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What Is Executive Coaching?

If you’re a manager, and you feel like you may have plateaued in terms of performance, then an executive coach may be able to get you moving again. These high-level coaches offer training and support to help you grow personally and professionally. With the right expert by your side, you’ll be able to learn new skills and take your career to an exciting new level.

What does an executive coach do?

An executive coach is a professional who trains high-potential employees to get the best out of themselves. They provide guidance when it comes to a number of different things, including goal setting, reaching developmental objectives, identifying strength and weaknesses, unlocking potential and more. It’s important to understand that executive coaches are not therapists or consultants. These specialists don’t give advice or solve problems for their clients. What they do is pose questions so the individual can clearly see their challenges and identify the best solution on their own. 

What to expect 

Confidentiality is a key part of executive coaching. You’ll be working with someone who is supportive and trustworthy, someone who offers a sounding board for their clients. Expect to be asked plenty of questions and to have your perceptions challenged in unique ways. This helps executives to achieve greater clarity and it provides the resources needed to expand thinking when it comes to working with people and managing problems. 360-degree and behavioural assessments are often conducted to get the most out of the executive coaching experience. 

The benefits of executive coaching 

Executive coaching provides many benefits, some of which we have listed below. 

Executive coaching is geared towards helping the client to see themselves more clearly, and from the perspective of those that they oversee. While simple in theory, this process is key to shaping effective leaders. In fact, studies suggest that most people don’t see themselves clearly, and this is a big issue. A strong sense of self-awareness in managers is linked to organisations that are effective and profitable. Not only that, but employees are more willing to follow the example of a leader who sees themselves clearly. 

A big part of leadership is being able to assess the people around you. And with poor awareness skills, this task can become extremely hard. An executive coach can work with you to improve your ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of team members, so you can better help them. This is key to functional workplaces because it means that everyone is able to grow based on where they need extra support. For example, if you realise that one of your employees delivers high-quality work, but their time management is poor, you can shift your focus to assist them with planning tasks in advance to ensure they meet deadlines. On the other hand, if someone works fast, but their attention to detail is below standard, then you can bring in the appropriate support to cater to this weakness. Executive coaching helps you to pick up on character traits in others so you can be a more effective leader. 

Ever had a really bad day where everything goes wrong? You may have felt yourself slipping into usual habits where you get angry, shut off or become unable to think through things clearly. The good news is an executive coach can help you to identify these negative reflexes. From there, they can work with you to develop new skills and ways of responding to challenging situations. For example, instead of getting angry when someone misses a deadline, maybe you could switch straight to problem solving mode and think of ways to support the individual. You could take on some of the work yourself, share it amongst the team, and consider ways to better balance workload going forward. 

Want to be a good leader? You need to build strong relationships. This is a skill that executive coaches prioritise, and for good reason. Not only will you be able to communicate clearly and effectively with team members, but you’ll be able to move outside your team and work with others effectively too. Relationship building comes down to being an active listener, self-awareness and awareness of others – three skills you’ll develop when you work with an expert coach.  

Speak to our team to find out more

Want to improve your leadership style? Get in touch with Performance by Design. Our executive coaches offer expert guidance so you can operate at your best. Look to us for on-going support that will help you to improve your skills across the board. 

Speak to us about 1-on-1 coaching and a range of other services.