Donna Conforti, LLC: Executive Coaching for Individuals and Teams

Coaching Q & A

Why work with an executive coach?

Whether you’re at the top of the firm or on your way there, executive coaching can help you accelerate the achievement of your goals. Coaching is ideal for leaders when they are

  • Newly hired or promoted
  • Charged with implementing a major initiative or building a mission-critical team
  • Preparing to play a more significant role in the organization
  • Building new skills or approaches

Each leader’s goals are unique. Some of the more common reasons leaders engage a coach is when they want to

  • Develop more effective communication skills, political savvy
  • Build more positive professional relationships and productively manage conflict or dissent
  • Seek new strategies for inspiring teams to higher levels of performance.
  • Build “executive endurance” to manage multiple and competing demands.
  • Demonstrate enhanced executive presence
  • Strengthen or temper communication style

Anyone can benefit from coaching, but you have to be ready to put in the time, do the work, and be open to grow. (Harvard Management Update: “Getting Results from Coaching…”).

Times are tough. Why spend money on coaching?

Coaching can be even more important in tough times. If you’re in an industry where people are your competitive edge, you know how important it is to keep the top talent energized. This is especially true in these challenging times when staffs have been reduced, resources are limited, and pressures to perform are greater than ever before.

An investment in coaching demonstrates your commitment to your most valuable leaders. The positive effects of successful coaching cascade through the rest of the organization, giving you multiple returns.

How long does coaching usually take?

Coaching timelines are as varied as the leaders themselves. Executives start coaching with different levels of readiness and self-awareness and each has different goals in mind. That being said, it is most typical for leaders to commit to a minimum of six months. This allows enough time for new approaches to “stick” in the face of day-to-day pressures.

How confidential are the conversations?

You’ll notice I don’t publish the names of my clients or their organizations. I take confidentiality very seriously. I believe there must be an unwavering commitment to confidentiality for the coaching to be authentic. Any conversations about the work are handled directly by the leader, unless there is an explicit agreement to do otherwise.

How is a coach different from a therapist or a consultant?

A coach’s role is not to fix or cure. Executive coaching clients are generally healthy, capable, accomplished individuals interested in improving outcomes for themselves or their teams. The work is forward-focused so coaches ask the "what" questions not the "why."

Consultants are typically called in to provide functional or content expertise; they are expected to provide answers. Coaches are brought in for their leadership development expertise; they provoke clients’ thinking by asking powerful questions. The coach's assumption is that leaders can generate their own solutions, with the coach prompting and providing support through the process.

If you have a question I haven’t addressed, please visit the contact page and I’ll send you a personal response.