What is executive coaching?
An executive coach is a professional who works with individuals, often high-level executives but also at times employees, helping them to:
- hone their skills
- achieve their potential
- clarify their goals
- become a more efficient leader
- become more self-aware
- become more successful in their role
Executive coaches are there to challenge their clients to be their best – not by offering ready-made solutions, but by providing a supportive, encouraging environment and by asking the right questions to help executives find their own solutions. Executive coaching can improve people's confidence and focus.
The focus of executive coaching is the workplace and it may therefore be more targeted than other forms of coaching. Where life coaching or relationship coaching may require more of a deep-dive into a person's life, executive coaching is goal-oriented specifically to improve performance and behaviour in the workplace. This is not to suggest however that executive coaches cannot work with clients on their more personal barriers to success, be this confidence or public speaking or imposter syndrome. Executive coaching may typically last seven to 12 months.
What are the benefits of executive coaching?
Executive coaching can be expensive, however it is an investment in the future performance of the individual and the company they work for.
Even if you are familiar with your workplace, starting a in a new position can be daunting, especially if the role involves higher levels of responsibility. While the idea of coaching may have once held a stigma, having your company hire an executive coach to support you could now more likely be viewed as a vote of confidence in terms of what your company believes you have to offer. Rather than coaching being purely remedial – called in to fix a problem – executive coaching can be viewed as a status symbol, indicative that you are someone with high potential and who is worth investing in.
The benefits of executive coaching to the individual include:
- individualised assessment and a tailored plan
- knowledge about your learning style and personality
- better time management skills
- maintaining a good work/life balance that enables sustainable performance at work
- confidence with creativity and problem-solving
- specific goal and target setting
- understanding your personal stress triggers and how to manage them
- having a dedicated, confidential environment in which to work on the challenges holding you back
- offers a partnership in a role that may become more and more lonely otherwise
Further reading on coaching
Coaching for specific issues
Different types of coaching
Last updated 18 January 2021