As experienced leadership coaches, we’ve had the privilege of working with many individuals and organizations to help them unlock their full potential and achieve their career goals.
It’s incredibly rewarding – however, this journey is not without its challenges.
We believe that having awareness of – and a plan to navigate – the potential challenges of coaching engagements are essential to being an effective coach. During our time coaching hundreds of leaders, we’ve noted a common set of roadblocks that crop up time and time again.
The four key challenges that we tackle regularly include:
1. Being Resistant to Change
Let’s face it, change is hard. It takes us out of our comfort zone, and requires us to be vulnerable enough to acknowledge parts of ourselves that we may not like. Your clients are no different. To help them embrace change and have the confidence to push themselves, it’s important for you as their coach to build trust and rapport with them.
Taking the time to understand their motivations and concerns builds this bond, helping them own their effort and clarify their reason for seeking change. Your unwavering support of their aspirations is key. Also, when you help them understand that growth is not a straight line affair, they feel more comfortable experimenting and riding the inevitable ups and downs of the process.
Another way to help clients build confidence in the process is to measure their progress, and show them the impact of their efforts. This measured approach allows them to see how they are getting closer to achieving their goals, motivating them to push themselves, and challenging them to keep going.
Using technology, such as our online coaching platform, enables you to keep track of the impact so far, collecting valuable data that you and your client can reflect upon. Comparing where they started and where they are now is a powerful motivator.
2. Having Limited Time and Resource
Almost all clients declare at some point in their coaching engagement that they are too busy to devote the time and energy needed to make the most of coaching. The irony of this protest is that a client’s busy times are exactly when they will benefit most from taking time for reflection and making intentional choices about their leadership.
So how do we help clients resist the urge to deprioritize their coaching down the to-do list?
Coaches should discuss these potential challenges with clients at the start of the engagement and gain commitment around how to address the inevitable “too busy” times. We call on flexibility and technology, too, to ease time constraints. Coaches can offer tailored coaching arrangements such as virtual sessions or shorter, more focused sessions.
Technology helps us schedule out all meetings in an engagement at once for clarity and consistency. If rescheduling is necessary, we can shift meeting times with the click of a button rather than relying on the interminable email back-and-forth that usually accompanies a calendar change. Again, the strength of the partnership helps our clients to know that we understand their circumstances and will work with them to keep their coaching top of mind.
3. A Lack of Self-Awareness
It’s incredibly difficult for our clients to gather a holistic understanding of themselves as a leader. On their own, they rarely have clear visibility into how they are perceived by their team, peers, and supervisors – especially if working remotely. To help leaders build the self-awareness they need to be effective in ever-changing environments, we use assessment tools and feedback from others.
With a developmentally focused process and support of assessments, coaches can help leaders to see how their their strengths and weaknesses serve/don’t serve them and the organization. With a coach as a trusted supporter and non-judgmental yet objective observer, leaders are more likely to be open to the the blindspots that reduce their overall effeciveness. Owning the reality of their impact, helps clients to set powerful goals and create development plans that they will work through earnestly for maximum impact.
4. Absence of Accountability
Without clients owning their development goals and understanding the role of accountabilty in progress, it’s impossible for successful change to happen. To ensure accountability, we partner with clients to create measurable expectations and milestones around what they want to achieve.
We regularly check in during coaching sessions to reflect on these goals and progress. Clients tell us that this added measure of accountability helps them them stay on track and feel motivated to follow through with their commitments. We also encourage clients to share their goals with their team and supervisor so that others can support their efforts and call out progress.
Adapting to Challenges and Understanding These Barriers is Key to Building Relationships
Acknowledging the limitations, boundaries and requirements that are unique to each one of your clients is essential for them to get the most out of their investment in leadership coaching. Listening to them, co-creating a solution that works for them individually, and building a relationship of trust is vital to help them reach their full potential.
A solution that allows scaled coaching programs, while honoring the uniqueness of each client is our holistic coaching technology platform. An all-in-one solution, our online platform enables coaches to schedule meetings, send resources to clients, and have visibility of all leaders in one place – allowing for easier adaptability and engagement.
Personalized Coaching for Every Leader in Your Organization
Developing a full understanding of the limitations and challenges that face leaders is an important first step before scaling up your coaching solutions. If you would like to find out more about how you can help your organization accelerate growth through a scalable leadership coaching solution, that promotes the personalized approach to individual coaching, take a look at our services.