“Why do some senior executives refuse to get coaching for their leadership style?”

Doug’s Question: “Why do some senior executives refuse to get coaching for their leadership style?”

Answer: It’s factual that some senior executives purposely avoid coaching for their leadership style. The question is what psychological reasoning is driving their decision making? Can you learn of it through research, questions, patience, perseverance, skilled listening and observation?

Or maybe they just don’t feel that trusting connection with a coach. That happens at times.

It’s common knowledge though that many high-performance professionals — leaders or not — have egos, insecurity, blind spots and impatience. They also see little need or value in pursuing coaching.

Even if there is clear evidence of the need for closing gaps, developing new skills or improving on others, if the professional or executive doesn’t possess intrinsic motivation, they are not a strong fit for coaching.

Why? Because they will be poorly motivated, resistant and look to create reasons in their mind for why it’s all a waste of time and undeserving of a healthy attitude and commitment.

Even if an accomplished professional or senior executive realizes the great risk of loss they could assume and suffer, both professionally and personally, they might still choose to roll the dice, proceed recklessly and reject coaching.

Realize this — you are not being rejected. It is coaching that is being rejected. Some people are offended at the assertion that they might benefit from or desperately need coaching for gaps.

Suppression of ego is challenging for almost all humans but more so for some.

If you can build more rapport and trust, are great with asking questions and patient, curious active listening and can research and discover what someone’s motivational drivers are for personal development, what rewards light up their brain, you can become more influential and persuasive in securing challenging clients.

It’s not simple, it’s not easy and you won’t succeed with everyone, but you will earn more opportunities to serve and help than you might imagine.

Realize this too, some people don’t want “insurance” until they are in a crisis, some people won’t go see a “doctor” until they end up in the “emergency room.”

No matter how great a person and professional you are, certain people will reject your offering, regardless of how valuable it would prove to them.

You could be offering them the strongest insurance, risk management and prevention from personal or organizational destruction and they will show disinterest or anger. That’s not your failing but them struggling with reality and feeling more comfortable psychologically assuming risk and operating in their comfort zone.

There are, of course, stories in the news that reveal how many sabotaged their reputations, careers and personal lives with the sort of mindsets we’ve talked about today.

A person’s organization, colleagues or family might agree with you and yet unless you can communicate with them and build advocates for your offer, there is little that can be done.

You can’t help those who don’t wish to be helped. For them, ignorance is bliss and the status quo of their comfort zone is a giant teddy bear.

He is the publisher of the Reputation Times newsletter and has been published in Chief Executive, Corporate Board Member, Corporate Compliance Insights, Training Industry and the New York Law Journal.

If you have a question you’d like answered, please send it to specialist.reputation@gmail.com. I will only use your first name when I answer your question in this space, so as to protect your privacy.

Michael Toebe — Specialist — Reputation and Crisis

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Writing on reputation, risk, decision making and crisis in business, politics, sports, entertainment, higher ed, healthcare and social media.

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