9 Executive Coaching Topics and Questions You Should Be Asking 

At the beginning of your partnership with a business coach, you may feel intimidated by the prospect of being vulnerable about your executive career. 

For many, having questions already in mind can ease some of the anxiety, giving them a launching-off point for what they would like to talk about both in the short term and long term. 

As you continue to work with your coach, you’ll be able to target the conversation more, getting more specific feedback catered to your priorities, personality, business culture, skills, talents, and weaknesses. 

To help you in this exciting, uncertain time, we’ve created a list of nine executive coaching topics and questions that can serve as a starting point for your journey into being a better leader. 

Building a Positive Culture

When you take the time to establish norms and expectations for the way your team interacts, there’s less room for conflict and uncertainty. A team works best when they know the standards to which they and their cohorts are being held accountable. 

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. How can I make a positive impact on the work culture?
  2. What behaviors or tendencies have you seen in me that may negatively affect the culture?
  3. Are there strategies for measuring culture?
  4. What resources exist for me to stay aware of shifts in workplace culture trends?
  5. How can I balance hiring capable employees who may not be a good fit for company culture?

Making a Career Change

The decision to leave a position is anxiety-inducing, even if you know it will be a net positive move. Whether you’re only beginning to consider changing careers or you already have a new job lined up, an executive coach can help you approach the situation with courage, optimism, and an open mind. 

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. What industries do you see my current skills aligning most with?
  2. How can I make the transition more seamless for the company I’m leaving?
  3. Do I have the financial and practical resources to pursue entrepreneurship?
  4. What technology and software should I learn before looking for a new position?
  5. How can I capitalize on this transition to increase my sense of fulfillment in my work?

Handling Conflict

One of the most challenging areas for many business leaders is handling interpersonal conflict. Executive coaching can help you develop tact and negotiation strategies that smooth situations over before they turn into bigger issues.  

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. What programs or initiatives should I consider bringing to my teams for conflict management?
  2. What kinds of de-escalation tactics should I keep in mind?
  3. How can I help my team prevent conflicts?
  4. How can I help my team recover from conflicts?
  5. At what point should I get involved in a conflict?

Prioritization & Time Management

If you struggle to manage your own time, important tasks tend to fall by the wayside as you focus on the small, less important matters that clutter your day. Your executive coach can guide you through a variety 

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. What areas of my work should be my top priority?
  2. How do I hold myself accountable for my priorities?
  3. Can you share some effective strategies for organizing my day?
  4. What time wasters can you identify in my day?
  5. What tasks could be delegated out?

Giving & Receiving Feedback

Feedback gives people ownership and accountability over the work that they do, making it one of the most important tasks you’ll do as a business leader. An executive coaching relationship is an ideal opportunity to work through the nuances of how much, how often, and what kinds of feedback you should be giving. 

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. How can I encourage my employees to seek feedback?
  2. What strategies should I use to diplomatically provide negative feedback?
  3. Should we celebrate individual achievements with everyone?
  4. How often should I provide feedback?
  5. How should I respond when I’m faced with negative feedback from an employee?

Work/Life Balance

According to CNBC, 50% of people are burned out at work due to overwhelming workloads, constant pressure to “look busy” even once one’s duties are complete, and expectations from managers that hybrid or remote workers outperform their in-office staff to prove that they’re still productive despite not being in the building. 

That’s not just employees, either. Business leaders are feeling the burn of managing a rapidly changing workforce.

When no one feels rested, supported, or certain of their role, it profoundly affects the workplace. Use your executive coaching opportunities to seek guidance on bringing crucial harmony back into your business. 

Questions You Should Ask:

  1. How can I leave work at work?
  2. What strategies can I use to feel okay turning off my work phone at home?
  3. What are some changes I might see in myself if I prioritize life outside of work?
  4. How can I encourage and empower my team to seek work/life balance?
  5. What do you see me doing now that jeopardizes my work/life balance?

Use Executive Coaching Topics to Propel Your Personal and Professional Growth

Now that you’re armed with a list of executive coaching topics and questions, it’s time to take the plunge by working alongside a business and leadership coach to work through your areas of need. 

Catalysts’ advisors build ongoing relationships with their clients to help them alleviate some of the day-to-day pressures of running a company and focus on their long term needs.

With monthly or bi-monthly consultations, we work diligently to help our clients tackle their most pressing barriers to growth and the largest obstacles to success. 

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