(originally published March 4th, 2005)

I’m an executive coach, gearing myself towards leadership and communications issues. Though there are plenty of people who are familiar with it, the overwhelming majority hears the term and either thinks sports, or says “what’s that all about”?

Well, if I were an opportunist, and I probably am, I’m probably just tell you to click on this link to my page and read it all for yourself. Instead of just doing that, though, I’m going to give you the down and dirty of it all.

Most people think that just because you’re an executive of some sort that you know all the answers. Well, that’s not close to the truth. You have to remember that executives are people too, but their life is somewhat different. In most places, executives don’t have anyone to talk to. They can’t talk to another manager because they don’t want to be thought of as someone who doesn’t know what’s going on. They can’t talk to the people they report to because they don’t want to be thought of as not having the skills for the position. And they can’t talk to the people who report to them, for obvious reasons. Actually, they can, but one has to have the confidence to know how to talk to anyone, and if you don’t already have those skills, then you feel alone and stymied.

That’s where an executive coach can come into play. Most executive coaches have been in the position of leadership, and have something to offer. Sometimes, executive coaching is more like mentoring; other times, it’s more like consulting. But it can be very enriching, and it can be really beneficial. Some very famous people get coaching, but many less famous, yet equally important people, benefit from it.

Though there are many coaching schools out there, the truth is that no two people are the same. I like to say that if I were in a room with 3 other speakers, and we were all talking about the same thing, that 25% of the room would hear me, 25% would hear someone else, etc. Same rules apply with a coach; depending on your personal style and the style of the coach, sometimes you might have to go through 2 or 3 until you found just the person for you. Now, if you’re already confident in your leadership skills, and you see proven results based on those skills, then you probably don’t need executive coaching. You might still benefit from personal life coaching, as its purpose is to help you determine your ultimate goals and how to get to them, even if you have no clue what they are, but you’ll probably do fine without an executive coach.

Where do you find these coaches? Well, I’m one, but you didn’t ask that. You could look in the phone book, as it’s starting to become more popular for some coaches to advertise that way, but you may not find many. If you really want to find someone with training (by the way, many executive coaches have learned their skill through their business interactions, not necessarily through coach training, and for business purposes they’re probably just as good), my first thought would be to look online in places like Coachville.com. But truthfully, you can find almost anyone by looking it up in a search engine, and you might find someone right in your area, if you’re looking for someone local to talk to.

But be prepared; coaching isn’t cheap, though for what you might get out of it the price may just be right, but many coaches charge more for meeting them face to face than in their providing the services over the phone. Some coaches provide the services through instant messaging, and some only do it through email. I do a combination of phone and email myself.

There you go. Now, you can of course ask me more about it here, but if not, check it out for yourself online.