Executive leadership coaching has many benefits, this focuses on 7 key benefits that my executive coaching clients are realizing now in this VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Now more than ever leaders are looking for appropriate support to navigate the uncertainty that exists, and coaching is one way to get that support. First though, let’s review what executive coaching is and more specifically what executive leadership coaching is.
What is Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching is a one-on-one relationship that creates a safe, reflective space for an executive to develop themselves to improve their effectiveness and achieve specific goals or outcomes. It sounds vague because executives and, potentially their organizations, usually have specific behaviours or situations they want to review, change or improve. It’s lonely at the top, and many high-level executives work with a coach, so they have a safe place to share worries, expose vulnerabilities, stretch themselves and have a trusted sounding board to explore thoughts, ideas and options.
One thing to note is that typically executive coaching is an investment by the organization into that executive because they are viewed as a strong performer or top talent; an individual that the organization wants to support because of their impact in the organization, the career trajectory or the importance of their role.
What is Executive Leadership Coaching?
Executive leadership coaching is similar to executive coaching in that it happens with senior people. It’s more specific to that person’s role as a leader of their team and within the organization. Topics will be less about the business and the deliverables, and more about them as individuals; who are they being as they lead their teams and business. Often it will be about inspiring and motivating their team or key stakeholders. It could be how to navigate sensitive situations or individuals. It can be about their personal brand and impact on their organisation. I encourage them to look at themselves with the same scrutiny with which they look at their business.
Benefits of Executive Coaching
There are as many benefits to executive leadership coaching, some as unique as the individual being coached. Broad benefits are achieving a specific goal, better results, better performance, better relationships, being more effective or efficient, and having more enjoyment/fulfilment. Essentially the same as sports coaching for athletes – faster time, better technique, more wins, less injuries, better emotional wellbeing.
- To set, act and achieve a specific goal. It might be to ace a particular presentation. It might be coaching in support of a key deliverable or target you have for the year. It might be to develop the plan, influence the necessary stakeholders and receive the approval for a particular initiative. It might be realizing you get triggered by a certain person or situation and you finally want to manage an adverse feeling rather than it control you.
- To grow yourself around a specific skill and behaviour. This is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and into your stretch zone. A common example is an executive who has just been promoted and they need to be more strategic and less hands-on. They are used to ‘being the doer’ or the expert and now they are the leader and facilitator.
- To motivate and inspire your team. Leaders enable work through others by exciting them to perform. This is a big area for many of my coaching clients. Many organizations do employee engagement surveys to assess their employees’ excitement about the work, the organization, the leadership and the employee’s own development.
- To improve your self-confidence and hence impact at work. This can be greater presence or gravitas, being more vocal in meetings, and feeling more comfortable contributing outside your area of expertise and with diverse groups. This becomes especially important for executives who were newly promoted to the management team and now sit as a peer among their former superiors.
- To have a safe, confidential place and relationship to surface thoughts, feelings and ideas with a neutral sounding board. Believe it or not, the #1 fear of CEOs is to be found incompetent, being found out, as an imposter. This is not something they openly discuss, and coaching can help get it out and move on. Even by just hearing themselves talk out loud the gain a perspective to view what’s important and what’s not.
- To build more productive relationships. This is important at senior levels as the number of stakeholders expands and the implication of those relationships is broader. This can be about more effective communication – transmitting your message, knowing when and where to influence or truly listening to the other person. Or it can be about better situation sensing – sensing someone’s feelings, understanding their motives, and putting yourself in their shoes.
- To be an authentic and conscious leader. Authenticity is about being yourself, your best self, aligned with your values and purpose. Conscious leadership is being intentional about your impact and using emotional intelligence to make a difference. This is where personal branding and organizational alignment often arise.
Benefits Outside of Executive Coaching
A consequence of coaching that I hear so often from clients is becoming more self-reliant. Their personal awareness increases, they see their role in any given situation and take responsibility for themselves knowing they can learn and grow.
The executive coaching and leadership coaching have another benefit beyond their organization. Many clients observe that things they learn in the coaching about themselves as well as any new skills are applicable to their personal lives to positive effect. Recently a client recounted that while home-schooling his son he realized what he had learned through coaching at work – to slow down, take his son along with him, find patience and connect his son to what he does well so he can apply it here.
What benefit of leadership coaching would help you be a more effective leader? Which would your team or organization prioritize for you?
Book a complimentary coaching session with me here to explore how you could benefit from executive leadership coaching.