Despite being a relatively new practice, executive coaching has proliferated into one of the largest sectors of professional and corporate development, with many high-level executives utilizing coaching to improve leadership skills, enhance communication and increase productivity among their teams.
For Ayame Dinkler, Chief Administrative Officer at LCMC Health in New Orleans, LA, finding the right executive coach for herself and her team was very important; however, in her initial search for a coach several years ago, it was difficult for her to find the right fit.
“The search for a coach at the time for me felt a little bit like the Wild West… I was randomly googling coaches in the area with not a lot of knowledge about what qualifications a coach should have or references for what made that coach an excellent referral,” Dinkler said. “ I think it’s really hard if you’re completely unknown to the concept or the industry of coaching to find someone who's good unless it’s through word of mouth.”
Once she found Marengo, however, there were no longer challenges of finding a coach with adequate credentials and background experience. In addition to having executive experience, all of Marengo’s professional coaches have graduated from the Columbia University Executive Leadership Program.
“Marengo made it really easy because I knew that the coaches they’re working with had been executives themselves,” Dinkler said. “So, that’s important as you’re thinking about someone who understands your opportunities and your challenges.”
Dinkler completed Marengo’s Clarity Intensive course, in which she worked with her coach to unpack some of the issues she faced and provide a sense of certainty on how to handle situations among her colleagues and team. She met with her coach via phone once a week, and in between sessions, the coach would assign Dinkler mini assignments to complete as an act of self-reflection. These exercises, Dinkler says, allowed her to evaluate and meditate on her conversations with her coach, which helped her progress faster and with increased clarity.
Particularly during this time, as healthcare professionals around the world face the immediate effects of Covid-19, Dinkler says coaching allowed her, as a healthcare executive, the ability to work through some of her acute challenges.
“I think she was uniquely able to help me during a period of extreme stress [and] work through some difficult problems with me — and she did so with so much optimism and so much professionalism and a lot of empathy,” Dinkler said. “And for me at the time… those were all things that I really needed. So her ability to do that in a really short period of time is impressive, and I’m really grateful for it.”
For companies looking to amplify their organization, whether on a regular basis or occasional support, Dinkler believes companies investing in their executives’ professional development indicates their value and appreciation for their leaders’ contributions. Additionally, it will no doubt benefit the company as whole.
“As you’re thinking about where to prioritize your budget, I would definitely recommend investing in your team. I think that’s something that executives feel is an investment in them and a gift. And it’s one that will pay dividends,” Dinkler said.
Marengo offers a variety of executive coaching options including a leadership team program, 1:1 coaching retainers and many other programs that fit any organization’s specific needs. For more information about Marengo, please visit yourmarengo.com