Executive Coaching: A Brief Guide
The term executive coaching sounds exclusive…traditionally, it was. These days, executive coaching doesn’t have to be reserved for employees of a certain career or industry.
Executive coaching aims to generate personal awareness and encourages action to help others learn and grow.
What is Executive Coaching?
In general, coaching refers to the relationship between a client and a professional coach, counselor, mentor, or consultant. The goal is to inspire and support participants to reach their potential — and keep reaching further. So what is an executive coach, and what does an executive coach do?
Executive coaching is training designed to enhance the leadership skills and executive functioning of motivated, achievement-oriented professionals looking to excel in their current or potential job roles. Executive coaching is mainly action-based, and it seeks to cultivate more intelligent, aware, and ambitious employees.
Coaching is a practice tailored to an individual and their unique skill set and circumstances. The quality of the connection between a coach and client is vital. Coaches work with groups or individuals, offering a different perspective and serving as a sounding board, and mirror for reflection.
Coaches help people see themselves more clearly and compassionately. Coaches help clients learn how to work with their strengths and weaknesses; plus, coaches can assist people in identifying and generating a development plan to achieve their goals.
What Coaching Is Not…
Remember that executive and leadership coaching isn’t the same as mentoring or counseling.
Mentoring cultivates personal progress through increasing self-confidence, broadening exposure and building relationships. It helps to recognize talents and boosts performance at work by increasing mental fitness and growth mindset.
As an example, a work mentor might be someone shadowed at the office. This seasoned professional teaches their mentee(s) about the corporate position and the potential career paths available.
Counseling is problem-specific, emotion oriented, and based on therapeutic practices. A counselor will spend time looking at past situations to explain current behaviors.
Coaching services and counseling involve similar introspection and self-awareness, but coaching is really about looking toward the future, setting goals, and growing beyond the current state.
Types of Coaching…
Different coaching approaches can focus on aspects of an individual, team, or business. For instance, a coach may help a person establish leadership skills, or a coach can work with a group to strengthen public speaking skills.
Some common forms of coaching:
Career coaching provides insight into professional development and advises on how to reach career goals. Career coaching can also aid in job search and help transition into new roles or jobs.
Life coaching can focus on career, health, fitness, finances, or interpersonal relationships. A life coach can also help with growth and motivation. Sometimes we lose our way and have trouble finding the purpose of the work we do. Seeking help from someone removed from the situation can reveal potential blind spots.
Organization or Business Coaching:
Organization or Business Coaching provides support and guidance to business owners. They help them create goals, as well as plans to achieve them. Business coaching, for instance, can help to increase the organization’s performance as a whole.
Performance coaching aims to help individuals perform more effectively and efficiently at work. Some of these ways may include metrics based measurement, goal setting, time management, etc.
Executive Team Coaching:
Executive team coaching will train leaders on how to run their teams and how to increase employees’ productivity. This regimen involves a blend of coaching, teaching, facilitation, mediation, and positive psychology. If each team member undergoes coaching, the entire team can see improvements in their performance, communication, and collaboration.
Executive Leadership Coaching:
Executive leadership coaching is about leadership development; it’s focused on training the business leaders of the future so they can take their careers to the next level.
Seven Aspects of Executive Coaching…
The main aspects of executive coaching and its benefits are:
- Gathering and giving feedback
- Identifying development opportunities
- Building awareness
- Asking deeper questions to find solutions
- Facilitating further learning
- Providing long-term support and encouragement
- Monitoring progress and ensuring accountability
Benefits of Executive Coaching:
1. Achieve goals faster
The best goals have concrete deadlines, and coaches hold clients accountable.
2. Stay accountable
A coach will assign tasks and expect achievement within a certain timeframe.
3. Gain a new perspective
Coaches can suggest options not yet considered and help open the mind to new possibilities.
Who should hire an Executive Coach?
Anyone with high potential and eagerness to improve may consider joining an executive coaching program. Ambition is necessary to work goals, but it isn’t the key to growth at work or in personal life.
Without knowing where to direct energy, success is harder to achieve. One must first understand self, motivations, and direction; that’s where a professional coach can be helpful.
In the past, executive coaching focused on remediation and mitigation. An executive coach often came in to help fix a “bad situation” or help a struggling new leader, focusing on the very top of the corporate ladder to remove unhealthy behavior and engagement or accelerate already high performance.
Today, anyone looking to improve their capabilities and become a great leader can work with a coach.
Understanding the Executive Coaching Process
An executive coaching program can take six months or longer. It can vary depending on circumstances. The longer an individual works with a coach, the more time will be given to hone skills and see change. In the beginning, a coach will try to understand the client. The coach will look for information about the work environment, history, and motivations. This first stage is all about building intimacy and trust between both parties.
Executive coaches often use a scoring system to evaluate progress quantitatively, looking for evidence of behavior change as well as outcomes. Coaches ask questions and may get feedback from colleagues, with permission. This helps to understand capabilities and determine what strategies will be effective.
Throughout this journey, coaches will periodically debrief to help determine what goes on in subsequent coaching sessions.
Once the coaching process nears its conclusion, clients and their colleagues participate in a final interview to compare the beginning of the journey to the results.
To summarize, here are the key steps involved in corporate coaching:
1. Establish a Relationship
The goal of the first session is to get to know each other. The coach will try to:
- Figure out mutual chemistry. Will it be easy to build trust and rapport?
- Discuss goals. What are the accomplish expectations with coaching?
- Establish confidentiality and working agreements. Consent is important, so a coach will spend time reviewing the details with those directly involved, only with client permission.
- Assessment. Coaches will ask questions about current work and personal life. This will help them understand perspective to plan the next steps.
2. Coaching Sessions
Regular sessions mutually agreed upon.
During each meeting:
- Check in on progress
- Follow up on any assignments given
- Set goals for the current session
- Receive coaching and advice
3. Between Sessions
Coaches will hold the client accountable:
- Try new ways of doing things
- Pay attention to the results
- Keep track of actions, reflections, and outcomes
- Stay focused on goals
4. Final Sessions
Here’s what to expect from final sessions:
- Assessing the journey
- Celebrating achievements
- Creating a plan for post-coaching life
The Bottom Line
Coaching isn’t just beneficial for senior executives and managers, it’s for for anyone looking to grow and develop their skill set.
Our coaching program is aimed at helping the client achieve results as we will help fuel transformation, enabling to think, feel, and perform at the highest level.