For many years now, the field of coaching individual executives and organizations has been growing. Executive coaching is one of those fields that almost sounds made up – the kind of non-specific professional job that they give to sitcom characters. This mystery about what I do is always a source of conversation when I meet someone new and I’m usually happy to talk about it (I even did a whole video series explaining it). However, odds are that I’m not going to run into you and have the opportunity to explain exactly what an executive coach does, so writing it out here is the next best thing.
What does an executive coach do?
Executive coaches can help leaders achieve specific goals. Most executive coaches (yours truly included) undergo hours and hours of professional training, on top of the skills and expertise developed in our pre-coaching careers. This training and insight equips us with not only know-how, but actionable tools and strategies to take you from point X to point Y. The core question at the heart of my job is – “What do you really want to do?” Whether you want to be a better leader in your current role, have concerns about taking on a new role, are thinking about changing career paths or simply want to project more of an executive air, my aim is to provide you with the support, advice and strategy to tackle work challenges with confidence.
How does an executive coaching engagement work?
Executive coaching begins with an assessment. Typically, I’ll use the Hogan Assessment as it is very thorough, insightful and is trusted by organizations globally. Using a popular evaluator like Hogan gives you a vocabulary that you can use with other leaders and organizations throughout your career.
Once an executive coach has a good idea of your tendencies, we help you develop the strong ones and improve ones that could benefit from improvement – within the context of your goals. Every leader has blind spots and my goal is to help you become self aware – to see how you are perceived by others in the organization. We work on a game plan and strategy together-collaboratively.
Coaching takes place over an extended period so that results can be gathered and feedback given. The coaching process typically focuses on a single, easily digestible improvement at a time, each building on the last to foster long-term success and improvement. In executive coaching, we want to learn iteratively.
Coaching can be done in person or virtually. Virtual meetings may allow for more flexibility, especially among the busiest leaders. Seeing clients locally has its advantages in understanding more nuanced situations. I do both.
Importantly, coaching is a process and often continues even after a goal is reached or goals change. The long-term view is powerful. Likewise, as someone advances in an organization to the top of their field, new challenges may come up and there may be fewer peers with whom to freely discuss complex scenarios.
Do executive coaches work with teams?
Executive coaching engagements can help both individuals and organizations grow and adapt to change. Often, I support leaders and their teams seeking to build on their strengths for professional growth. An example is talent development. An outsider’s perspective on operational effectiveness helps leaders navigate the mix of personalities, competencies and desires that come with any organization. In both group and one-on-one sessions, an executive coach can walk you through what changes need to be made and specifically coach you on how to get them done. Executive coaches who get to know you can support a number of strategic initiatives in an organization.
Ready to learn more? You can get a further idea of what a typical engagement looks like with my coaching engagement breakdown. If you’ve got more questions or you’re not sure what you need, feel free to contact me. I’m happy to help you determine if an executive coach is a good fit for your or your team’s needs.