The world of business coaching is vast. It’s an $11.2 billion industry, according to IbisWorld. That’s big business. But why? Markets are as competitive and crowded as they’ve ever been. Leaders are looking for any and every advantage they can find. And many have found it in an executive leadership coach.
What Is an Executive Coach?
An executive coach help C-suite executives and vice presidents improve their mindsets, performance, and their organization as a whole. They serve as neutral sounding boards for the unique challenges a top executive might face. Executive coaches are usually external coaches, working independently of a particular organization. Since they don’t work for the organization themselves, they can give unbiased support. Instead, the coach focuses on the client, helping them grow personally and professionally.
Executive coaches will shine a light on the missing steps between where a leader is and the goals they’re working so hard to achieve. They can also offer guidance on an executive’s professional development or leadership skills, including how to build a team and better guide their employees up and down the organizational chart.
How Does Executive Coaching Work?
Executive coaching works best when it’s custom-tailored to the clients. These are 1:1 sessions with a personal coach in a safe and honest environment. It takes a good bit of trust to share confidential and personal feedback.
A good executive coach will:
- Dig deep and ask the right questions to find the real solutions needed.
- Research, gather valuable insights, and offer feedback.
- Identify key opportunities for growth.
- Offer long-term support and encouragement.
- Monitor progress and ensure accountability.
Why Executives Need Coaching
Most entry or mid-level leaders on the org chart have someone to bounce ideas off of and go to for advice. But top-level executives will tell you it can be lonely at the top. This often results in feeling isolated, as well as off-the-charts stress levels, stagnation, uncertainty, and a diminished sense of motivation.
Executive leaders are also usually the ones setting the direction or vision for the entire organization and that can come with a lot of responsibility and unique challenges. An executive coach can offer much needed encouragement in this area as well.
How is Executive Coaching Different from Leadership Coaching?
Executive coaching and leadership coaching share many common traits. In a nutshell, executive coaching is sometimes considered a subset of leadership coaching and vice versa. The goal with both types of coaching is to help leaders learn how to be the best version of themselves they can be, how to inspire others, and become a stronger leader. The difference is in the amount of responsibility the leader has, the unique problems or challenges they may be facing, and the size of their teams.
Through leadership coaching, managers and team leaders learn how to improve teamwork and communication with their employees. Executive coaches are almost always hired from outside the company and focus solely on the organization’s C-suite or elite-level leaders.
Who Needs Executive Coaching?
More and more people are realizing that executive coaching is a tremendous opportunity to improve, both personally and as a leader. Having ambition and skill alone may not be enough to get take your organization or team where it needs to be in today’s world. Are you hitting the right targets? Are you spending your time on the right things? Are you inspiring other leaders and employees? What should you do about certain staffing or critical business issues? These are just a few of the areas in which an executive coach can be of value.
Five Ways an Executive Coach Can Help You:
- Understand yourself and others better.
Even when at the top, most of us don’t see ourselves clearly and don’t even realize how much it matters to a healthy organization. And the same goes for the team. A leader will keep a poor performer on too long because they misevaluate them or are emotionally attached and accidentally let future “stars” go because they fail to see their potential. Understanding yourself and others is crucial to effectiveness and profitability in business and a successful life.
The best coaches will help elite leaders change losing behaviors and get a renewed sense of how to properly view themselves and treat others. The best coaches will find patterns and significant themes that will help you grow, even if it requires tough conversations.
- Increase your social skills and grow your relationship circles.
Far too often, leaders fail by choosing to build strong relationships with only a certain kind of people. A good coach can help leaders recognize that tendency and work to correct it. Another common trait of top leaders is a need for good social skills. When working toward a common goal, networking or negotiating, executive leaders must have excellent communication skills. An executive coach can help in this area.
- Strengthen your current strengths and identify weaknesses.
An executive coach is a voice outside your organization who can help you maximize current strengths and make a targeted, focused plan for any weaknesses as a leader to help you be the best that you can be.
- Give a boost of motivation.
A good executive coach knows how to properly and consistently motivate you, while holding you accountable at the same time. They will help you break your goals down into smaller parts, so things may seem like they start off as little ripples, but even small wins will increase your overall motivation and confidence as a leader. Learning how to stay motivated is a must for executive and C-suite leaders. This is how you overcome the impossible!
- Reach your goals.
This is the ultimate “why” for contacting an execute coach in the first place. The right executive coach can help you narrow down your goals and dreams, and help you create a winning plan to achieve them.
Interested in Hiring an Executive Coach?
For help achieving your life and career goals, consider partnering with an executive coach from Southwestern Consulting. Our Executive and Elite Edge Programs provide techniques and strategies to build stronger negotiation and networking skills and improve communication company-wide. Through 1:1 executive coaching, we help business leaders recruit and onboard A-level managers, improve employee retention, and build a successful, top-producing team.
For more information, including a free consultation to see if coaching is right for you, contact us today!
I was introduced to [my coach] via a close friend and mentor, and I can say it has been truly one of the greatest introductions of my career. Over the past year [he] has been instrumental in helping me navigate the growth of a new region: building a vision for the team, understanding what leadership means, and most importantly having a third party sounding board to make sure I’m not going off the rails. With [my coach’s] help, our region was the number one performing region for over 26 months in a row! I would recommend [him] to any executive that is looking for continuous improvement, both personally and professionally. Thank you [coach] for everything!
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