As individuals, we all have our own styles of being and our roles also influence who we are. Individuals cannot be perfect, but teams can be.
What is Executive Coaching?
At some point in your career, you may have an opportunity to consider hiring an executive coach. This high-level coaching provides a great opportunity for professional development, but it may or may not be familiar to you.
You may be more familiar with Mentoring? There is a place for a Mentor when you start a new role and need an expert to guide you. When you had one, you probably realised that you already knew a lot of what they were telling you?
How would it be for you to instead have someone who appreciates this and helps you unlock what you know you need to do to establish and achieve your goals?
Who hires Executive Coaches?
Nowadays, most companies hire executive coaches as a way to invest in their top executives and high potentials. Companies used to hire executive coaches to come in and fix broken executives. It’s no longer a stigma to have a coach; it’s a status symbol. And yes, coaches are still hired to correct behavioural issues and help leaders resolve interpersonal conflicts.
What the typical coaching process looks like
While there are many variations, executive coaching usually involves a series of phases, starting with intake, assessment, goal setting, and development planning.
It then progresses through the development plan with periodic check-ins with the executive’s manager.
The process is over when the development goals are achieved, or when the coach or coachee decides that it is time to draw it to a close.
The typical duration of a coaching engagement is three to twelve months, depending on the frequency of coaching sessions and what is to be achieved.
The Confidentiality of Executive Coaching
Conversations between a coach and their pupil are completely confidential. If an organisation is paying for the coaching services, they may receive periodic status updates (dates, milestones achieved, etc.), but nothing else is shared without the participant’s permission.
Where Executive Coaching happens
Face-to-face is ideal, given that so much of communication is non-verbal and face time helps in building rapport initially. It’s becoming more common to coach virtually over the phone or via video chat on platforms such as Skype and Zoom.
How much does Executive Coaching cost?
Coaching is a $3 billion-per-year industry worldwide, and, as the Harvard Business Review estimated, the median rate for an executive coach is $500 an hour. However, often it is much less and paying a lower fee does not necessarily mean a lower quality.
Many coaches will charge for a six- or 12-month engagement. I work on the basis of a minimum of six sessions because this achieves momentum and much higher and long-lasting results.
Sessions can be 50 minutes weekly or every ten days, or 90 mins fortnightly or monthly.
When not to hire an Executive Coach
An executive or manager should not hire a coach if: –
– they don’t believe they need coaching, are not interested in feedback, and don’t believe they need to change (or don’t want to)
– they are looking for business advice or consulting, i.e., someone to solve their problem for them. (I do provide Consultancy Services on a different basis to Executive Coaching)
– executive coaching is only a last-ditch “Hail Mary”— a token attempt to fix a failing executive who is already on their way out the door
– the executive is not at the appropriate level in the organisation to justify the expense of coaching
– the executive’s manager is not supporting the executive in their development (coaching should not be simply a way to outsource challenges)
If your organisation makes coaching available to managers, it’s definitely worth your while to give it a try. It may help you develop your managerial skills in ways you never thought possible.