When you hire a transformational leadership expert, or really any kind of business coach, it’s with the expectation that they can help you make some key changes to your life, your team, and your career.
It’s important to remember, however, that working with a transformational leadership expert is a two-way street. You’re not supposed to quietly receive your consultant’s wisdom without engaging it in some way, possibly even pushing back when appropriate to do so. There’s meant to be some give and take.
In my view, the give and take should start before you even formally hire your transformational leadership expert. When you’re still in the “getting to know each other phase,” there are some key questions you can ask to help you establish expectations, facilitate dialogue, and provide a foundation for a really meaningful relationship.
Let me offer some examples.
What to Ask Your Transformational Leadership Expert
How can you help me?
It may sound simplistic… but honestly, I’d say this is one of the very first questions you should ask your transformational leadership consultant. Ask point-blank what kind of value they can bring to your organization. Not only does this help you get a better sense of their areas of expertise, but it can also be a good way to determine where they see the potential in your business.
Where are my blind spots?
You probably have some areas of your life and your leadership style where you’re ready to be coached, challenged, and transformed. But you may also have some areas where you’re shut off, unwilling to change; areas where you may not even realize you could stand some improvement. One of the greatest gifts a leadership coach can give you is to help you identify those blind spots. That can be an enormous asset to you, even if you wind up working with an altogether different coach.
Will you push me beyond my comfort zone?
You need a transformational leadership expert who’s going to be willing to push you beyond the places you feel comfortable. In fact, you should ask for some examples. How has your coach helped past clients challenge themselves and venture out into uncharted waters? What’s your coach’s strategy for making you feel uncomfortable?
How well do you understand my world?
Has your coach worked with other leaders in your industry or niche? Better yet, do they know some of the key players you deal with regularly? It’s definitely not a deal-breaker but can certainly be a boon to work with consultants who know the cast of players in your corner of the world. Worth asking about!
How do you define success?
This can be an excellent way to start a spirited conversation between you and your transformational leadership expert! Ask what success really looks like for them… when they’ll feel like they’ve done what they set out to do. And just maybe, they’ll turn the question back around, asking what success looks like to you. (Now that’s a great coach!)
How will you deliver unwelcome news? How will you tell me I’m wrong?
The last thing you need is to hire a “yes man.” Your transformational leadership expert should be someone who’s willing to push you, critique you, and tell you when you’re making a big mistake. If your consultant is going to cower, fret, or worry about stepping on your toes, that really isn’t going to help you much. Always make sure you pick coaches and consultants who will respect you enough to be truly honest.
Have you ever been coached?
Did you know that most therapists are in therapy themselves? In much the same way, people who go into coaching tend to do so because they have experienced for themselves how beneficial coaching can be. Ask your leadership consultant about their own experience being coached. Encourage them to share some stories of how coaching brought about positive change in their life, team, and/or career.
How do you know I’m the right client for you?
Naturally, you want to pick the right coach to meet your needs. At the same time, your coach should be seeking the right kind of client… someone they truly believe they can assist. Ask your coach what signs they see in you that it’s going to be a mutually meaningful relationship.
What kind of benchmarks and metrics will we set?
In some ways, this goes back to the earlier question about defining success. Any time you work with a coach or a consultant, you want to make sure you have clear metrics in place for tracking your progress and assessing your momentum. Ask your transformational leadership expert for some specific, quantifiable ways you can gauge your success.
What’s the process like?
There’s more than one way to coach, and you should always ask a coach to outline their process and methodologies before you hire them. In particular, ask how often you’ll meet; how you’ll communicate; and what kind of “homework” you’ll be responsible for between sessions.
Ready to Hire a Transformational Leadership Expert?
Enlisting a transformational leadership coach can ultimately help you take your career, your team, and your whole life to the next level.
Be sure you’re selecting the right expert for the job and choosing someone with whom you can communicate clearly and candidly.
That starts by asking the right questions; and if you’d like to ask me any of these questions, reach out! Connect at www.rickgoodman.com or call 888-267-6098, and let’s get deep into the details of transformational leadership.