How to have a real conversation with your leadership coach

Recently, I got an email from a coaching client, who expressed how grateful they were that we had ‘a real conversation’. It was my first session with this client, and it was great feedback to get after just one session.  

Of course, I asked what they thought made it a real conversation, and the answer was around the topics that we covered. We talked through big issues like their inferiority complex, imposter syndrome, fear of failure, and a range of other topics that most people are not comfortable to discuss. The real stuff! 

What I shared is that coaching session work best when our clients are willing to open up their hearts, and really unpack what is happening for them. What their fears are. What their frustrations are, and what they are focused on right now. Let’s look at these separately. 

1. What are your fears? 

What things are you putting off because you are scared to confront them. Most of the time, this is a conversation, or a range of conversations, that our clients are avoiding. Fear (false expectations appearing real) stops us from taking action. It means that we over think what could go wrong, instead of focusing on what could go right. 

Public speeches or job interviews are the two other main things that people bring to sessions for support with. These situations can cause a range of emotions for people, and they can cause our clients a great deal of stress. Until we talk through them and work out how they should approach the situation. Usually with heaps of preparation is the coaching advice I provide. 

Thoughts: Yes, some conversations are very difficult to have, and some could even be relationship enders. The thing is that most conversations, or situations, don’t end up nearly as bad as our clients first imagine that they will. The worry and anxiety are not well placed in these scenarios, and generally the sooner you find the confidence to get through the situation, the better you will feel! 

2. What are your frustrations? 

This is the area that we spend most time talking about. Rightly so. Leaders are under pressure. They are stressed, and they are crazy busy. They get frustrated by a range of things, including not getting enough support from their leaders. Not getting enough support from their teams. Not being able to resolve a dispute. Or not being able to move forward on a project. Among a myriad of other things. 

Leading under pressure is the skill set that I coach, and this falls right into that category. Only this morning, I was discussing this point with a client, and when we got to how to deal with frustrations, one of the key leadership skills is consistency. Consistency of emotional response, and consistence of temperament. In other words, creating conscious control.  

Thoughts: Yes, leadership is stressful. There are things that cause frustration. In fact, the word frustration would be the most used word for negative emotions that I hear from our clients. So, it important to deal with frustrations. And it is important not to over-share with your teams, just how frustrated you are. That is your challenge to deal with as a leader. 

3. What is your focus, right now? 

Probably my favourite part of coaching sessions. When a client comes and says, “right, I need a hand to develop this, or build that, or create this.” Great, let’s get the presentation built, or the business case mapped out. Or the process developed.  

This is good fun work, and we always get an outcome. I have worked with clients on everything from position descriptions to five-year plans, and everything in between. It is great fun, and it gives the leader a different perspective. Fun fact, I was working with a leader on a restructure during one session (of 2 hours), that went for 6 hours.  

Thoughts: Yes, there is always something to do, and yes, sometimes a different perspective is useful. Someone outside the organisation and outside of your team can add ideas and opinions that you may not have considered yet. 

In summary, the next time you are sitting down with your leadership coach (reach out if you would like to become a client of ours), remember to come prepared with your fears, your frustrations, and your current focus areas. 

So that we can have a real conversation. 

Would love to hear your comments on these points what things you think are important to discuss with your leadership coach. Do these points resonate with you? 

And could you please do me a favour, and share this with leaders everywhere? This is an important topic for leaders. 

And of course, please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

UPGRADE your Mindset
UPSKILL your Leadership
UPLIFT your Teams

About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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