Executive Coaching is Leadership Coaching
Paramount Potentials has provided executive coaching, though I prefer to call it leadership coaching because you don’t have to be an executive to benefit from the process, since we first offered leadership development programs in 1993. And yet, I’m guessing the concept of coaching a leader in an organization is not so familiar to most managers. For that reason, I’d like to address questions I’ve been asked over the years in regards to leadership coaching to help you better understand the value of coaching and how it can benefit you. Let’s start with,
What’s Leadership Coaching?
Leadership coaching is a private meeting between a certified executive coach and an individual who holds a management position. The type of management position can be classified as supervisor, manager, director, vice president, or any c-suite position. Since the majority of coaching services are purchased by a business for their leaders and not by an individual, the coach is always a non-bias, third party to the organization.
Usually, the duration of the coaching session is an hour with consecutive sessions being scheduled anywhere from weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly. The amount of sessions in the coaching process usually ranges from three-twelve sessions and is dependent on the client’s expectations. The sessions take place at the leader’s worksite in either an unoccupied office or small conference room.
The content to be discussed and explored during a coaching session can cover the gamut of leadership challenges, styles and approaches, tendencies and personality differences, current or past conflicts, successes and mistakes, growth and career opportunities, difficult decisions, trust and empowerment, and anything to do with how one’s behavior is impacting their ability to be an effective leader.
Who Benefits From Using an Executive Coach?
Anyone in a leadership role can benefit from an executive coach, but the key stipulation of benefitting from coaching lies in the leader’s ability to self-reflect. Self-reflection is simply defined as “serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives.” To benefit from coaching, you have to be able to admit you have weaknesses, characteristics about yourself that negatively impact others and your ability to lead effectively. So the only time a person doesn’t benefit from coaching is when they are unable to honestly look inside and instead tend to project blame on others instead of taking responsibility for their part in the play.
What Should I look for When Choosing an Executive Coach?
First of all, make sure the coach you select has the credentials from an accredited executive coaching institute. Coaching credentials behind the coach’s name tend to be C.E.C. for Certified Executive Coach, P.C.C for Professional Certified Coach, M.C.C. for Master Certified Coach, or C.P.C. for Certified Professional Coach. Second, inquire into how seasoned the coach is and to whether they have coached others in your industry, job title, or level in the past. Also, inquire into certain methodologies they practice and how they stay current in their field of study. Last, attempt to meet them face-to-face if at all possible or via video conferencing instead of the phone to get a feel for compatibility.
What’s the Executive Coach’s Responsibility?
Besides being dependable, showing up for the sessions, and delivering on any session preparation or follow-up, such as sending an article, a coach’s primary responsibility is to guide and help you develop the ability to have insight into the challenges that you face and to facilitate your choosing of new behaviors and approaches that get you better results.
What’s My Responsibility?
First, be vulnerable! Be willing to look at your past behaviors via objective leadership and personality assessments and candid feedback from people who know you well. Second, set goals and make commitments to yourself to change what you have control over. Last, use your sessions to the fullest to process anything that is bothering you related to effective leadership and continue to measure progress.
What Information about Me is utilized during Coaching?
Most coaching programs incorporate a Leadership 360-feedback assessment that measures well-researched leadership competencies. The 360 survey is given to direct reports, peers, boss’s, and even customers who provide a rating and comments related to those leadership competencies. In addition, a personality assessment and sometimes an emotional intelligence assessment are completed by the leader being coached. In addition, the leader being coached may want to share additional information, such as their last performance review or other assessments or feedback tools that they have participated in in the past.
Is Leadership Coaching Confidential?
Yes! There are ethical guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA) that deems all types of professional counseling, which includes leadership coaching, is CONFIDENTIAL and deemed as developmental unless otherwise defined in the agreement with the client at the onset of the purchased service. For instance, occasionally a coach is hired as the last intervention prior to a termination, but the leader being coached in this situation is well aware of this fact, so the coach will have to disclose if progress to mitigate the corrective action is successful or not. So a coach is bound by the APA ethics code and cannot release coaching information on their client/leader being coached.
I hope I have answered your questions about coaching in this brief overview and helped you to see the value of coaching. The possibilities for growth and improvement are endless! If you have any other questions, please reach out to us. We’d be happy to explore the topic with you.