A Manager’s Basic Guide to Executive Coaching

Taking into account all the invaluable benefits executive coaching offers, many managers are looking at working with a competent executive coach as a truly worthwhile investment.

If you’re a manager who would like to work with an executive coach and would like to know what you’ll be getting yourself into, the following executive coaching basics should give you a crystal clear idea.


Executive coaching in a nutshell


Executive coaches are qualified professionals who work with executives and high potential employees to help them clarify their goals, unlock their potential, achieve development and organisational objectives, and gain self-awareness, among many others.


Equipped with knowledge, skills, experience, and an executive coach certification, these professionals typically don’t solve their client’s problems or give advice. Instead, they ask the right questions so clients can see their challenges clearly and find the right solutions.


What executives coaches do


Armed with the experience, skills, knowledge, and executive coach certification, executive coaches act as supportive sounding boards for their clients. They ask the right questions, challenge flawed assumptions, and provide resources and clarity.


They also help and administer behavioural assessments and conduct confidential interviews so clients can establish developmental and organisational goals and gain self-awareness.


Who hires executive coaches


Nowadays, organisations hire executive coaches as a means of investing in their top executives as well as high potentials. Unlike few years prior, it’s no longer a stigma to have a coach. Instead, it has become a status symbol of sort.


Today, it has become common for companies to hire coaches as part of the executive development program. Oftentimes, coaches are those people who have been newly promoted, facing some challenges, or are groomed to take on larger roles in the organisation. In addition, some companies also hire executive coaches to resolve interpersonal conflicts and correct behavioural issues.


On the flip side, a company should not hire an executive coach if:


  • They don’t believe a change is needed or they their executives don’t see the need for coaching, or are not interested in changing.
  • They want business consulting or advice or someone to solve their problems for them.
  • They want to resolve issues with a failing executive who refuses to coordinate or does not want help.


What the executive coaching process looks like


While there are several variations, executive coaching typically involves assessment, goal setting, development planning, working on the development plan, and periodic check-ins. The process is often over once the development goals have been achieved or if either parties choose to terminate the relationship. The typical coaching engagement often lasts from 7 to 12 months.


Executive coaching confidentiality


Conversations between the coach and the executive is strictly confidential. If the company is paying for the coaching, they are given status updates periodically (i.e. milestones achieved, dates, etc.). Other than that, nothing is often shared without the permission of the coachee.


How executive coaching carried out


Since nonverbal communication and building rapport is crucial in the coaching relationship, face-to-face coaching is ideal. However, nowadays, coaching over the phone or virtually has also become quite common.



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