What is Executive Coaching, and Why Bring an Executive Coach into your Organization?
Updated: Jan 28, 2022
I coach several self-sponsored executives who are interested in having me support their teams and colleagues at work. While they've experienced profound shifts via their coaching engagements with me, the challenge is how, precisely, to pitch the idea to their CEO or other stakeholders? Below are a few facets that describe the value of executive coaching: • DEFINITION: First, what is executive coaching? This deserves its own post, but to put it simply, executive coaching is a dialogue between a coach and a leader with the intention of finding creative ways to address challenging problems, improve team performance, accelerate progress on key initiatives, and advance the leader’s career. All executive coaching includes life coaching.
• ASSESSMENT: Small and even mid-sized businesses frequently don't have a formal way to assess leadership skills. I facilitate a 360 review process for leaders to get a clear download of how other people experience them, and how external perception compares to self-perception. 360s are qualitative and/or quantitative, and most importantly, they are anonymous: employees who are surveyed are guaranteed anonymity, which means that my client receives raw, unfiltered, truthful feedback. This is GOLD--especially for clients in the C-Suite, as the number of people willing to offer direct, unfiltered feedback diminishes as status grows. Additionally, results are 100% confidential—provided only to the Coachee to deepen insight and inform their goals (if they so choose), not to determine compensation or as part of a performance review. The 360 is one of several assessments available to gain insight about a leader's strengths and opportunities for growth. There are also assessments for emotional intelligence and conflict navigation
• IMPROVE COMMUNICATION: We've all heard it a bazillion times. Communication is everything. I facilitate improved communication by having teams practice radical candor, so difficult conversations occur as soon as they are necessary. Skillful communication leads to better conversations. Better conversations + regular feedback + skillful candor = more trust. More trust leads to more speed leads to flow, better business, and agility. To learn more about one of my favorite team building tools for improving communication skills, read about my interpersonal dynamics offering. It revolves around a practice called T-Group, which some of you may have experienced during business school. It is the fastest way I know of to gain insight about the impact we are having through both our verbal and nonverbal communication.
• TEAM COACHING: A cost effective way to strengthen the collective impact of a team is through team coaching. Alternately, perhaps team coaching is a supplement to 1:1 coaching. I work with Executive Leadership teams to strengthen cohesion, team harmony, and leadership skills. Team coaching facilitates team harmony and momentum with leadership skill cultivation so that more of a "group brain" can develop. It's an antidote to disparate agendas, sharpening focus and clarity for achieving excellence as a team.
• CULTURE MAKEOVER: Culture is a portal for maximum discretionary effort from employees. Are they happy? Do they feel supported? Seen, felt, heard? Are they engaged? Are the mission and values clear? Do formal incentives and strategies to support employee development exist? If not, what is the cost of employees leaving due to burnout and dissatisfaction? A strong culture inspires healthy retention and higher productivity, and an executive coach supports leaders with setting the tone for culture transformation. We spend our prime life force hours at work, so quality of life is in large part determined by how happy we are there. If your organization prioritizes not just the psychological safety but also the joy and happiness of its employees, retention, engagement, speed and innovation follow. It's safer to take risks because they are trusted and supported. • STRATEGY PLANNING: As my mentor puts it, culture may eat strategy for breakfast, but you still need a strong strategy for your business to thrive. What is the absence of clarity costing via disparate, competing agendas and murky understanding? If you want focus and alignment on what your organization's strategy is, book a conversation about strategy planning.
• POWER SKILLS: This is my phrase for common executive goals such as having more influence, executive presence, communication skills, and the emotional intelligence required to engage employees for impact. I've created a Power Skills model I use to support executives with self assessing where they stand in possessing 16 power skills. 1:1 coaching sessions support execs with the tools to cultivate and deepen them, to implement vision and key initiatives more effectively. Read more about Power Skills here. The nutshell: executive coaches support executives and their teams so they can level up. If any of the above sounds like something you want to introduce to your organization, book a complimentary 30 minute conversation with me—or invite a colleague to do so.