Being a Newbie Executive Coaching Client

PaddleboardI tried paddle boarding for the first time last year. And I loved it! I admit it wasn’t easy at first. I fell off within the first few minutes. My legs felt wobbly for quite a while—it really takes core strength to stay upright. And it was a windy day so I didn’t move very far.

Whatever the challenge, I decided paddle boarding was something I wanted to master and I would just go with the flow. I would be a newbie, a learner, and enjoy the process. It turned out to be so much fun I’m planning on buying my own board this year.

How does this relate to executive coaching? Developing into an exceptional leadership also requires newbie status. This isn’t always simple for my clients who are experts in their fields. Being a learner means not being the best. It means being on the way.Continue reading

What Challenging Conversation Has Your Name On It?

anxietyfearWhat difficult conversation is sitting on a shelf patiently waiting for you? How long has it been there?

Many people avoid challenging conversations as long as they can. They try their best to minimize the issue or hope the person will move away—but those strategies rarely work.

Challenging conversations are often delayed because they pose unique problems. In Crucial Conversations, Kerry Paterson and his co-authors highlight three main obstacles:

• The stakes are high.
• Opinions differ.
• Emotions are strong.

Given these factors, it’s easy to understand why these conversations are seen as difficult.

Often it is the lead-up to the talk that is so tough. The obsessing. The endless run-throughs of dialogue in your head. The constantly worrying about what could go wrong.

Here are some of the most common fears my clients describe as reasons for delaying challenging conversations.Continue reading