How to Step Up as an Executive Coach

There is a new evolution in executive coaching; Transformative Coaching. Coaching has been evolving since its nascence some 20 years ago. It began with skills-based coaching, gained momentum as performance coaching, evolved to developmental coaching focused on person-centric authentic leadership, and now there is a new evolution: transformative coaching.

These evolutions of coaching impact

  • The role of the coach,
  • The coaching paradigm,
  • The primary success factor,
  • The nature of the coaching relationship,
  • The effective coaching models and techniques,
  • The set-up of the coaching sessions and
  • The leadership outcomes for the coachee.

These distinctions are clarified in the table below.

What distinguishes transformative coaching from developmental coaching?

Three key elements:

  1. The coaching intent shifts from developmental goals for the coachee to purposeful evolutionary aspirational intent for the coachee, their organisation and the communities they serve
  2. The coaching focus shifts from the coachee navigating the systems they’re embedded in to transcending and transforming those systems, so the organisation evolves to become more liberating and empowering for the people to evolve and serve others better and perhaps differently, and
  3. The coaching role of the coach shifts from being a facilitator to a more equal dialogical partner.

These three shifts change the conversation and demand a deeper and broader systemic inquiry into the psychodynamics amongst relationships within the outer world of complex adaptive systems and the inner world of the individual coachee. The executive coach needs to be at a later stage of development i.e. at Synergist with a mature 4th person perspective or later, to hold the open sacred space for deep insights in the emergent discovery dialogue.

How does the focus of the Coaching Conversation Change?

The later state perspective of the coach enables them to ask leading questions and make direct invitations in order to graciously and explicitly expand the interpretative and reframing possibilities accessed by the coachee. This goes well beyond asking only clean, open questions to enable vertical development to the later stages embodied by the coach.

In other words, coaching becomes less about coping and developing resilience in the VUCA context, and more about leading and proactively redesigning the context led by the coachee. They become able to reinvent what gets done and why and how it is done, by implementing open strategic scaffolding and building the psychological trust that liberates energy, new insights and inspired genius.

This level of leadership at Synergist+ is urgently needed in our world today to resolve the many crises that now demand the conscious attention and committed action from national and corporate strategic leaders. Less than 10% of leaders are primarily operating from the level of Synergist+ today and their proportion has only been growing at the rate of 1% per decade in the last two decades. Yet, as the oft-quoted Einstein proclaimed, we cannot solve problems at the level they were created.

The lack of progress suggests that even the most outstanding leadership programs worldwide do not have the capacity to realise this latent potential amongst strategic senior executive leaders. Indeed, it was thought to take five years to evolve to the later stage of Synergist and there was little in the way of research findings to indicate how.

In the StageSHIFT Research Study, all participants shifted a full stage in one year after an average of eight monthly 90-min coaching sessions (2 days), and 20% shifted twice to Synergist. Others followed. In comparison to 20-day intensive offsite Leadership Programs, this makes the proven StageSHIFT method four times more effective in 10% of the time invested. Those who attend Integral Leadership Programs also realise a stage shift pa but those programs also run for 20-days.

The StageSHIFT Research Study went on to identify the drivers of later stage development, what was it that enabled the rapid vertical development; the dynamics of later stage development, how the StageSHIFT method enabled leaders to create a quantum shift in the evolution of their organisations; and what was distinctive about the nature of the next evolution of coaching: transformative coaching.

Is it Your Time to Step Up and Take your Coaching to the Next Level?

For more leaders to step up to Synergist, we need more Executive Coaches to step up to Synergist and employ transformative coaching. If you’re curious, please click here to check out the StageSHIFT Coaching Certification Program – an accelerated 6-month program begins this week. It includes 12 online learning modules (36 videos and workbooks) covering Strategic, Holistic, Transforming and Inspiring Leadership, with related articles and StageSHIFT templates, and 12 * 90-min small group coaching Discovery Dialogue Q&A sessions to encourage and enable your vertical development.

As a Coach you will:

  1. Apply the StageSHIFT coaching frameworks and techniques to your ‘self’ so you can become a later stage executive coach at Synergist and evolve to Alchemist;
  2. Employ the StageSHIFT coaching frameworks and processes in your coaching practice so you can better distinguish your UVP and expand your market presence,
  3. Integrate the proven fast-track transformative StageSHIFT Coaching method in your coaching practice to become a much more effective leadership coach; and
  4. Join a growing global community of StageSHIFT Coaches at Synergist+ who collaborate on large scale StageSHIFT corporate transformation programs.

The Discovery Dialogues are scheduled to cover global time zones. They will be held @ 8am Wed and 6pm Thurs UTC. You can get started with the online materials right away. And we're offering a special Covid rate for those of you who are financially affected by the pandemic - a one-off 30% discount. Click here to find out more.

The purpose of StageSHIFT. is to inspire and enable strategic leaders and executive coaches evolve to Synergist+ so we can co-create a more sustainable, healthy and equitable world.

Click here if you're familiar with vertical development and would like to set up a meeting with Antoinette Braks to find out more. Otherwise there are lots of Free Resources on Vertical Stage Leadership Development you can access here.

About Antoinette Braks

Antoinette Braks is a Master Certified Leadership Coach and Founder of StageSHIFT Coaching. Antoinette won the CEO Today 2020 Leadership Coaching Award and is the author of Executive Coaching in Strategic Holistic Leadership, The Drivers and Dynamics of Vertical Development. It is being released by McGraw Hill in August 2020. You can pre-order it now.

StageSHIFT promises a proven accelerated pathway in vertical development that quickly takes leaders into the top 10% of inspiring, visionary leaders at Synergist, and liberates the people in organisations to realize their latent potential as conscious change Catalysts. Leaders discover how to cut through complexity and navigate uncertainty with synergistic ingenuity so they can transform and evolve their organisations and contribute to co-creating a more sustainable, healthy, and equitable world.

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