With organizations competing to recruit the very best, we have seen Executive Coaching grow in popularity and is now regularly included as part of the total reward package on offer when Board members and Directors are recruited.
However, Executive Coaching has also grown in popularity within organizations looking to develop current potential or identify future leaders. This really helps them create an environment where talent gets an opportunity to flourish. So, in this blog we look at how Executive Coaching works, what the benefits are and your role as an Executive Coach.
Executives have multiple and complex roles
We know it can sometimes feel lonely at the top and difficult to work through management problems if an Executive doesn’t have somebody they can confide in. Even when well connected through different professional networks or talking to peers, they may not always get the answers they need or want.
So hiring an Executive Coach to work with an individual Executive, the board members or the entire senior team, can really help give them valuable insight and a safe space to test and model new ideas or different ways of working.
Confidentiality is key in this type of relationship
Executive Coaching will normally highlight how others see the Executive, so confidentiality is key to building trust. A typical approach could be to:
- Have an initial meeting to build trust with the Coach, get to know each other and discuss the key objectives
- Follow up with a session to assess the current situation and set some goals for future achievements
- Introduce challenges as sessions progress to test any new approach that has been discussed and prepare them for team meetings or giving presentations
Whatever the approach and methodology chosen, coaching is based on a holistic vision that takes into account the interests and challenges of the individual, the team and the organization. It is therefore important to quickly create an environment of trust and collaboration so you can help identify and overcome any obstacles that hinders progress or success.
Benefits to the individual and the organization
- Give valuable insight on how Executives are seen by others
- Bring clarity on personal goals
- Explore emotional intelligence and softer skills
- Identify personal development opportunities
- Address management or performance issues
- Understand stress and how to manage it
- Learn to respond differently when faced with challenges
- Provide a safe place to test and model new ideas or different ways of working
From the initial meeting through to the point where you both agree all objectives have been achieved (or coaching support is no longer needing) will normally take 8 – 12 months if you are meeting once a month. However, additional ad-hoc discussions can also take place. And some follow up ‘check in’ session should be offered to ensure they feel fully supported through the process.
Role of the Executive Coach
We see coaching as a results-oriented, bespoke approach designed to make individuals, teams and organizations more effective. By encouraging the development of personal and professional insight, the Executive or senior leaders will grow their skills and abilities.
As an Executive Coach, you are seen as a qualified professional who helps individuals, senior teams and sometimes the board. You will be able to use your skills to unlock their true potential. But, it is also an opportunity for them to talk openly in confidence. You can also use a range of different techniques to identify and address any management or performance issues.
Be ready to ask lots of questions and play back what you have heard. This helps to bring clarity or challenge any assumptions. Setting up a 360 process to identify their true management style will bring them self-awareness. This can really help the Executive grow in confidence and develop the skills they need to be a leader.
As part of the Executive Coaching process, it is always important to add real value and demonstrate a return on investment. One way to do this is to clearly align the coaching objectives with the company strategy and any personal goals they have. Providing regular opportunities to look back and reflect will also help show any progress being made. And remember to keep track of any examples where old habits or behaviors are creeping back in.
New to Executive Coaching?
If you would like to move into this area, read our blog – How to grow your coaching business.
In this blog, we look at how you correctly position your coaching business. This enables you to attract your ideal clients, win new opportunities and maximize your profits.
To support you in your coaching sessions, we have published a new virtual card game – Coaching a Chief Executive . This is a creative approach to Executive Coaching. It has 12 Illustrated Strategic Goal cards and 40 Question Cards
Other virtual card games are also available in the online shop:
Coaching a Manager – A creative way for coaching a manager. It has 12 Illustrated Professional Goal cards and 40 Question Cards
Coaching Professional Development – A creative way to enhance your own coaching and supervision skills. It has 12 Illustrated Coaching Skill cards and 40 Question Cards
Image: Thanks to Pam Sharpe for sharing their work on Unsplash.
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