How do executive coaches help CEOs?
Olympic champions rely on coaches to reach the highest level and stay there. In business, a coach helps their client generate consistently better results by increasing awareness, expanding choices, and stressing follow-up action. It’s called ACAR – Awareness, Choice, Action, Results.
Coaches challenge their clients’ self limiting beliefs or negative assumptions and introduce new information and points of view. For example, when an executive says “We could never do that.“ the coach asks them “How can you be sure?” And as they justify their position, the coach challenges them until, more often than not, they discover that they actually could do what they said they couldn’t. Other times a coach might mention how another company handled a similar situation which gives the client a new perspective on how they might do something. Either way, the coach’s job is to expand the client’s universe of possibilities
As awareness increases, choices present themselves. A coach helps their client expand those choices and analyze them. There are trade-offs to consider, pluses and minuses, costs, and benefits. The coach helps the client uncover the leading alternatives. They may arrive at the best choice or an intermediate choice, which in turn creates action.
Once a choice has been made the coach stresses follow through. At the end of each session, the client writes down one or several “action promises” with committed completion dates. The next time the coach and client meet, the first order of business is to check in on the action promises. Follow up action is ultimately the client’s responsibility but the coach can help make it a priority.
As I hope you can see from this quick description, the ACAR coaching framework is simple and effective. My coaching clients increase awareness, expand choices and take continuous action. Not surprisingly they generate more and better results, month after month, year after year. You will too.