Six Ways To Tell If Coaching Might Be Right For You

A Guest Post By Ken Jacobs, Jacobs Executive Coaching and Jacobs Communications Consulting

In my decade as a coach to public relations-communications professionals, both agency and corporate, I’ve come across many who ask me how to know if executive coaching is right for them.

I find it helpful to share with them the kinds of issues I’ve helped empower PR executives to help achieve their desired outcomes.

  • You’re Achieving PR-Communications Success, But You Keep Losing Team Members. This is a far-too-common occurrence in our business, particularly on the agency side. I think that’s due to the fact that we have a history of promoting people into leadership slots because they’re good at PR (and these days content, social, digital, etc.) and at satisfying clients and building the business. But that doesn’t mean we have the skills to truly lead people. The reality is, leadership isn’t about the title, the money, or the corner office. It’s about if people choose to follow you. If they’re not choosing to make that choice executive coaching might be right for you.
  • Even Though You Lead A Team, or Organization, You Feel Like You’re Rowing a Boat Against The Tide, And Doing It Alone. Your title says you’re the leader, but you don’t feel the team is following your marching orders regarding where they need to be, and in the way you recommend. That’s because you can’t order people to follow you. For that to happen, you must share a vision, and your values for the organization (even if that organization is a department or group within a larger framework). People will follow you if they see the alignment between the organization’s values and their own, and if they see their role in achieving the vision. If that’s not happening yet, executive coaching might be right for you. (I’m not going to keep repeating that line, but you get the idea!)
  • Your Time Manages You, Rather Than the Other Way Around. Because our success in this business is in numerous ways dependent on how we manage our time, I’m sometimes surprised that this is an issue for so many. But indeed it is. And I believe what respected time management expert Brian Tracy says about time management: People who value themselves value their time and manage it better. As such, just taking a time management course or using a new productivity tool won’t work, unless we believe in the value of our recommendations. Coaching is a great way to help us believe in our own value. If we don’t, why should anyone else?
  • Fear Plays Too Large A Role In Your Life. PR-Communications pros often ask for budgets of $100,000, $250,000, $500,000 or more. But you might be surprised at the level of fear and self-doubt that permeates our industry, even at the highest levels. If you find yourself saying with any kind of frequency, “Oh, I could never ask that of my boss-team-peer-client” fear may be playing too large a role in your life. The reality is you won’t be fired, arrested or executed for asking them for what you want. Indeed, you can ask those people for nearly anything. The worse thing is, they’ll say “No.” And you’ll feel better for having asked.
  • You Need To Have A Tough Discussion With Someone, But… In any business or organization, people will disagree. Perhaps it’s our desire to please people, which perhaps can make us a more client service provider, but we hate having difficult discussions. The way many of us deal with disagreement is to roll over the other person, or be rolled over by them. But both those options can lead to resentment down the road: certainly not the way to achieve organizational goals. Executive coaching can empower you to ask for what you need, disagree with respect and most important, go for what we really want: the win/win.
  • You’re Just Not Enjoying It Anymore. At some point, even the most successful executive asks “Is that all there is?” Work activities that used to bring pleasure no longer do. The intellectual challenge may be gone…and so, it seems, is the fun. Coaching can help you to determine what you’re really passionate about, what would bring you abundance on multiple levels, and help you create a plan of action to bring back the joy in your work.

kj-headshot-2014-martine-1Ken Jacobs is the principal of Jacobs Executive Coaching, which helps corporate communications, PR, advertising and marketing executives become achieve and surpass their goals, by becoming more inspired and inspiring leaders. He is also the principal of Jacobs Communications Consulting, which helps PR/comm agencies grow and better manage their business, improve client service and relationships, and enhance team performance, leadership and communications skills. You can find him onTwitter and LinkedIn.