Coaching the Coach: 7 Ways to Engage Executive Coaches

Want to publish content that an executive coach will read?  These are busy people searching out knowledgeable sources to improve their performance and that of their clients.  Know what they‘re looking for and you’ve got your audience. Here are seven ways you can create content that will engage executive coaches.

Frances W is a 5 Star Writer at WriterAccess

Frances W is a 5 Star Writer at WriterAccess

1. Highlight the Coach

Focus first and foremost on the coach. The personality and behaviors of the person doing the coaching are paramount for the interaction to be successful.  There is no generic “coach”.  Each brings his or her own biases, preferred ways of interacting, skill sets and favorite techniques to the relationship.

Suggest ways that coaches can acquire self-knowledge and understanding e.g. personality testing and feedback, so that the coach becomes clearer about what he or she is bringing to the table.

2. Focus on Innovative Techniques

Every good coach is on a career-long learning curve.  Coaches are always on the lookout for additional ways to help their clients succeed in their careers.

Discuss the importance of listening, of making a connection, and of establishing trust and mutual respect.  What does the latest research indicate that is helpful to the coach?  What conditions promote successful bonding between coach and client?  How does the coach best promote self-awareness?  Self-monitoring?

3. Discuss Client Differences

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Pexels.com/Startupstockphotos.com

The coach, through interaction, testing or the gathering of feedback from others, acquires information about the client.  Do they learn best visually, aurally or through the written word?  Are they introverted or extroverted? Is their’s a top down style or a collegial one?  These and many other factors inform the coach’s decisions on how best to work with a particular client.

Good coaches know very well that “one size fits all” will not work in the coaching relationship, so any information highlighting client differences and ways to work with these will be of great value to the coach.

4. Promote Emotional Intelligence

Daniel Goleman in his 2005 best-seller Emotional Intelligence described the five factors that influence our interactions with others for good or ill:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social Skills

In your content, take up one of these factors in depth (a book could easily be written on each) and offer methods for the coach is explore and develop the chosen area.

5. Be Specific

It doesn’t help a coach to be told that he or she needs to develop better self-awareness unless you offer concrete ways to do this.  For example, you can encourage the coach to search out emotional triggers.  When a client acts helpless, do I slip into a parental role?  Am I angry if someone rejects my advice?  Am I upset if the client is five minutes late for our appointment and do I carry this emotion with me throughout the coaching session?  Show the coach how to analyze reactions, learn their sources, and practice improved emotional control.

6. Explore Rational Thinking

If emotionality is an issue (for coach or client), discuss the concept of rational vs. irrational thinking.  Albert Ellis and Robert Harper defined this idea in their book, A Guide to Rational Thinking. They also developed a innovative form of psychotherapy to deal with it.  If a leader believes he should give 110% at the office, at home, at the gym etc., failure is inevitable.  Help the coach understand his or her own irrational thoughts and the negative emotions they generate so that better, more positive control is achieved and emotionality lessened.  With this kind of knowledge, the coach can help the client to ferret out irrational thoughts and the overreactions they generate.  When this sort of thinking is reduced, a more effective manager and person emerges.

7. Help with Specific Goals

Coaches (and clients) need to be crystal clear about the goals of the coaching process.  Besides attempting to understand their own inner workings and those of the client, coaches need to focus on specific skills that the client is being asked to acquire or improve.

There is a vast array of skill sets that effective managers exhibit.  Which ones need to be the focus for this coaching module?  “Big picture” thinking, management of subordinates, effective presentations, dealing with a difficult boss, work/life balance, stress management: these and many others are brought to coaches for improvement.  Create content about specific techniques and methods to address the skills the client needs to improve or develop.

Good coaches work very hard at their profession.  They have an awesome responsibility and receive awesome rewards.  They help managers to grow and succeed in their work life and in their personal life.  They get to see this progress and know that they have been a part of the growth of another person.

This responsibility engages coaches in a never-ending quest for skills and techniques to be better, more effective helpers.  Support these goals in meaningful ways, and you’ll be a part of this human growth, and create content that will draw coaches to you.

Frances W is a PhD. psychologist and writer with experience in business and academic writing as well as garden writing.

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