A case study published by the Senior Executive of a Fortune 100 company:

Why do you need a coach?


When I was contacted from my organization with the proposal of being coached I had absolutely no idea why I was selected! I had heard of CXOs being coached and wondered how it will help me. After some deliberation I accepted the offer hoping that at the very least it will be an interesting experience.

Even after deciding to go ahead with coaching I had that little bit of doubt and uneasiness about how the relationship with my coach will work out. I was doubtful if I would be able to have meaningful discussions. However, Mr. Shyam put me at ease right on my first day. His open and honest communication and non-judgmental approach allowed me to open up and bring my frustrations, concerns and stress to the discussions without any hesitation.

Now, when I look back at the decision, I am extremely happy that I was open to this new experience that helped expand my horizons and also dive deep into discovering insights about my own self.

My coach constantly motivated me. He pushed me hard and challenged me. I was forced to introspect deeply and came up with discoveries that even surprised me! One interesting discovery that I made was that I am attracted to and idolize extroverts. Being an introvert myself that was very surprising to learn. But it helped me understand a key challenge that I was facing in building relationships with introverts. It also helped me start on the journey of being comfortable with myself.

I was having a bit of a challenge in building the relationship with my new boss with the additional disadvantage of being in a remote location. When I travelled to the head office, my coach guided me on the conversation that I was planning to have, even advising me on how I should dress for the first meeting. And that was in the first few weeks of him knowing me! I was convinced about how sold he was on my success.

I was also impressed with how closely he followed the words I spoke and come up with excellent observations. After only a few sessions he pointed out to me how I was always doubting myself, being too analytical and too constrained.

What I most appreciated about my coach was that he did not hesitate to challenge me, push me hard if required and hold the mirror up to me for the umpteenth time. He was not in the business of pleasing me. He always had the best intentions of making me challenge myself and discover the answers to my questions within myself. He gave me the confidence to celebrate myself without feeling guilty. He gave me the conviction that I am ready for the orbit change.

He was also very flexible with timing of the sessions. When I was travelling overseas, he agreed to schedule sessions late in the evening and never seemed to be in a hurry to end a session. On one occasion when I got stuck with some unplanned urgent work, he even helped me find an alternate slot in that same week.

I sincerely appreciate the time and effort of my coach. During the last few sessions both of us were comfortable to talk about very deep feelings, which for a sensitive and introverted person like me, is a very big step and show how much I trusted him. I don’t have words to thank him enough.

If you or your organization are considering working with a coach, I would like to you to understand that it is not about learning a new skill. Your coach will act as your mirror. Your coach will draw your attention to details that you were missing in your daily grind. Your coach will help you discover yourself, make you aware of your strengths and weaknesses so that you are able to use them effectively to your advantage. You have to be open to feedback and ready to be challenged to take advantage of the opportunity.