What is an Executive Coach?

You may have heard reference to a sports coach, a life coach, a business coach but what is an executive coach and how do they differ from all of the other types of coaches?

The Association for Coaching (of which I am a member) defines an Executive Coach as a coach who works primarily in an organisational context. Typically, executive coaching is short-term and focusing on specific goals although some senior executives work with their coaches for years.

Specific goals may include:

  • Managing time more effectively
  • Dealing with specifically challenging individuals
  • Developing strategic thinking
  • Being proactive
  • Preparing for promotion

An executive coach is not a counsellor or advisor and will usually avoid giving you answers to your problems. Instead, they will ask you questions to help you find the answers to solve your problems.

So, is executive coaching purely for aspiring and junior executives as they climb the career ladder? Absolutely not….! Senior leadership can be a lonely business and an executive coach will both challenge and support you as well as be a valuable sounding board.

Here are some of the things that I bring to my clients as their executive coach:

  • I give feedback and raise awareness – when others may not give you honest feedback. Often the higher we go in an organisation, the less honest feedback we receive.
  • I challenge – when others may not feel comfortable.
  • I create time and space for you to think and I ask you questions that you may not have thought of.
  • I am independent and can offer a different perspective as well as enabling you to see situations from a different angle.
  • I listen – and I listen some more without my own agenda and without interrupting.
  • I spot patterns in your behaviours that you may not be aware of. For example, I noticed that one of my clients was either fully engaged with the team or would withdraw (fight or flight) and that this was a pattern in other areas of their life. By recognising this they could work on finding a mid-way approach.
  • I am caring – this can be valuable support for a leader who feels that they are supporting and caring for everyone else.
  • I help you unravel complex situations and navigate your way to a solution.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved motivation and confidence
  • Greater resilience and resourcefulness
  • Increased capacity to deal with change and uncertainty
  • Finding solutions to challenges
  • Greater self-awareness in order to utilise your strengths and change beliefs and behaviours that are holding you back

If this sounds like something that would be of value to you, let’s arrange an initial complimentary coaching session so that we can explore how it would be of benefit to you.

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