Executive Leadership Coaching for High Performers
As a Human Resources professional or Senior Leader within an organization your job has a lot of moving parts. One of the biggest responsibilities you carry is the development of your people, particularly your high performers.
High performers have needs that are unique to their personalities and dispositions.
For instance, high performers do not need to be motivated by incentives to put their all into a project. The success of a project delivered on time, within budget and exceeding expectations is what they are seeking. Though they may demure they secretly want to be acknowledged for their hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Even if they deny wanting the acknowledgement they need it because it refills their energy stores and motivates them for the next item on their plate.
High performers are an organization’s dream come true but you can lose them if you don’t know how meet their needs and guide them through their unique stages of development.
High performers will typically rise through the ranks quickly but hit a plateau when the following stress tendencies will get in their way:
- Need to be in control
- Difficulty saying “no” or setting boundaries
- Working long hours without a break
- Being brisk with fellow team members
These tendencies may cause other team members to misinterpret the high performer’s intentions, personality, character, and thoughts and feelings toward the people around them.
At an extreme the high performer can be perceived by their co-workers as overly ambitious, unfeeling, opportunistic or manipulative.
Typically a high performer is perceived by their leaders as a good person who is talented and works hard to deliver value to the organization. However, because of their drive and tendencies under stress they may be unhappy and/or no longer enjoying their work. They may also be experiencing difficulties in their relationships with those that impact their job.
A high performer with very little self-awareness will continue to drive toward more responsibilities to their own detriment and the detriment of the organization, not understanding what all the fuss is about.
A high performer who has some self-awareness and has hit a plateau will balk at the thought of advancing and taking on more responsibility. They are already under a lot of stress and do not relish the idea of experiencing even more stress. They don’t believe they are capable of operating at the level that will be required in any new role or advanced project.
And they are right.
Until a high performer gains enough self-awareness to identify and manage their stress tendencies they will continue in their current pattern and risk the symptoms of their stress getting worse. This is because when they are no longer getting the results that used to come to them so easily their knee-jerk reaction will be to work harder and longer to sustain the same results they used to get. This causes a downward spiral of diminishing returns.
All of that is unnecessary and can be avoided.
A Coaching System Designed for the High Performer
I take my high performing clients through a coaching system that helps them to understand how they are wired so they can understand and lean into the strengths of their personality while avoiding the pitfalls.
This system starts with a self-assessment that captures the high performer’s triggers to stress and their knee-jerk reactions to it. The client receives a report and they are debriefed on their results.
From there I take them step-by-step through a process that helps to set boundaries, take better care of themselves; we deep-dive into the stress triggers and reactions revealed in the self-assessment.
Having identified and begun to remove the obstacles keeping them from performing at optimal we then enter a stage where we uncover who they are as a leader: their core values, strengths and “superpowers”, the personal contribution they want to make through their work and who they want to be in relation to those around them.
Lastly, they are given a process for goal setting that ensures their future goals are crafted for their personality, honor their current stage of development, leverage their strengths and bring out qualities that enhance their leadership potential.
As a result of going through this process my clients experience being more focused, engaged, energized and happy. They report improved relationships and experience less stress and more enjoyment at work.