Huria is an Executive Coach based in Germany.
What motivated you to become a coach?
I always enjoyed mentoring and advising and helping others find a way to do things better in a way that worked for them. When I took on my first management role, I realized quickly that what I loved most about my leadership role was to help my team members explore their potential and grow. I valued allowing people to feel agency and ownership in their own development and I wanted to do this outside of an organizational role and being able to dedicate more time and attention to this area.
How has your past work influenced how you approach coaching?
I worked for the United Nations for 12 years before I came to coaching. During this time, I learned valuable lessons about leadership and change within complex organizations, including what belonging looks like in truly diverse teams and how to manage a seemingly unwieldy web of stakeholders and build buy-in for strategic initiatives. While my attention is squarely on my individual clients and the change they want to make in their lives and work environment, my coaching considers the systems they are part of and the relationships they engage in.
Do you prefer coaching individuals across a full leadership team or only one leader per team?
Working with an entire team of leaders is a great opportunity to combine my organizational development expertise with my coaching skills and I certainly gain more satisfaction if I am given the opportunity to work in a more systemic way. However, it depends on the issues the leadership team is facing. In some instances, it may be advisable and perhaps even be important to avoid a conflict-of-interest if each leader has a separate coach.
What do you think it will take to have more companies adopt coaching as a leadership development tool?
Many senior leaders today have coaches by their side, but they need to be convinced to offer coaching to a broader range of managers and employees. Particularly mid-level managers, overseeing many employees, need to benefit more from coaching. It is important to showcase the benefits coaching brings to the organization (whether offered to individuals or to teams) in terms of more self-aware and emotionally intelligent leaders who are adapt at managing relationships and navigating complex organizations. The coaching industry needs to get better at providing evidence-based arguments.
Do you prefer video or audio calls with your coaching clients, and why?
I work almost entirely remotely and have used both video and audio calls in the past. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Video calls allow me to build rapport quicker with my clients and make it easier to read non-verbal cues. But I have also had some of my deepest coaching conversations over audio and have observed some clients to be more self-conscious over video. I go with whatever works best for my clients.