Executive coaching and the 100-meter race

Here are a few words on the 100-meter race’s paradox:

People who achieve a time of 15 seconds rarely want to progress to 12 seconds.

Others, who achieve a time of 15 seconds, think they are at 10 seconds. It is difficult to help them progress since they think they have no improvement to make.


Therefore, executive coaching is primarily aimed at those who are at 10 seconds, the athletes. Who are intelligent and humble enough to be accompanied. And thus progress to 9.9 seconds.


Eventually, as they do in the United States, the vast majority of European leaders will be coached. As Eric Schmidt, President of Google, tweeted in November 2014: “No matter how good you are at your job, you’d be better with a coach. Everyone needs one! ».


We coach more than 300 leaders a year. We can clearly see this desire, this desire to do better, to work with a sparring partner.


The power of appreciation


Surveys on motivation at work are abundant and overlap.


Less than 30% of employees are engaged and nearly 15% can be “actively disengaged”. Let’s imagine an “8-bar rowing machine” with one rower rowing in the other direction!


Half of the managers think that their organization’s strategic orientations are “going in the right direction ». Many employees say they are satisfied with having a job but frustrated by the work itself.


“How can companies cross over to the other side of this mirror? The answer is: trust rather than control” Jean François Zobrist.


“No problem can be solved without changing the level of consciousness that created it” Albert Einstein.


Would part of the answer be linked to meaning (the common goal, the mission), or to autonomy (the space left to each individual to express their creativity)?


What role could appreciation then play (as a collaborator, as a human being), by acknowledging each person’s achievements and contributions?


An employee’s involvement, shown through their behavior and performance, is immediately linked to the signs of appreciation they receive (Eric Berne – Des Jeux et des Hommes).


So why do without it!


A sign of recognition can be a simple look, a word, a smile (positive stroke), an invective, or a violent gesture (negative stroke). The consequences of the absence of signs of recognition can be worse than a negative stroke.


We all have genuine psychological needs to satisfy (How to Tell Them – Gérard Collignon), a thirst for stimuli, or “Signs of Recognition”, a kind of psychic food that gives us the energy we need to live, to develop, to blossom.


This vital need for communication with our environment is as important as drinking, eating, or sleeping. It constitutes, since our childhood, the fuel necessary for our growth. Recognition nurtures self-esteem, self-confidence, and confidence in one’s abilities, so it may very well have this direct impact on engagement and performance at work!


Besides, in the words of Éric Berne, signs of recognition are inexhaustible natural resources, free and within everyone’s reach.


To enjoy without restraint!