I view Executive Coaching as a proactive leadership development process specifically designed for those executives looking to build on their current stable of leadership competencies. It includes a systematic process of assessment and development planning followed up by ongoing discussions around real-time business issues. Well-designed Executive Coaching engagements assist the coaching client in identifying and building on their leadership/management strengths while at the same time addressing those behaviors that may be limiting job performance.
How and why coaching works
Over the last two decades executive coaching has become a “go to” talent development tool generally perceived as an investment in valued executives. It is successful because it follows a natural maturational view of development. It imitates how people learn i.e. it focuses on a process over time rather than on one time learning events. In addition, it allows clients to pursue a highly personal, individually tailored program where they are able to layout clear objectives and action steps that will make them more effective in their jobs. They are able to do this while, at the same time, taking into account their backgrounds, work-styles, aptitudes, career aspirations, and managerial strengths and areas needing development.
As a result, coaching allows the coaching client to improve their decision making skills on a myriad of issues that over time reflect real behavior change…by making consistently better decisions over time as well as developing effective new habits and letting go of some non-productive old ones.
A unique vantage point that can help the coaching client grow
My background reflects extensive experience as a licensed psychologist in clinical practice (earlier in my career), a business owner and a senior practice manager within a large consulting business. Through the combination of these experiences, I’ve developed a broad skill set that is directly applicable to the executive coaching process.
Through my eclectic approach, I am able to understand and deal with those personal issues that underlie any real change and growth that a coaching client might need to pursue. I’m also able to translate those required behavior changes into business competencies that are the bedrock of professional development in today’s business world. Last, my background allows me to help individuals deal with self-awareness, conflict and communication issues that are inherent in most coaching challenges.
Who should consider an Executive Coaching Program?
Executive coaching is a helpful way to build on strengths and minimize weaknesses, thus helping someone grow and develop their leadership/management skill set. Executive coaching is especially useful when:
1. Senior management wants to offer an external coaching vehicle as a way to support an executive’s continued development as a manager and leader
2. An executive needs to increase self, interpersonal and political awareness
3. Support could be helpful to an executive who may not be maximally effective due to being overly aggressive and/or driving for results without regard for key stakeholder relationships
What should you expect from Executive Coaching – and what kind of outcomes might you anticipate?
In an executive coaching engagement, we would follow a program that (a) clarifies goals and objectives, (b) incorporates data gathering, feedback and planning and (c) builds on competencies through a series of coaching sessions. Common coaching programs last about 8 months representing 45 hours in contact meetings with the coaching client and their key stakeholders.
Each coaching program has specific goals and objectives, depending on the coaching client and his or her needs. Generally, anticipated outcomes may include:
1. Increase self-awareness and new insights about management style, interpersonal skills and executive thinking patterns that lead to enhanced effectiveness
2. Development of new competencies that enhance capacity for personal and organizational productivity
3. Identifying and changing any ineffective or inappropriate behaviors that may reflect “blind spots” in the coaching client’s awareness
4. Creating a system for sustained behavior change over the long term