A sounding board is someone with whom you discuss your ideas to get clarity about your thought process. She/he is a confidant or an executive coach who asks powerful questions and pays undivided attention by listening actively. A lot of senior leaders love to have a sounding board as they get to massive insights while sharing their ideas with a coach who acts a sounding board.
Why senior leaders need a sounding board?
1. Senior leaders need a sounding board because as they grow in the hierarchy, everyone expects solutions, directions, and answers from them. So having a sounding board helps them gain clarity about their own thinking. A sounding board doesn’t tell them about what actions to take however, she/her facilitates the process of thinking so that they arrive with powerful solutions to their challenges on their own and become clearer about their priorities.
2.Some decisions are very confidential, which the senior leaders cannot discuss with anyone in the organization, so they need an external sounding board to discuss and become clear about their actions. An external leadership coach is ideal for such purpose.
3.Senior leaders often have to make decisions that have billions of dollars at stake, and there is a lot of complex decision-making involved. So they can get a lot of value from a sounding board – someone they can respect and can share confidential information with and who can ask powerful questions to challenge their thinking.
What does it mean to be a good sounding board?
To be a good sounding board, one should have the following characteristics:
1.Ability to listen: A sounding board is one who listens to the other person very intently when someone speaks to him/her. Paying undivided attention when someone is talking is the quality of a good listener. It helps the other person feel light and enables them to reflect on their thoughts as they speak.
2.Listening without judgment: Another characteristic of a quality sounding board is to listen without any judgment. An External executive coach is always good as they are non-judgmental and have no impact on organization dynamics and confidentiality.
3.Ability to ask powerful questions: A sounding board asks more questions which initiates the thinking process leading to great insights and actions. An ICF certified coach are trained to ask powerful questions. Each one of us has within us the ability to achieve what we want to achieve. An executive coach by deep listening and powerful questioning can help gain clarity about self and help expand our awareness about some critical aspects of our professional as well personal life, ensuring success and fulfillment in each field.
Coach Kshitij has coached hundreds of senior leaders over two decades. His deep understanding of the challenges of senior leaders enables him to be an excellent sounding board and executive coach for them. If you want to discuss Kshitij’s executive coaching services for yourself or the individuals in your organization, Contact Coach Kshitij for Executive Coaching in India and across the world.