Coaching programs are not only intended for first-line employees or staff in a company, as a means for enhancing career growth, coaching can also be conducted to the executives or the senior management level employees. This is called executive coaching wherein the leaders of the organization also go through coaching sessions to continually enhance their effectiveness in the workplace. The company usually sponsors the coaching sessions to their executives and management level employees by hiring a professional executive coach. It is important for company executives to take a refresher of their scope of work and take stock of their skills.
The elements of executive coaching are not the same as that of the coaching conducted to the staff members. This type of coaching involves higher concepts of continuous learning, exposure to new ideas in business management, and topics on how to maintain enthusiasm at the job. In addition, skills enhancement is also covered. These management skills include leadership and organizational abilities, social and communication skills, analytical skills, and innovative thinking capabilities.
Executive Coaching Sessions
Conducting coaching to the executive level employees may be done in two ways: one-on-one coaching and group coaching session. The executive coach decides which of the two approaches is more appropriate to the situation.
In an individual executive coaching, the coach will choose topics or the subject matter that is suitable to the needs of the executive’s scope of work and responsibilities. For instance, if the trainee is a Human Resource manager, the coach will focus on interpersonal and people management skills. The coach can also include a topic on employee relation strategies.
In a group coaching session, the members may be composed of executives from the same company or company executives of the same industry. In this setting, the coaching session is conducted similar to a workshop, seminar, or a conference.
The duration of the coaching sessions will depend on the coach. The executive coach will plot the sessions and schedule them either over a weekend or a whole week. The coaching sessions may be conducted within the workplace or can be outside the workplace as part of professional activities such as a conference or a seminar.
Characteristics of an Executive Coach
The executive coach who will primarily handle the coaching sessions has to be a professional trainer and seasoned expert in coaching, a professional who specializes in working with the executives and management employees for optimum performance and outstanding leadership potential. This person is usually outsourced by the company; someone who is hired to conduct executive coaching sessions to various companies.
The executive coach is expected to be a high-performing and highly effective coaching expert. The following qualities of an executive coach are ideal:
- Excellent organizational skills
- Ability to communicate information with ease
- Has a great deal of enthusiasm and interest towards the subject matter
- Has a high level of knowledge and experience on the subject matter
- Solid exposure to business management and corporate setting
- Good understanding of the executive and management level job
- Broad knowledge of management and leadership development
- Familiarity of the dynamics of organizations and communities
Benefits of Executive Coaching
An organization that uses executive coaching as a means of empowering its top management all the more finds success an easy goal to reach. Coaching the company executives benefits them in several ways, particularly in terms of:
- Being in control instead of being controlled
- Increasing professional competencies
- Developing personal effectiveness
- Developing a flexible management and leadership style
- Gaining high level of trust, respect and loyalty from the staff
- Improving communication skills
- Becoming aligned with organizational objectives
- Setting clear expectations and learning how to give effective feedback
- Becoming a coach themselves
For companies that support and sponsor executive coaching to their senior management people, a great deal of advantages and benefits will be gained. Executive coaching will contribute to the success of the company in terms of developing strategic company goals, business processes and succession planning. Moreover, these executives will be applying the coaching styles, tools and techniques from their sessions to the coaching activities with their members. They can even help to enhance the existing coaching program of the company.