Staying at the top of your game requires focusing efforts on what really matters to become great. Coaching for success is the latest movement in vogue, the reason behind it is simple: A coach enables you to see the bigger picture…a bigger picture of your business, and mostly a greater picture of your success.
What is executive coaching? Conversational Learning Tango
“Executive Coaching is aimed at inspiring executive leaders to make behavioral changes which transform themselves and the people around them thereby increasing business results and performance.”
Jeremy Robinson, working definition of executive coaching
Through a progression of inquiry, confidential dialogue, and thinking partnership, the coach serves in the reflective exploration journey to help the client examine and develop decision-making dynamics. The coach’s role is to pave the way for the client to experiment with new paths of thinking and being, explore , examine and change strongly held believes and behavior , and ultimately commit to action plans that help attain the client’s objectives.
Coaching is a unique opportunity for executives and leaders to achieve impressive results and fine-tune their development and leadership skills. A coach acts as a facilitator of sustainable growth: He strives to bring in an impressive set of tools, experiences, and perspectives to the targeted workplace and devise a customized and unique opportunity for leaders to integrate coaching conversations into managerial skill repertoires.
To set the analogy right, a coaching experience is as much a dance as it is a learning experience. Now imagine a tango! Just as the dancer sways his partner through the dancing floor with defined and strategic paces terminating in a unique and self-expressive dancing routine, an executive coach leads his client through the dance floor of a conversation culminating in an evocative learning and growing experience.
“Effective leadership coaching can happen on the dance floor of a conversation” John G Agno
Benefits of Executive Coaching
A challenging and evolving marketplace urges top-level executives to think and act strategically. Executives are accountable for highly complex decisions that impact their organizations and industry as a whole. Therefore, continuously developing the skills of top-level employees is essential to succeeding in today’s competitive market arenas, and executive coaching is an integral part of this process.
Executive coaching is essential at maximizing professional potential. Executives work with professional coaches to enable performance sustainable development, therefore cater for well positioned employees that can lead their organizations into the future. Executive coaching engagements conclude in a robust sustainability plan that nurtures continuous development and future success.
One of the main benefits of executive coaching is professional feedback from an objective observer. While everyone likes to be praised fort their strengths, a coach can also discuss an executive’s drawbacks in a productive manner.
Through the executive coaching process, clients are empowered to become great leaders and reach their career goals by managing stress, shifting their mindset, and making critical behavior changes. Top-level employees benefit from the coaching progression at numerous levels: it enables them to increase their self-confidence and assertiveness, enhance interactive co-worker relationships, accelerate learning, think and act strategically, poise under pressure, ensure a positive mindset for success, make headway to more challenging leadership roles, and attend peak performances thus job satisfaction and professional fulfillment.
“A masterful coach is a vision builder and value shaper…who enters into the learning system of a person, business, or social institution with the intent of improving it so as to impact people’s ability to perform.”
Robert Hargrove in “Masterful Coaching”
Executive Coaching Proficiencies
Executive coaches should possess a core set of characteristics that make them excel at what they craft. An executive coach needs to be able to demonstrate proficiencies in disciplines of effective coaching. He must comprehend psychological theories and concepts relevant to the practice of executive coaching like learning styles, emotional intelligence, personality motivation, adult development, leadership, and conflict resolution approaches among others.
Additional fundamental executive coaching competency revolves around business skills. An effective executive coach should possess knowledge of the business sectors and understand the corporate and organizational cultures in which a client is operating. Executive coaches should retain a comprehensive understanding of organizational structures and the management sciences that underline these organizations.
Practice What You Preach: Executive coaching pillars
A coach cannot preach what he does not practice. Personal attributes and soft skills set coaches apart. Hence, it is imperative for a successful executive coach to retain and possess a set of traits that excel him in his line of work.
Awareness: An executive coach has to be self-aware and comprehend how his actions and personality impact others.
Positivity: A coach should embark on an optimist approach on life and business, and transfer it to his client.
Assertiveness and Self-confidence: Executive coaches should be independent, objective, and comfortable with senior management boards.
A genuine motivation to help: Coaches are here to serve business advancement. To do so they should exhibit high interest and respect towards the industry they support, and showcase deep empathy towards their clients. A commendable coach sees coaching as a “mission to assist”.
Upright preparation: it is indispensable for coaches to cover and contextualize all aspects of their subject matter from basic skills to designing and implementing leadership notions.
Presence: It is about being attentively present with clients and supporting them in achieving lasting improvement.
Clear communication skills: Clarity in communication is vital in conveying management strategies to clients. Thus, refined communication skills lead to effective coaching progression.
Continuous learning: A coach’s role is to take his client on a learning journey. This is why it is essential that he himself boards on the journey of continuous growth and development in personal and professional life.
Trustworthiness: Clients should feel assured that they can confide in their coach and that the coach-client interactional discussions will always be confidential: It is a matter of professional and ethical obligation.
“What’s really driving the boom in coaching, is this: as we move from 30 miles an hour to 70 to 120 to 180……as we go from driving straight down the road to making right turns and left turns to abandoning cars and getting motorcycles…the whole game changes, and a lot of people are trying to keep up, learn how not to fall.” ― John Kotter, Professor of Leadership, Harvard Business School