Too many executives receive poor or no coaching.
They miss opportunities to become more effective in their positions of influence and are often denied promotions they deserve. Hiring an executive coach can help them enormously. It’s the right tool to alleviate common leadership problems.
What Is Executive Coaching?
Broadly defined, executive coaching is a one-on-one consulting relationship dedicated to improving high-level managers’ leadership capabilities and performance. Close to 60 percent of U.S. corporations employ coaches, and approximately 10,000 executive coaches are practicing today.
Coaching helps conquer ingrained leadership behaviors in ways that few other developmental approaches can muster. Senior executives value the privacy the experience affords, while managers appreciate learning how to coach their reports.
- Provide insight into your leadership behavior and style: Executives often assume their current approach is the right one and are blind to its downside. You aren’t likely to change if you embrace this idea. You must request feedback on the effects of your style and actions. While this may be difficult to hear, your coach can facilitate the feedback process.
- Clarify your purpose and interests: The way you lead is intimately connected to who you are as a person. To improve your skills, you must strengthen the connections between your inner self and external actions.
- Improve interpersonal relationships: People’s previous experiences with you and their preexisting judgments should be addressed. Involving colleagues in your development process can help change their perceptions of you. This will make it easier for you to alter patterns of interaction with them.
- Broaden your perspective: Executives succeed because of their strong abilities to conceptualize and think strategically, but they can sometimes become too attached to being right. In most real-life situations, there are multiple correct answers. The ability to see and understand increasing complexity is essential. Coaching helps develop this perspective.
- Develop new leadership skills: What are the key activities in a new role? Where should a newly appointed leader focus attention and energy? A skilled coach can help with role expectations and skills-building.
- Identify and overcome barriers to change: Change should occur over time, with assistance from your coach. A coach helps you practice new behaviors in ways that gradually build skills.
- Improve your ability to learn: One of coaching’s most important goals is to teach you to internalize the ability to question, learn and continually grow. You must be able to modify your style and behavior as situations demand.