What is Executive Coaching? 

Have you ever sat at your desk, seeking that extra spark of motivation and commitment?  Having a sense of the next step in your career, but not knowing how to get there? 

Imagine how good it would feel to have a magic compass that would guide you. 

A device that helps you get from where you are now to where you want to get to. And if you are not 100% sure where you are going – it will help you find that too.

You can take it out of your pocket and check your progress, and know you are on track. 

That may sound far-fetched, a bit Harry Potterish, but in fact that is exactly what executive coaching is. 

A 2023 report on coaching trends noted that executives saw a 70% increase in performance after working with an executive coach.

How Do You Know You Need an Executive Coach?

Although everyone is different, often people seek help during periods of transition and growth – or lack of it, and other significant work related challenges. Some examples could be:

  • When taking up a new role e.g. a leadership role 
  • When changes in your company prompt you to future-proof your skills set
  • When your career has stalled
  • When your confidence or motivation are suffering as you strive to be successful. 

Ultimately, the right time is when the executive recognises they need support and a fresh perspective to accelerate their career and achieve greater success. 

An executive coach is the key to unlocking your full potential,  wherever you are on the career ladder. 

How to Choose the Right Executive Coach 

An important question. After all, if you are a traveller going to America, you don’t read a book on Thailand.  In short, you want to find an executive coach who has the knowledge and experience to help you. 

Choosing the right executive coach is crucial for maximising the effectiveness of the coaching relationship. Here are two top tips to help you:

  • Check out the coach’s credentials

Make sure they hold independent accreditation from reputable organisations such as the  International Authority for Professional Coaching & Mentoring (IAPC&M). And look for evidence of specialised training or certifications relevant to your industry and specific coaching needs.

  • Ask them for testimonials

To verify a coach’s skills, request testimonials from past clients or inquire about their success stories and track record of results. 

Consider scheduling an initial consultation to gauge compatibility and communication style. Ensure they are  a good fit for your personality and goals.

Explore reputable coaching directories such as the IAPC&M’s directory of accredited coaches, mentors and training providers, professional networks, or seek referrals from trusted colleagues and mentors. Online platforms like LinkedIn can also be a valuable resource for finding qualified coaches.

When selecting the right executive coach don’t skimp on the research. Be thorough, after all this is your career you are investing in. 

What Happens in an Executive Coaching Session? 

The words that best describe an executive coaching session are “tailored development”.  Which, in short means, preparing you for leadership roles. 

Your coach is helping you develop the skills, confidence and clarity so you can progress your career. 

Sessions usually begin with establishing a clear agenda based on the executive’s goals and challenges. Together you will explore strengths and agree areas for improvement. So begins the reflective conversation. 

You want to become self-aware and gain insight. To support you in this your coach will use powerful questioning techniques. They also use tools like 360-degree feedback or personality assessments. 

Moving on from this comes action planning. This is a critical component. 

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” – Pablo Picasso

The plan guides executives by setting specific, actionable goals, and throughout the process, coaches provide support and accountability. 

It’s a critical path that the coach navigates with their coachee. Empowering them on their developmental path towards leadership effectiveness. The executive achieves maximum benefit by being open, honest and fully committed. 

Conclusion 

Executive coaching is a pathway (maybe the yellow brick road?) to professional growth. It develops your potential and accelerates your career trajectory. 

By partnering with the right coach, you access a reservoir of insight and strategic acumen that helps you grow in skills and strength. As a result, you can confidently navigate challenges and seize opportunities.

We all have greatness inside us, and when we actively seek to nurture and develop that greatness – success stops being just a matter of luck. 

Executive coaching is your secret weapon to becoming the successful leader you aspire to be.