What Is An Executive Coach? The Simple Guide - Upskill Coach

What Is An Executive Coach? The Simple Guide

By Upskill Coach, On Jul 28th 2020

Growing businesses often work with executive coaches to boost the abilities of their leadership teams.

Growing businesses often work with executive coaches to boost the abilities of their leadership teams.

Executive coaching is a one-stop-shop program that helps individuals and teams to increase awareness, set up business goals and develop as leaders and influencers.

It might sound intimidating, but don’t limit yourself to think that it’s only for the business elite. In reality, more executive coaches and coaching knowledge is hitting the market every year. Therefore, executive coaching is becoming more and more accessible to the average business leader or a small company.

So why wait? In this post, Upskill Coach wants to cover nearly everything you need to know about executive coaching and steer you in the right direction to take advantage of its benefits for you or your business, too.

What does an executive coach do?

An executive coach is like an advisor that promotes leadership coaching and growth in a company’s teams or its aspiring leaders. 

It’s a contracted professional that uses their business experience and knowledge of great leadership practices to maximise personal and professional development of an organisation’s management teams.

An executive coach can be instrumental to the success of a company’s teams since he or she will help concentrate a company’s development and improvement efforts. They give advice about how to focus their training and mentorship (and who to focus it on).

It can be a valuable resource to have a second set of eyes, from outside an organisation, to provide level-headed and objective advice. That way, a coach helps a company to:

  • Take stock of the current executive roles;
  • Inform the company (at all levels) of the opportunity;
  • Involve the right people, including stakeholders, partners, investors and clients;
  • Design a tailored roadmap for success;
  • Track and measure progress to increase performance; and,
  • Remain accountable throughout the improvement process.

Common situations that executive coaches face

Are you wondering when you should pick up the phone to talk with a coach about your company? There are two common scenarios that executive coaches commonly face. You probably fit into one of these two categories:

1. A company that has an existing but under-performing leadership team:

  • A company might face poor business decisions, wasted resources, disruptive company culture or even leaders that abuse their power and make a poor environment for their employees. How can this company make it right?
  • An executive or corporate coach helps identify what needs to change – whether that’s from a hiring perspective or a structural change or simply boosting the awareness, sensitivity and abilities of its leaders.

2. A company that is starting from scratch:

  • A company might have no clue how to pick the best leaders (whether by hiring or through a promotion). They might be lost about how to set up their own developmental or performance coaching plans for their managers.
  • How can a business develop an organisational structure that features high-performing leaders and promotes the long-term growth of the company? This commonly happens at a company’s growth stage, such as when an entrepreneur decides to convert their side-hustle business to their full-time occupation.

What is a soft skill?

Did you know that there are dozens of professional skills that can define the success of a leader? In one study, a list of 74 different leadership skills was used to take stock of the most important ones.

That’s a lot of different skills! On top of that, there are competing definitions of the same skills and the most sought-after ones can differ radically from company to company.

Most of them are considered soft skills, or skills that can’t normally be taught through formal or technical training programs. When it comes to the business world, most of the soft skills have to be learned on the job.

This is a case where an executive coach can come in and help. A coach can help identify what types of skills to look for and help create the right environment in your organisation to foster the essential ones in your leaders.

The typical soft skills that an executive coach can help bolster include:
– Self-awareness;
– Empathy;
– Professional intimacy;
– Presence;
– Communication;
– Ethics;
– Safety; and,
– Creativity.

As you can imagine, these types of abilities are not something that you can learn with a snap of your fingers. But a trained professional like an executive coach can bring you closer to using these skills as a top-performing leader would.

Why is executive coaching important?

The benefits of executive coaching are many. For starters, there is a personal development component, whereby a leader’s progress is accelerated. But there are implications for the organisation’s performance, too. That’s because there are many downstream effects of executive coaching. 

Downstream effects are the impacts that are felt across the organisation, apart from the specific development that’s fostered in the teams and individuals. Even coaching specific to women leaders is proven to improve performance from lower-level employees to senior management, helping the overall state of the business.

For instance, the process can help identify standout candidates in an organisation that can be mentored and developed into high-performing stars, which is good for the long-term health of the company.

It can boost job satisfaction for those who work at the company.  A better leadership team normally implies a better-performing and more successful organisation overall. Working on a well-functioning team is important for employee satisfaction and for adding meaning to the work they do.

The benefits of a great executive coaching program can even be felt for years to come since it can improve goal-setting (and achieving). That translates to more sales, more users and more customer satisfaction, depending on the business model or industry.

A successful executive coaching campaign can turn a mediocre company into a high-performing one that can attract the top talent in the future – thus creating a virtuous cycle. Success breeds success! And it can all start with a coach.

How do I find an executive coach?

Do you like the sound of executive coaching? Do you know of a company (whether it’s your own or someone else’s) that could benefit from a professional, outside perspective?

You’re in luck! These days, finding a coach that fits your needs and is within your budget is easier than ever. 

With the help of virtual technologies, you can connect with an executive coach in a matter of minutes. You can browse costs, programs, experience, reviews and testimonials with a few pushes of a button.

While there are some benefits of working with a nearby coach who can work at a close level with your business, it’s still completely possible to get many of the same benefits through virtual technologies. Many coaches have their own website for you to check out. Or, you can use a dedicated coaching platform to search through a coaching community and find one that’s best for you.

Once you match, you can work with a coach through email, teleconferencing and video technologies to get the most from their services.

So why wait? An executive coach is out there waiting to help your company. It could be your next (and most important) step to growing as a leader or improving your company.

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