As a coach, who am I to you?

 

“Is an executive coach more like a therapist, or a sports coach, or a boss?”

Here’s what my clients tell me:

  • You’re like the really great peers I used to have. I can ask you anything, and you’ll help me think it through. Now that I’m a VP, my peers are too competitive and too busy to make time for those conversations.
  • You’re like my boss when she has time to help me strategize about the work and develop myself as a leader.  Since I’m a high-performer and my team isn’t on fire, usually she cancels our 1-to-1s, so you’re the only person I talk about this stuff with.
  • You’re like my track coach.  You want me to win, but you care even more about who I am as a person and how I’ll succeed over the years, not just the next meet.
  • You’re like my favorite professor in college. You have lots of ways of thinking about things I’ve never thought of.
  • You’re like the drama teacher in high school. She got me, this shy kid, to project my voice and actually have fun on stage. That’s been useful my whole life.
  • You’re my secret weapon. None of my colleagues have a coach (I think), and I can tell I’m growing faster than they are.
  • You’re like one of my early angel investors. He gave advice just when I asked for it, and he thought we could grow even bigger than I did. He could see my weaknesses but didn’t judge them. I always felt he had my back.
  • You’re like my really good friends from high school. (Only you understand what I do at work.) You listen and you care, and you sometimes notice things about me that I haven’t seen so clearly.

If you work with an executive coach, who is that person to you?

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About Pam Fox Rollin

Pam Fox Rollin coaches executives and high potentials especially in technology, health care, biotech, and professional services. Pam specializes in working with leaders stepping up from being rock stars in their functional areas to more strategic senior roles. She also guides the top teams of public, private, and fast-growth global companies to lead together more effectively.

What People Are Saying

  • Great insights thanks. As I am semi retired living in Asia, doing executive coaching and some training gigs I found your thoughts helpful in considering how I position myself and your words also provided some ideas for asking clients for evaluation. All the Best

    Jack

    • Thanks, Jack. Glad you found it good fodder for thought. Enjoy semi-retirement! 🙂

  • Pam, thank you. My coach is like nobody else — she sees into my blind spots and helps me see there also, she helps me connect my stated desires with my actual behaviors, and she insists that I act from my best self. I’ve never found that combination anywhere before. It’s invaluable, as is she.

    • Sounds like an important combination, Tom, thank you!