This is an interesting topic and definitely worth giving extra attention to in advance. Here a couple of tips that I've found helpful:
1. Introduce the program as an opportunity for interested leaders to apply for one of the few limited spots. Incidentally, this is a good strategy to ensure each participant is fully committed to be engage before allocating precious time and money towards coaching someone who isn't fully committed. I'd launched programs were we skipped this step and it wasn't ideal.
2. Engage other high level leaders in promoting their own previous executive coaching experiences (even outside your program). Showing new participants that well respected high level leaders have participated in executive coaching as a positive growth opportunity and reward helps eliminate the stigma.
3. If appropriate, promote other benefits of the program that may include stress reduction and helping manage pressures of work situations.
4. If you can only afford to set up a limited number of leaders at first, present it as a pilot program. It's accurate and may help reduce fear that a few under performers are being targeted for coaching.
We just wrapped an executive coaching program with nearly 3 dozen senior leaders. I'd be happy to discuss it with you, if you are interested. Contact me anytime.
Brian Houp, Brian.Houp@LetsReZone.com, 502.890.2008
Bill Brantley wrote:
I just launched a career coaching program and am preparing to relaunch the executive coaching program. My paramount problem is overcoming the stigma of coaching being used to "fix" people. That is why I have spent a good deal of time marketing the positive aspects of coaching. For example, the rebranding of executive coaching is to encourage senior leadership to discover their leadership brand and explore the legacy they will leave.