Executive coaching is a popular form of coaching that is usually employed by organisations looking to enhance the capabilities and skills of C-suite employees, such as chief executive officers (CEO), chief financial officers (CFO), chief operating officers (COO), and chief information officers (CIO).
Like one-to-one leadership coaching, executive coaching helps people in C-suite roles develop their leadership skills and reach their professional goals. Coaching can also support executives in resolving conflict amongst their team, building trust with their people, and leading with a coaching style.
Whether you’re looking for an executive coach for yourself or someone in your organisation, it’s natural to question the benefits of executive coaching before signing up to work with an external team of coaches.
This blog outlines some of the most common benefits of executive coaching before answering some frequently asked questions.
What Are The Benefits of Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching is becoming increasingly popular as more and more business leaders realise the benefits of working with a coach. An executive coach can help you sharpen your skills, identify your blind spots, and reach your full potential.
If you're considering hiring an executive coach, you may be wondering what the benefits of coaching are. To support you, we share just a few below.
Enhanced Employee Satisfaction
Some people look for executive coaching after receiving constructive feedback from others in their organisation that highlights something they’re either not doing well or could be doing better. Popular topics on which we coach in this area include:
Strategic Focus versus Detail Focus
Empowerment and Distributed Leadership
Progressing through executive coaching can help you reflect on the feedback, review what you’ve been doing up until now, and determine how to move forward. As you begin implementing changes and learnings that an executive coach supports you with, you’ll notice a shift in views from the initial feedback. For example, your team might see you’re communication skills have improved, your team are taking ownership and accountability of their objectives, or you’ve been able to focus on producing the strategic plan over getting involved in the day-to-day tasks that were consuming your time.
As your colleagues see that you’re taking their feedback on board and working to overcome any obstacles, they’ll notice how committed you are to improving your leadership skills. In turn, their satisfaction in the workplace could increase, leading to greater productivity levels and trust across the whole company.
Better Collaboration in the Workplace
How we collaborate with our team members, peers, and stakeholders can have a huge impact on the success of our organisation. When we collaborate well with those in the wider organisation, we can create innovative solutions, tap into other people’s expertise, and benefit from the different perspectives of people. In coaching, we’ll often hear people opening up about their relationships with peers and direct reports, and talking out loud about these is often the first step in improving communication and collaboration.
Successful collaboration is based on human interaction, and a leader will often work with their coach to increase their self-awareness and awareness of others to help them enhance those interactions. This helps evolve trust, understanding, and identify shared goals that help the organisation progress.
In contrast, when we find it challenging to collaborate with our peers, we may encounter higher conflict levels, reduced productivity and high-stress levels.
If you know collaborating with other people is something that you need to work on, executive coaching can support you.
Working with an executive coach can help you identify how to improve in this area. A coach can additionally provide feedback and different perspectives and help you identify how you can improve your collaboration within your team.
Enhanced Communication Skills
Another benefit of executive coaching is that you can learn new communication skills. Though most leaders think that they’re great at communicating, 91% of employees believe their leaders lack this skill.
When we can’t communicate effectively, we’re less likely to provide clear direction, inspire our teams, or ask powerful questions, which can all help us become better leaders.
A lack of communication in the workplace can also reduce trust, increase conflict among team members, and leave our people feeling frustrated and possibly looking to take their skills elsewhere.
As you work with a coach, you can identify any communication gaps and learn techniques to support you in communicating better. Your coach will help you by looking at key skills of communication and help you by holding a mirror up to the realities of your strengths and challenges in areas such as sharing a message clearly, as well as listening to others.
Increased Clarity and Perspective
In addition to increasing productivity, enhancing employee satisfaction, and improving communication skills, executive coaching offers clarity and perspective.
When working with an executive coach, you can step back and look at the bigger picture. Working with a coach will also encourage you to consider different perspectives before making a decision that impacts other people.
As you gain more clarity and perspective, your leadership skills will develop. You’ll find that you have more empathy for other people and better understand different opinions and the thoughts of those around you.
Frequently Asked Executive Coaching Questions
To support you in familiarising yourself with executive coaching and determining whether it’s something you or someone in your team may need, here are a few of our most frequently asked questions.
What’s the difference between executive coaching and leadership coaching?
Executive coaching and leadership coaching are quite similar. Both forms of coaching help coachees enhance their performance at work, skills, and relationships with others in the workplace. Many believe that executive coaching is only for those in C-suite roles, but this isn’t true. Executive coaching can be beneficial for anyone who leads a team of people.
Is executive coaching worth it?
If the client is genuinely interested in working to realise their potential, then yes, executive coaching is worth it. But we understand that if you’re yet to experience the power of coaching, you may question whether it’s worth the investment. This is especially true if you need to get stakeholders on board.
One of the most effective ways to measure coaching is to ask clients and their sponsors to rate the coaching at the start, middle and end of coaching. Here at The Leadership Coaches, we are proud to say that 100% of coachees report they have made progress towards their objectives through one-to-one executive coaching.
Research from the International Coaching Federation also shows that executive coaching increases return on investment.
The very many ‘hidden’ benefits of executive coaching are:
The impact on the person’s view of themselves and others.
The impact on work/life balance.
The ability to then use coaching as part of one’s own leadership toolkit.
Research shows that coaching helps leaders improve happiness at work, which contributes to a positive workplace and organisational culture.
How can I make the most of executive coaching?
Learning how to make the most of executive coaching is important to the coaching journey. In addition to being ready for coaching and open to the coaching process, at The Leadership Coaches, we recommend that coachees are honest with their coach, are open to challenge, are ready for feedback, are clear on the issues and areas they’d like support with and dedicate time to reflecting and turning learning into action.
From increasing employee satisfaction and retention to enhancing communication across the organisation, the benefits of executive coaching are far and wide. If you’re looking to find out more about executive coaching, you can read some of our other blogs on this topic here:
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At The Leadership Coaches, we are industry leaders when it comes to executive coaching. All of our coaches have a wealth of experience in coaching, with many of them specialising in executive coaching.