Coaching has been widely recognized as a tool to create peak performers. Hiring a coach was more or less a rare thing some twenty years ago, but now it has become very common to hire an executive coach when you have bigger goals for life. As per a survey conducted in 2004, it was observed that 86% of companies used coaching as a tool to sharpen the skills of individuals who have been identified as future organizational leaders.
According to the International Coaching Federation (ICF), coaching is a form of development in which the coach ‘partners with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’
Executive coaching is a step ahead in which a qualified professional works with executives or high potential employees of an organization to help them achieve peak performance and reach their development objectives. It is not the same as a therapist or consultant, although some coaches have a background of working as a consultant or therapist. They help the client to gain self-awareness, clarify goals and unlock their hidden potential. They do not give pieces of advice. Instead they encourage their clients to solve their own problems.
Let us analyze in detail what an executive coach does and how they play a role in making individuals high performers.
- An executive coach helps to gain better clarity about oneself
Although it sounds simple, it is not. Many of us do not see ourselves clearly, which may prevent us from achieving our peak performance. A high degree of self-awareness is a quality often associated with high performing leaders. The self-awareness of leaders will reflect on organizational effectiveness and profitability. Moreover, employees would prefer to work with leaders who have better clarity of themselves.
An executive coach will help clients build skills to see themselves more clearly and encourage questioning the assumptions about themselves. The coach will try to collect inputs about you and others and share it with you. Sometimes they gather information from various sources on your key strength and growth areas. They will share his or her perceptions about you and what people around you think about you based on your interactions with others. In conclusion, an executive coach will help you see yourself more clearly and help to identify areas that you need to grow.
- An executive coach helps you to have better clarity of others
It is a common thing that leaders often face problems because they fail to assess people around them. Sometimes they lose highly efficient employees because they fail to recognize their potential and support their capabilities. Sometimes they continue to promote poor performers repeatedly. By underestimating or overestimating people around them, leaders may run into problems in their professional and personal lives. If they fail to notice the impact it may affect their career success.
An executive coach will not only help you to have a better idea about yourself but also have a more accurate assessment of others. If your coach is good and insightful, they will have more neutral and accurate insights about those around you, they will share those understandings with you, and they will encourage you to apply the same skills and techniques you employ to have a better idea about yourself to understand others. The major goal of a professional coach is to make the client more independent. Hence, they equip you with skills to have a realistic perception about yourself and others.
- An executive coach empowers people to address challenges in their personal and professional life more clearly
A truly professional coach works with the individual to dig deep into the blind spots that block them from reaching peak performance and cultivating new perspectives that lead to success on a sustainable level. The coach will help to lay the foundation to find a greater balance and lead a fulfilling life. Thus, a professional coach will focus on facilitating long term results for the client.
Through a transformative coaching engagement, the coach will leverage methodologies to empower people to look holistically to their energy and mental programming to assess their goals and ambitions. Many times, the individual will have shadowed fears which he/she might not be not aware of hence it remains unaddressed and hinder their road to peak performance. In short, the coach will help the individual to see the goals and challenges from another perspective.
- An executive coach help individual to become a new and better version of themselves
An executive coach opens up opportunities for clients to enhance their leadership abilities, engagement levels, and business performance. Therefore they become capable of making a greater impact in the areas of life that they value most. The coach uses their professional skill set of coaching to unfold the client’s hidden potential. Not only do they become capable of climbing ladders of success in their professional life but will also be able to balance their personal wellness. In other words, they become a better version of themselves when they work dedicatedly with a professional coach.
- An executive coach helps the client to shift their mindset and inspire others to grow.
For most of us, we will have a set of skills and capabilities to help us reach a certain level, but not to a higher level than that. An individual who works on a leadership role should have skills to brings the team together and ensure they all work in sync to achieve priority goals. A coach will help the individual to recognize how the person’s ability to inspire and direct the team will lead to overall success in their job role. With the help of a coach, one can improve their skillset to inspire others to contribute to the overall success.
- An executive coach will help the individual identify existing strengths to reach higher goals.
An effective coach will help you to understand and leverage your core strengths which you may have hardly noticed. In other words, they will help you recognize the uniqueness and value of certain capabilities that you may not have known. Furthermore, the coach will help the individual to leverage these strengths for the betterment of oneself and the organization.
- An executive coach will help you to build more productive relationships.
Often we make judgments about people without knowing much about them. This is one reason why most of us fail to make an effective and productive relationship with people from diverse backgrounds. A good coach will encourage you to question the limiting assumptions you make about people. This lets you connect and build effective relationships with people of different backgrounds, races, gender, beliefs, etc. As a result, you will be able to understand and create productive relationships with different groups of people and thus enabling you to have a high performing team as well.
- An executive coach will bring the best out of you and help you reach your peak performance
The goal of an effective coaching engagement is to unfold the hidden potential and enable the individual to reach peak performance. A professional coach helps to improve your clarity about your goals and timelines and how capable you are to achieve those dreams. A coach is a powerful support system to reach your peak performance. They ask questions, challenge assumptions, help achieve clarity, open up resources, etc. The coach works as a neutral third party – someone who knows you very well and wants the best for you. A professional coach will encourage you to think in a multidimensional way and equip you with new skills to reach your goals.
What executive coaches won’t do
Coaching is all about helping you to achieve your future goals and is different from psychotherapy or mentoring. While therapy focuses on improving your mental health, coaching is about helping you reach your goals and realize your inner potential. Therapy is about helping you to heal while coaching is about reaching peak performance in life. An executive coach does not provide business advice or consulting service. They are not professionals who would solve the problems in any business. Generally, they do not provide direct advice on how to deal with the challenges but enable you to find solutions by unfolding your potential.
Working with a therapist has multiple benefits if you are someone who is looking forward to having a successful and fulfilling life. An executive coach works as a powerful catalyst for an individual to achieve their goals and reach peak performance in life. The coach can become your confidante whom you can share your problems and discuss priorities and challenges. They will have no biases towards you or your businesses. They provide a confidential and supportive sounding board for the clients. They help the client gain self-awareness and establish development goals.