Executive Coaching: An Introduction
It’s a common misconception that executive coaching is strictly a remedial measure to be imposed on “problem execs” by their superiors. As Harvard Business School Professor and former Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly noted on our podcast, Leadership Imagined, many executives decline executive coaching due to the fear of being labeled as a weak or underperforming executive. However, Joly points out, every top professional athlete has a coach whose duty is to assist them in performing to the best of their abilities. When an athlete needs coaching, no one interprets that as a flaw.
Regardless of an individual’s talent or dedication, performing optimally is a challenge in and of itself, and an athletic coach – a professional in the field of performance optimization – is rightly presumed to be indispensable at all levels of competition. So why are executive coaches any different?
In this article, we hope to dispel some of the myths about executive coaches and the practice of executive coaching.
What is Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching consists of one-on-one interactive sessions between a manager/executive and the coach.
The coach enables their clients to progress towards achieving their goals and flourish in their organizational performance.
The coaching engagement’s goal is to equip individuals with skills and opportunities to flourish, become more impactful, and contribute to the success of their company.
According to an organizational researcher, the coach employs a wide range of behavioral techniques and strategies to assist the client in achieving a mutually agreed-upon set of goals to improve their professional performance.
This results in client personal satisfaction, increased goal attainment, problem-solving approach to work obstacles, and much more.
What Techniques and Metrics do Executive Coaches Use?
When working with their clients, executive coaches employ a range of strategies and tools. Ellig Group’s program prioritizes data-driven, empirically validated measures such as the following:
This tool is intended to boost the performance of leaders, team members, and organizations by providing powerful and thought-provoking insights to their clients.
The Hogan assessment provides you with accurate information not only about your own attributes, abilities, and opportunities, but also about your professional reputation.
This assessment tool will help you identify and work on your strengths through constructive feedback, in addition, it also discusses the areas for development that may be impeding your success.
The CliftonStrengths evaluation is one of the tools that allows executives to recognize the areas in which they demonstrate the greatest potential for further development.
It tracks recurring ideas, emotions, and behaviors. Clients are presented with their top ten talents after taking the assessment, with the help of which individuals and teams can enhance their skills and analyze how to turn their skills into areas of strength that would result in success by focusing and working on them.
Leadership Circle Profile (LCP)
The Leadership Circle Profile is an empirical assessment that evaluates leaders on a wide range of personality and leadership style traits. Unlike many other assessments, LCP draws on input from an executive’s bosses, peers, and direct reports, providing a true 360° perspective on their leadership.
Among so-called “360°” assessments, LCP is unique in that it includes metrics for Creative Competencies and Reactive Tendencies, providing insights into the executive’s internal processes and external interaction style alike.
ICF Certification: The Gold Standard of Executive Coaching
Ellig Group’s executive coaching engagements are all handled by International Coaching Federation (ICF) Certified Coaches. The ICF’s certification programs are a crucial quality control measure in the world of executive coaching and should be considered mandatory when choosing an executive coach.
ICF certifications are based on time invested in coach specific education. The three major ones are: Associate Certified Coach, Professional Certified Coach, Master Certified Coach.
What is the Difference Between Business Consulting and Executive Coaching?
The fields of executive coaching and business consulting are frequently confused. While executive coaches and business consultants may sometimes serve superficially similar roles, their approaches can be quite different. At Ellig Group, we like to describe the difference as follows: “a consultant answers questions, whereas a coach questions answers.”
Even though both coaches and consultants aim to improve overall performance, the former is concerned with developing the individual executive as a leader, whereas the latter provides concrete solutions to predefined problems facing the business as a whole.
The definition of executive coaching includes empowering clients to facilitate them in proficient decision-making. On the other hand, Business coaching works collaboratively with an organization to improve its strategies and practices.
Although both types of coaching seek to enhance organizational performance, they meet their objectives differently.
- Executive coaching is concerned with the individual, whereas business coaching is concerned with the company or division overall.
- Business consulting enhances strategies and provides solutions to current issues faced by the business. Executive coaching assists decision-makers individually in improving their techniques and refining their leadership styles.
- Executive coaching emphasizes one-on-one interaction with the executive being coached. Business consulting is ultimately geared towards generating a report for upper management.
What is the Role of an Executive Coach?
An executive coach helps you to examine your professional style and practices from all standpoints, providing new insights and perspectives.
An executive coach will help you recognize your personal strengths and weaknesses and work with you to define your objectives. Your coach will point out your potential and share information to help you make better decisions.
The right coach can empower you to perfect your instincts, enhance your judgment, and broaden your viewpoint so you can consistently make excellent, well-informed choices that inspire your team and propel your company forward.
Even strong leaders can benefit from consulting with an executive coach. Leaders must keep learning and improving, something that professional coaching can help them with.
Areas of Focus Within Executive Coaching:
Executive coaches can help an executive on a variety of different levels. To get the most out of the coaching experience, it may be helpful to identify specific areas to target in advance.
- Career coaching — takes a “big picture” perspective on the executive’s career. Identifies goals and formulates actionable strategies for achieving them.
- Organizational coaching — Aids entrepreneurs in defining their goals, working to develop strategies for achieving those objectives, and improving organizational productivity.
- Leadership coaching— Coaching for individuals who are willing to develop and improve their leadership skills, irrespective of whether they’re an individual employee, manager, or top executive.
What are the Benefits of Executive Coaching?
- Meet your objectives more quickly.
Executive coaching allows you to stay focused and systematic. You can accomplish your objectives faster, minimize mishaps, and invest more time in your firm’s success.
- Ensure accountability
After establishing your objectives, a coach will hold you responsible for a plan and its deadlines. A good coach will keep you on your toes, and you’ll be grateful at every moment of the journey.
- Detects blind spots:
Growth requires introspection. A good coach provides a second set of eyes for looking inwards – one that’s trained to spot things outside your field of vision.
- Provides you with unbiased feedback:
Different perspectives are essential in becoming a more impactful, well-rounded executive. It is, therefore, important to listen to your coach with an open mind, take constructive criticism, and reflect on it. You’ll be shocked at the potential and alternatives that may not have occurred to you previously.
- Enables you to achieve your vision:
You’re already ahead of the game if you schedule a weekly or monthly meeting with your coach to discuss your issues and opportunities. During this time, your coach will assist you in clarifying your priorities, addressing issues impeding your progress, and moving your business toward your visions.
Why Executive Coaching is an Invaluable Investment
Following are four crucial reasons why executive coaching will help you drive toward your dream business objectives.
- It promotes newfound curiosity
Not all suggestions will be implemented, but by describing them to your executive coach and peer consulting group, you allow yourself access to new perspectives and a realm of possibilities.
- It holds you accountable to your vision
An executive coach will help you stay motivated and energized as you work toward long-term objectives. In addition, weekly meetings and check-ins with people who care about your achievements as much as they do about their needs tend to add force to keep your dreams alive.
- It removes obstacles that blur your focus
When one gets lost in the maze of daily tasks, it’s near impossible to make time for planning in one’s hectic schedule. That’s when you can count on your executive mentor to help you get away from the day-to-day monotony and concentrate on what will propel your company forward.
Ellig Group’s Executive Coaching Services: Our Approach
Whether you’re seeking to transition, overcome challenges, elevate your leadership style, or enhance your communication skills, our executive coaching services allow decision-makers to unravel their true potential instead of only focusing on problem-solving.
Our coaches work hand in hand with leaders to set goals and then hold them accountable as they work toward those objectives.
Not only does our professional coaching staff provide the requisite resources to clients, but they also mentor them and provide them all the support as they struggle with complex challenges.
We preserve space, pay attention to your needs, present complex issues, and make inferences. We create a deeply personal, trusting environment where you can focus on morphing your qualities into a remarkable leader and making an impact.