If you're looking for a way to be more successful in your career, an executive coach may be the answer. Executive coaches help individuals with leadership and management roles become more successful by providing personalized coaching sessions. This blog post will discuss what executive coaches do for their clients and why they are important for business success.
What is an executive coach?
An executive coach is basically a life coach specializing in helping people in management and leadership positions. However, they are not limited to helping only these types of people. Anyone who has a job, aims to improve continuously and constantly, and has ambitions to boot, is a prospective client for an executive coach.
There are different levels of coaching. At the most basic level, coaching can happen when somebody needs some help with performance gaps. The gaps might be caused by problems that are not visible already, but the person in question doesn't recognize them. The next level is coaching, which happens at the management level. People at this level might need help regarding control, trust, expectations, giving feedback, and formulating systems for the development of other people. Coaching can increase depending on the number of people being managed by the client from the management level. Executive coaching then happens at the next level, with the clients being C-suite executives. Executive coaches focus on optimizing the client's performance by pinpointing areas that need improvement, which the client or others might not figure out.
What can be achieved with executive coaching
As a client, there are many areas that you can improve once you engage in executive coaching. Mental soundness is one such area. By having an executive coach, you will be taught how to manage your thoughts better so that you wouldn't easily get stressed and overwhelmed once problems come to your left and right. This results in better decision-making allowing you to make the right decisions under pressure without compromising values and ethics and putting your organization and team in a better position.
An executive coach can help adjust your leadership style depending on the situation to avoid ending up with one style that might not work with everyone. You will learn how to manage people better, so you don't look like a slave driver. Your coach will help you see others in a better light to know how to respect them and appreciate the hard work they do for the company. Learning how to manage people below your position, those who are on the same level as you, and those who are higher up are things an executive coach can help you learn. Learning all these things will help drive better results for the company through your improved leadership, skills, and management gained from executive coaching.
Who should I hire for an executive coach?
The life coaching industry is a pretty big one, and one problem is that it is not a universally regulated industry. It is easy to come across individuals who say they are life coaches and can help you with your personal growth and development. It turns out they are not really professionals, and they can charge you for their services. You might end up being given the wrong advice. There are things you should consider when you decide to hire an executive coach.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) is an organization that acts as a regulating body for life coaches. They give accreditation to various life-coaching programs. Also, they provide credentials in three different paths for aspiring life coaches. These are Associate Certified Coach (ACC), Professional Certified Coach (PCC), and Master Certified Coach (MCC). To apply, the associate level requires at least 60 hours of training from a certified coach training program by the ICF and at least 100 hours of client coaching experience. The same requirements are needed for the professional and master, but they require a higher number of hours. The professional level requires at least 125 hours of training and 500 hours of client coaching experience, while the master level requires at least 200 hours of training and 2,500 hours of coaching experience.
So if you're looking for an executive coach and you see somebody that has any of the credentials mentioned above, then rest assured you are getting someone who is a professional and knows what they do.
So you found an executive coach you like. The next thing to look for is: does your coach have experience in the specific area that you need help? For example, if managing people is where you have a problem, does your executive coach know how to give you systems and support to help you improve? Executive coaches might state their specialties in their profiles. Finally, try to search for testimonials from other people who became clients for the executive coach you are pinning for.
Most coaches offer a free consultation when you are just starting out trying to work with them. This is a critical time that you can use to get to know the coach better and see if the two of you can talk comfortably with each other. Ask questions like what is the length of commitment you would have to undertake should you choose to get the coach's service, the return of investment you could get from doing executive coaching, and personal stories to get an insight of the coach's experience and the way he works with clients. As much as possible, aim for an executive coach that has the ability to help you get to your desired outcomes and not someone who will promise you specific outcomes. Also, try to find a coach who also works with their own coach sometimes. This shows that the coach sees continuous development and is open to learning and understanding others.
How the executive coaching process works
Engagement in executive coaching can last for months, even years, depending on the agreement between you and your coach. Changes and learning will happen during the process, so time is needed to see what the results will be and how these affect you and your company.
In the beginning, your executive coach will interview you to understand you better and the company you are working with. Your coach will begin by asking you about your personal beliefs and core values, personal history on and off the office, the systems you are implementing to do things, behaviors, etc. Also, your coach might ask your colleagues to get an insight into how others in the company perceive you. This will give your coach knowledge of your leadership style. This initial process aims to gain trust and confidence and identify the areas that need improvement.
Once the problem areas have been identified, your executive coach will implement the techniques, systems, and strategies to change your processes. From time to time, your coach will talk with you to assess your progress and check if the desired outcome is attained. Your executive coach can employ various metrics that serve as a gauge for tracking and evaluating progress. Your coach will share data based on these metrics to see if you are improving or if something else needs adjustment.
At the end of the executive coaching process, an interview will be conducted again by your coach with your colleagues so that they themselves can say if things have improved in the company before and after the coaching process with you has begun. Again, this provides a way for your coach to see if objectives are met and if there is a significant return on investment from the coaching engagement, like money gains, both for you and the company you are working with.
Hire an executive coach and reap the benefits
Executives and other professionals who work at the upper levels of organizations are usually top-performing people who oversee several company functions and deal with multiple tasks, including managing people. Just because a person is already at this level does not mean he does not need help or support from others anymore. With many things at stake, an executive could lose focus and get overwhelmed. As a leader, it wouldn't hurt to get the help of an executive coach. In fact, your own boss or organization might be the one recommending an executive coach to you if they start seeing some problems in your work performance. If you decide to hire one yourself, executive coaches can be found by searching online, in life coach directories, or in websites that provide direct coaching services. Always check the certification and credentials that an executive coach possesses, so you know you will be getting the right help. Trying to improve by yourself can be a challenge, so having someone else to assist you, like a coach, can prove to do wonders.