What is Executive Coaching?

Your Ultimate Guide to Unlocking Leader Excellence.

Executive coaching has become a buzzword in the leadership domain nowadays. This surge in popularity has created momentum over the years for good reason. The stigma that coaching was only for 'underperformers' has changed and companies and senior leaders are now realising that every professional should focus on continual growth to stay effective and productive. Executive coaching isn't performance management, in fact, many coaches will support executives that are already generating good results, however, are looking to take their business development to the next level. 

With over 30 different psychological approaches to coaching, the definition of Executive coaching in itself is subjective, in that the individualised nature of the coaching process supports an array of outcomes. However, Coaching engagement allows targeted and skilled conversations with an expert coach to trigger long-term development curated by the individual. In other words, the coaching process essentially looks ahead to what can happen when the leader is empowered to uncover their own skills and develop an individual path to achieving their goals.

Executives effectively learn how to harness their own strengths (and their team’s) to increase productivity, performance, and a stronger execution on strategic imperatives. This challenges a common misconception that coaching is fixing, advising or telling you what to do within your own business environment--- a coach will not do any of these.

In our article Coaching vs Therapy, we go into the specific and common misconceptions of business coaching, elaborating further on the difference in support for personal development, leadership development and performance development.

"Coaching can create dramatic and quick results, unlike therapy which typically is a much longer approach. This approach will instil this type of thinking over the long-term which will assist the executive even after the coaching relationship has finished"- International Coaching Federation (ICF).


What is the purpose of Executive Coaching?

The business world is currently saturated with consulting programmes, advice columns and mentoring, so what makes executive coaching different and what is its purpose beyond the quick fix of a problem? Let's take a look.

Executive coaching has a wealth of purposes; from developing self-awareness to leveraging strengths, as well as creating the ability to overcome future challenges outside of the sounding board created by the coaching executive. It is important to outline that these benefits ultimately lie within the expertise, attributes and past experiences of the coaches. This is why choosing a coach with proven results and transparent testimonials will ensure a client is perfectly positioned to gain such benefits.

Here at Credible Coach, we vet every executive coach and personally speak to their previous clients to ensure that their references are detailed and can be trusted. So, assuming professionals or executives choose a reputable coach from us, what are some of the benefits to them? 

5 Benefits of Executive Coaching:

  • Confidential process and thinking space- coaching provides a perfect feedback loop of communication, celebrating executive’s freedom and transparency ensuring they feel valued and listened to. The executive coach facilitates guided conversations with complete discretion to guarantee confidentially for the client.
  • Empowerment and personal development- As an executive or manager progresses to senior positions within the organisation , they are less accustomed to receiving constructive feedback, limiting their  opportunities for self-development. The Process will strategically 'shine a light' on what the client does well and where they can improve by collecting qualitative and quantitative data. Typically, this includes self-assessment questionnaires and/or 360-degree questionnaires from the clients immediate colleagues, peers and other employees of the organisation.
  • Micro and Macro goal and target setting- Business coaching for executives provides success in keeping larger organisational goals and targets aligned. With the aim of keeping the team engaged and motivated, such objectives are broken down into smaller, more measurable aspirations  within the coaching process. This is imperative to ensuring all employees have a sense of responsibility and ownership towards the targets, verifying greater clarity and focus for performance success.
  • Improved productivity- With greater clarity, executives will come to realise that their perspective is subjective and has room for improvements. They will have a better overarching view of where their time needs to be spent, and where time has previously been used less resourcefully. This reflection on past methods, inhibited by the coach, promotes an equilibrium by cutting through entrenched behaviours and offering tools to better cope with challenging situations.
  • A customised approach- There are number of other pragmatic methods available for professional and managers to choose from to better develop their career, business or personal life. Yet, they not always applicable to the role. On the contrary, executive coaches steer away from a one size fits all approach, with a particular focus on tailored solutions for future developments.

Empirical studies have proven that executive coaches provide these strengths with 5 t0 7 times return on investment due to the nature of the process being exclusive and unique to the client. But, when is the right time to hire an executive coach? or who should be making this leap into development to secure these benefits?

Who needs an executive coach?

Here are a few instances:

  • A professional is at standstill with their growth strategy.
  • A new founder is feeling immense pressure to achieve instant success.
  • Existing leader tasked with transforming an organization’s strategy or culture into something that is unfamiliar.
  • A long-standing executive wishes to sharpen their knowledge after years in industry.
  • A high-potential employee identified for the next step forward.
  • Anyone looking to balance their work and home life.

With this list ever-expanding, it is no surprise that for years, CEO's of some of the worlds most famous companies have relied upon executive coaching.

Whilst these progressive CEO'S have used executive coaching within their career to develop companies with household names, the importance of coaching can also be seen on a smaller scale.

As an example, coaching for new CEO’s enables the executive to think through the building of the relationships with the board as well as ensuring the top management team are aligned with where they want to take the business.

Here are some of these results provided by previous clients who have used Credible Coach to find their coaching executive:

'Meetings are now more productive which has resulted in some new agreed business strategies being implemented that will eventually improve the organisation performance and its profitability'

'I was always sceptical about hiring an executive coach but it's the best decision I could have made for myself and my business.'

Find more success stories on our coaches pages

Despite these, for many professionals the idea of admitting to needing or wanting an executive coach still remains. Below is the Ultimate Guide to what to expect when first starting the coaching journey.

What to expect when you are expecting results.

As a client, the professional drives the coaching agenda whilst the coach confirms, clarifies and defines the program in a way that holds them accountable against their goals. With a large emphasis on communication and listening, the coach does not advise but simply demonstrates their belief in their client's personal ability and skills, creating a sense of partnership rather than a mentorship or consultancy. This belief that the answers to your questions or challenges reside within you maintains an element of self-control and kickstarts the self-belief momentum.

It goes without saying that the phrase 'you only get out of it what you put in' is applicable in coaching sessions. The coach has expectations of the client in order to build a professional relationship and work together before, during and after the process.

For example,

  • A level of commitment to personal evaluation and the discoveries from this.
  • Intolerance to receiving constructive feedback and support to develop this.
  • Courage to try out new behaviours, patterns of working or strategies.
  • Complete Ownership for own progress and achievements.

How much does an executive coach cost?

Executive coaching can range in cost depending on the coaches experience, qualifications, the services offered and the seniority of the client. 

The fees vary from £500 to £1475 for a two-hour session, with a mean average of £1110.

Working with C-level executives commonly requires a more educated coach who is more in demand, and requires them to spend more time familiarizing themselves with various aspects of the client’s company to tailor their support. These executives also tend to be more limited in when they can meet with the coach, placing greater demands on the coach’s schedule and flexibility.

How can Credible Coach help?

At Credible Coach, we vet every coach and personally speak to their previous clients to ensure that their testimonials are detailed and can be trusted. Due to the personal and confidential nature of coaching, most senior clients won’t want to go “on the record”. Our promise is that every anonymous testimonial on a coaches page is authentic and can be trusted. To get your free custom coach match, click here

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