Today, many organizations tend to overlook the executive development which is a critical aspect of all organizations.
There are a lot of reasons why people come for coaching. Here are some possible reasons:
- People are “stuck” and can’t think of a solution to move the organization forward.
- People who may lack trustworthy co-workers at their level with whom they can share private conversations or whom they can consider if they were to alter or improve something within themselves, for the benefit of the organization.
- Possibly, people are ready to do something different but not completely sure what that “something” is.
- People who are looking for a change, a new perspective or have vital goals to attain.
The objective of Executive or “business” coaching is to aid individuals to go from where they are, to where they want themselves and their company to be.
Executive coaching stands out from other forms of training. It focuses on a specific way of “learning” for the executive.
The more a person involves in detecting the problems, finding and applying solutions for those problems and evaluating the results, the more complete and the more enduring the learning is. With this form of self-improvement, a deeper understanding can be achieved, provided there are the right circumstances, one-on-one interaction with an objective third party, who is not attached to the organization or other executive influences, can offer a focus that other forms of support from an organization cannot.
Coaching builds up the leader in “real time” within the context of their present job. It also allows them to maintain their day-to-day responsibilities.
Coaching is action-oriented and focuses mainly on the present and future. It is unlike therapy that digs deeply about different issues typically dealing with the past and consultation that normally ends up providing answers for the client. Coaching usually centers on what the client desires. It uses a process through one-on-one coaching sessions that allows the client to discover himself/herself, and also learn and determine their own answers. The client determines the goal and commits to their goal. The coach helps to hold them accountable.
Why hiring an Executive Coach is vital?
If you take a look at the present demanding business environment, there is a limited opportunity for the executives to devote time and energy to their own development as leaders. The majority of them find it difficult to fulfill on the responsibilities of their positions. They are pre-occupied and too stressed to step back and learn from their experiences. They also have no time to implement changes to satisfy the best management practices.
Executive coaching is chosen not only to resolve problematic behavior or issues regarding poor performance. It is also chosen with an aim to develop executive-level skills, developmental and growth tactics that may impact the whole organization.
As per a study by Diane E. Lewis, respondents noted different reasons for hiring executive coaches.
- So as to develop the leadership skills of high-potential individuals (86%).
- In order to improve the chances of newly promoted managers would be successful (64%).
- In order to build up management and leadership skills among their technical people (59%).
- To correct behavioral issues at the management level (70%).
- To aid leaders to resolve interpersonal conflicts among employees (59%).
All coaching engagements start with a discovery session of some sort. Here, the potential client and coach have a conversation to decide and discuss numerous items including:
- What the client seeks in the coaching relationship.
- What the coaching relationship is about.
- The coach’s style and how it resonates with the client.
- Rules of engagement and procedure.
- The credentials of the coach relative to the client’s needs.
- Timing and logistics of the coaching.
- How the coaching’s success will be measured.
- Agreement to move forward.
Instances of Coaching Options
Usually, the coaching sessions happen weekly, so 3 to 4 times monthly. Conducting weekly sessions helps to keep the process on track as the client expects to make changes and/or improvements for themselves. It also serves as an accountability measure to the incremental improvement and addresses any other situations the client wishes to discuss with the coach.
Usually, this is for three months or in some cases less. It focuses on identifying and prioritizing developmental needs. Developmental coaching is typically done in conjunction with the HR or the executive’s supervisor and the executive. Interviews are held and a developmental plan is created with the client. This coaching begins the plan with a quick transition to client independence with the support of the supervisor and HR for continued progress. It can be described more like a three-way affiliation between the executive, the coach, and the organization. All involved to concur on specific goals and parameters. However, issues discussed in a coaching session, outside the parameters that are set, are held as personal and confidential.
It takes a minimum of six months to one year. The coaching focuses on identifying and prioritizing developmental issues and goals with the help of an action plan. The coach gathers data by means of a client questionnaire and a 360- degree feedback process. It also often utilizes other diagnostic assessments like Strength Finders, Myers-Briggs, and more. The coach is in charge of working with the executive to determine the plan. The coach also oversees the implementation of the plan and subsequent follow-ups. Moreover, the coach lends support to the client to address and focus on strategic issues of the organization, while at the same time addressing his/her personal developmental issues.
Time and again, an executive team will conduct an off-site conference. Here, the strategic plan of the company is discussed, vision and values are established, and/or team goals are affirmed. Consequently, because of this different team process, a commitment is made by the individuals to change so as to assist the organizational progress or reach the next level. Then, individual executive coaching follows the off-site meeting for six to twelve months. It is to make sure that the team objectives are being met and remain in focus. Check-ins with the team are held quarterly to authenticate progress and to ascertain that the main priorities are still correct.
What factors improve coaching outcomes?
There are numerous attributes that improve coaching outcomes.
Organizations must support and agree to offer resources to support the executive coaching. It should recognize that it requires a long-term investment so that the coaching and the change is successful. Executives require follow-on coaching and reinforcement so that their changes in behavior can be sustained. Also, professionals’ development must be kept separate from the performance so that the level of trust and openness required for development is not compromised.
The preference in style of coaching also contributes to the success of coaching. The coach and the executive concur to enter into a relationship so style preferences and compatibility can impact the outcomes. It is vital that the coach and the client agree on how the client prefers to receive help, what they want to focus on, and when they desire to receive it.
The ability to coach is the number-one success factor to be considered. There is a reason for that. No matter how experienced or effective the coach is, there will be no change in the executive as long as the executive does not desire to change, recognize the need to change or does not take responsibility for the change required. The executive has to be open to feedback, keen to use the feedback, and be willing to be held accountable to the commitment.
The coach’s competence is the fourth important factor. The coach should be credible, educated and accredited at the least. A coaching process should be there which includes assisting the client, setting an action plan in order to alter behavior as well as a process to measure that change.
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