes they’ve realized and what opportunities for improvement still exist. This might seem elementary or common sense, and yet, many coaches neglect doing this.
By evaluating whether your executive coach is using the 3 Vs – venue, view and vista – you can be a better judge of whether your coach is positioning you for success in 2020.