In this spotlight profile, we are speaking with Caroline Langston, a global executive coach for high performers specializing in the banking, fintech, financial services, family office and law practices.
Caroline has been an executive coach for high performers for more than 12 years and assist individuals change and transition in their careers and lives for performance excellence and purpose.
In her role as a global executive coach, Caroline’s mission is to help high performers improve leadership, communication, focus, clarity and reduce stress.
Thank you for speaking with us today, Caroline.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and training and how you became an executive coach?
I was an Executive Search Consultant, relocating very senior people into new jobs globally. When there are high stakes, such as relocating a global executive and their family into a new role, company, and country this requires staying close to them, executive coaching them and often their family into their new role and a new way of life. These moves can be very stressful for the spouses and children of the executives. I was coaching more and more often. I loved helping these individuals and their families, eventually taking on the role as an Executive Coach full time. I finally started my own business in 2019.
I did my neuro linguistic programming master practitioner and coaching qualifications 12 years ago, and over the last 3 years completed my International Coaching Federation (ICF) qualifications. I have a Certificate in Coaching Mastery, am accredited by the ICF as a Professional Certified Coach and am also a certified Team Coach.
As a global executive coach, can you explain to readers what your job entails and your role in these individual’s lives?
People come to me to make changes in their lives and careers. This might be career acceleration or change via performance coaching. It may be creating a more harmonious work/ life balance, by managing these elements more effectively. It may be to reach a personal development goal they have not managed to achieve themselves. We may work on emotional management as well throughout this. I am their unbiased partner to help them make this change and keep them on track to hit their goal.
This is carried out by a range of conversations, exercises and work which my clients will do in between sessions, such as exploration of possibilities as well as practicing and implementing new strategies to move towards their desired goal/s. They come back to me with the work they have been done, we assess this together and they decide what works, what does not and how to move forward towards their goal effectively.
One aspect of your role as a global executive coach is “divorce prevention.” Can you explain this further and how you assist clients in preventing divorce?
Globally there is higher and higher pressure to perform. Especially in Hong Kong where we have many senior executives working very long hours, there is pressure on the spouse as well as the other family members. I help people who are trying to resolve relationship disparity and imbalances. Coaching them through time and emotional management, helping them with communication and often looking at where they can borrow time to spend with their families. This has been life-changing for many of my clients.
Just to clarify, as an executive coach you are not teaching clients but rather talking to them as an unbiased partner?
This is correct. I am here to ask them those difficult questions they may not want to ask themselves. As I do not have that emotional connection like friends and colleagues, I am not afraid to dive into areas which others may not want to because of those personal relationships. I am completely unbiased and this helps.
You mention “reflective inquiry” – What do you mean by that?
Reflective enquiry is repeating back what they have said. I reflect verbally their words and ask them if this is what they really mean? For example, they may say “I just never seem to get a break to be with my family”. I may reflect back “I hear you are saying you NEVER get a break to be with your family. Is that really true?”. This may help them think about when they DO get a break albeit very short, what is happening during that time and how we can either create more time like that or maximise the time they have. It also helps them hear how hard they are working and how they really need to make that change and take that break.
What’s the difference between executive coach work and therapy?
A therapist may offer solutions to problems and actions to take. I will brainstorm with my client, but they are the ones who choose the solution or action they want to take. A therapist may also decide to talk about the problem in more depth, I move towards goals and outcomes. I help my clients clearly see the action they may need to take to move forward to their desired outcome.
Based on your experience it would then seem to appear that there can be much said about divorce prevention and working hard to make necessary adjustments. Is that correct?
Absolutely. The key is addressing any issue as soon as it arises. Ensuring there is great communication and finding out what the best possible outcome is for the whole family. Sometimes it just takes a conversation with your spouse or a slight change in time management. Sometimes it is setting that clear intention to make the change and then acting on it. This can be key to saving a relationship or a marriage.
About Caroline Langston, Global Executive Coach:
Caroline is a certified and accredited Global Executive Coach and has over 12 years’ experience of working with high performing individuals. Caroline specializes in the financial services, banking, fintech, family office and law practices.
Caroline’s mission as a global executive coach is to improve leadership, communication, focus, clarity and reduce stress and ultimately assist individuals to find purpose in their career/life.
Caroline uses a combination of traditional coaching, mindfulness-based coaching and neurolinguistic programming practices.
Caroline is based in Hong Kong but originally hails from the United Kingdom.