Executive Coaching

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching continues to grow as an important organizational consulting intervention, typically involving a one-to-one coaching experience between an executive member of a corporation or other type of organization and a professional trained consultant.  A powerful coaching alliance is rooted in a relationship of mutual trust ans respect between the executive and an exective coach consultant.  Such consultants are commonly skilled in three major areas, (business, human/interpersonal relations and leadership).  Executive coaching is an experiential leadership process that is individualized to address the unique presented needs of the executive while supportive of the organization as well.  Reasons for obtaining executive coaching services may include: Organizational change, enhancement of strategic planning, performance management, improved problem solving and conflict management skills and establishing and enriching the effectiveness of executive teams and/or team memebers.  At its peak level of application executive coaching involves assisting leaders develop and enhance visionary skills.  Such services can be provided by current members of the executive team, human resources (HR) staff, other internal experts or external consultants with experience in “executive coaching”.

What are the Roles of an Executive Coach?

There are six major roles that are an executive coach fulfills, ( Diedrich, R.;1996, Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research):

  1. Identifies and modify mangerial styles to improve the effectiveness of individuals and organizational teams,
  2. Facilitates adaption to individual and sytemic changes,
  3. Identifies and utilze key strengths
  4. Creates and monitors developmental plans
  5. Encourages improved organizational performance
  6. Facilitates the learning of effective “executive skills.”

What can I expect for my organization when using an Executive Coach?

Executive coaching normally involves the following seven (7) stages:

  1. Initial needs assessment:  The consulting meets with the executive to assess the presenting needs of the individual, as well as the organizational system in which the coaching     assignment is to be applied.  As indicated above the needs or the executive may vary from assisting a derailed executive to a more functional performance level,  enhancing interpersonal and management skills or planning values, mission and long term goals/vision for the individual &/or the organization.
  2. Contracting:  Clarification of roles and expectation for the executive, the executive coach and the organization.  Such planning includes expectation for specific meetings, cost, definition of working assignments, and expectations for measuring and reporting outcomes results.
  3. Information gathering: Organization of assessment information regarding individual and or organizational data from a variety sources, (360 feedback, personal strengths and communication patterns, individual and/or organizational needs, etc).
  4. Specific goals setting: Determination of the individual and/or organizational goals for the coaching assignment.
  5. Coaching:  Direct consultation with the individual regarding the leadership skills (intrapersonal and interpersonal) and business roles needed for achieving the above goals.
  6. Measuring and reporting results:  Feedback to the individual and the organization regarding progress toward the enhanced performance of the individual and its impact to the organization.
  7. Follow planning for a more long-term development plan for the individual executive and the organization.

What can I expect to find when choosing an Executive Coach?

The competencies and background of a professional executive coach will be determined by the goals, activities and circumstances surrounding the unique characteristics of the coaching situation, the executive and the organization.  However, an executive coach should minimally be versed in the business and skills the executive leader needs to achieve a success outcome.  There are certain core characteristic of effective executive coaches.  These include the both relevant to the relationship with the executive and inherent within the preparedness of the professional coach.  They include a perceived competence by the executive, professional confidence and capacity to teach and direct attitude and behavioral change independently, a business savvy, patience, yet an action orientation, perceived as credible and trustworthy, a commitment to confidentiality and an authentic interest in the executive and their organization.  The executive coach generally works one-to one with the executive to assist them through the needed changes to achieve the above goals.  Such a unique relation should involve the selection of such a consultant by the executive, typically as a review of various executive coaches form a consulting panel of providers.

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