Executive Coaching Leads to Positive Results
Clients new to executive coaching enter the initial meetings with varying expectations. They likely have had mentors before, and many expect that coaching will be similar. They quickly realize it isn’t.
Mentors usually have professional or business experience that the coaching client can benefit from by asking for insights or advice after sharing more about their situation. Executive coaches may or may not be from the same profession or industry as the client. Coaches guide clients through a process that motivates them to develop their own action plans based on their articulated coaching goals.
I had a client who wanted to work on being more strategic. He was perceived as being more tactical than strategic and too much in the weeds on details, as opposed to driving strategy. He wanted to change this perception for greater career opportunities. In one of our first sessions, he asked me for books or articles that I recommended he read. I could have provided these, but, as his coach, I wanted him to act and learn on this coaching goal. His homework prior to the next session was to do a search for resources on how to move from tactical to strategic, summarize his findings, and state the top two or three actions he would commit to taking toward his goal of becoming more strategic.
I was blown away when, two weeks later, he presented his findings in a presentation format, complete with his analysis and top three action commitments. Based on his dedication to work through various coaching sessions, assignments, and challenges over the next six months, he was able to demonstrate his strategic side to others at his company. Within a year, he received a new position. He credited the coaching experience, along with his focus on making the necessary adjustments and improvements, to achieving this new opportunity.
Organizations invest in executive coaching because they’ve seen that it achieves positive results. They continue to make executive coaching available when tangible evidence shows that their investment has had a positive ROI. Executive coaching is far more intensive than sending people to a seminar or class. More personal introspection takes place, along with candid feedback and questions that have the client really think through and explore their values, purpose, and how they want to be perceived, not just what goals they wish to accomplish.
Clients benefit from executive coaching by receiving new insights from various assessment tools, along with 360 feedback. Executive coaches partner with clients in a process that inspires and challenges them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
What are organizations experiencing with coaching? The 2017 ICF Global Consumer Awareness Study by ICF and PwC was a comprehensive global study of 30 countries with more than 27,000 completed surveys. The top five impacts reported as a result of coaching from the overall responses included: Improved communication skills, increased self-esteem/self-confidence, increased productivity, optimized individual/teamwork performance and improved work/life balance.
Results like this drive positive business performance, aid in employee retention and engagement, and reinforce with coaching clients the significant investment being made in their development.
An essential outcome of coaching is getting the client to act and move forward. The client may have great ideas, but without action these thoughts won’t develop into reality. A key role served by the coach is working with the client to more thoroughly explore alternatives and perspectives in context of the coaching engagement goals. The client chooses how to proceed relative to these objectives. Once the client decides on action, the coach serves as an accountability partner who makes sure commitments are made and outcomes are pursued and achieved.
How can coaching help you act on your goals, be accountable and achieve success?
This post is an excerpt from the book, Accelerating Leadership, co-authored by Lance Hazzard and Eric T. Hicks, Ph.D., published in June 2019. More information can be found at www.acceleratingleadershipbook.com
Lance Hazzard, CPCC, ACC, is a certified Intelligent Leadership Executive Coach helping people and organizations successfully achieve what’s next. He is Executive Coach and President at Oppnå® Executive & Achievement Coaching. Find out more about Lance and Oppnå® Coaching at www.oppnacoaching.com