Q: “How do I get executive buy-in for a coaching program?”
Whether we’re at a conference, hosting a webinar, or in a 1:1 meeting, one of the questions we hear most from L&D, HR and talent leaders is: how do I get executive buy-in from a coaching program?
We know it can be challenging to convince senior leaders to invest in coaching, especially if they’ve never experienced it before. To get you started, we have some tips – from our coaches, of course.
- Give them a sample: “The easiest way [to get buy-in] is for executives to get a ‘taste’ of what coaching can do for them, their teams, and the work,” says Torch Executive Coach Bego Lozano. “Coaching is a space for individuals to reflect and pause, and with the help of a coach decide what they need to get from where they are to where they wish to be.” Why not offer skeptical executives a shot at experiencing this for themselves?
- Remind them of what matters. “People in organizations are looking for more than just a paycheck,” Lozano says. “People want to be seen, heard, and appreciated. A coaching engagement checks the box for all three needs. When individuals feel seen, heard, and appreciated they are more committed to the work, they are better leaders and team members.”
- Don’t just give answers; ask questions. There’s all sorts of data you can use to make the case for the ROI of coaching, says Torch Executive Coach Nadine Blochberger. It reduces sick days, firing, hiring and on-boarding costs. It can help create a better culture, leading employees to be more motivated and committed. But with some executives, all of the data in the world won’t change their mind. What might is better questions. Blochberger suggests asking them questions like: Where do we invest if not in our people, and especially our managers and leaders? What else is more important? Why are you skeptical? What would you need to see from a successful trial? And: what could be possible if they were able to turn most managers into great leaders?
What have you seen work to get executive buy-in? We’d love to hear from you (feel free to email email@example.com). We’ll share your responses in an upcoming edition of Curiouser.
This article was featured in Torch’s newsletter, Curiouser. Each month, we deliver the latest research, stories, questions, and insights about the art and science of coaching to your inbox. Sign-up and join a community of people who are passionate about growth, learning, and leadership.