If you're wondering whether executive coaching is right for you, you've come to the right place. Today, we're going to break down exactly who needs executive coaching, and the different ways it can help you or the executives on your team become better at what they do.
You might be thinking to yourself, I don't think my team needs executive coaching - we're killing it right now!
It's a common misconception that you only need executive coaching when things are running smooth. In fact, this may be the very best time to seek out an executive coach - so that growth doesn't have to stop.
Before we explain who exactly can benefit from executive coaches, we're going to give a quick explanation of what executive coaching consists of.
Executive coaching is exactly what it sounds like - a coach will work with your executive(s) on improving their weaknesses, and honing in on their strengths.
Whether they're rising up to a new and increased role, or you believe they've become stagnant - you can always find a reason to invest in your people, as they are what make you and your organization great.
Because your executives are primarily responsible for leading their teams and hitting their metrics, leadership development is a huge aspect of any executive coaching program.
This type of coaching is not "one size fits all" because every leader needs help in different areas. With that said, there are a few things that remain true across most coaching programs.
An executive coach will help one improve their people skills, communication, critical thinking, and decisiveness.
It sounds pretty vague, but it's true - a proper executive coach will just plain make you better at what you do.
In the past, people were hesitant to get coaches - there was a stigma associated with it, and people who received coaching or guidance was seen as "less than" or "not good enough".
Thankfully, that has been put to rest - the best in the world all have their own coaches - from the leading athletes (like Tiger Woods) to working professionals at industry leaders (like Microsoft) - coaching is now seen as a huge advantage.
Those who are lucky enough to work with an executive coach should see it as a blessing - your organization feels you are a valuable enough asset that they want to ensure you have all the help you need to meet your potential.
We just said that anyone who's fortunate enough to work with an executive coach should count their lucky stars - but the executive themself isn't the only benefiting party.
In fact, everyone wins with executive coaching! The teams your executive leads will benefit from their enhanced skills & abilities. In turn, you - the owner, CEO, etc. - benefit too.
Because you invested in your people, you'll quickly see a return. The executive you've gotten training for will be able to better disseminate information and work within their teams, and efficiency & morale will skyrocket.
You'll notice a ripple effect that trickles throughout your organization after upper-level management received coaching.
The effects will be felt throughout, and you'll have effectively instilled a learning culture that leads to every individual wanting to get better.
This is something you really can't put a price tag on as a business owner or CEO.
Part of the reason your executives need a coach is that they oftentimes are unaware of the impact they have on your organization.
This becomes more and more true as you rise from junior executives to senior executives - coaches are essential at every step of the way, but even more so the higher up they rise.
To prevent your executive from putting undue stress on themselves, they need to work with a proper coach. This will expand their ability to take in information from their subordinates and build confidence & capability at the next level down.
The better the leader, the better the team - it's that simple.
Now, exactly which key employees in your business can benefit from this - exactly who needs an executive coach?
Should all of your executives get trained? Just those who lead large enough teams?
This will obviously vary from organization to organization, but here are some recommendations based on what we've seen in our years of operation:
These are all groups that can benefit from leadership coaching and development - but how do you identify which specific individuals need coaching the most?
Everyone's first instinct is to find coaching for whoever is struggling the most in their organization. Sure, this is a good start - and you definitely need to get help for those individuals, or replace them with someone more qualified if you believe it's too tall an order.
To really understand who can benefit from this type of coaching, there are a few specific areas you can look to enhance in an individual - we feel these do a really good job of encompassing who can benefit from coaching.
Self-awareness is a very important trait for any leader - and it's pretty difficult to teach. But, proper executive coaching can really help with self-awareness.
An increased sense of awareness will increase your executive's ability to empathize and understand the team they lead - as they can better position themselves in their team's shoes.
Furthermore, an executive needs to be able to tell you exactly where they feel their weaknesses lie - this takes a level of awareness that only targeted coaching can provide, oftentimes.
If you have a talented, high-potential employee rising up the ranks, it'll be no time before they're put in front of a team.
There, they'll be asked to delegate, disseminate information and receive feedback, and effectively lead. The problem with this is that just because a high potential employee has exceeded expectations and outperformed their peers to get what they are, doesn't mean they have the skills it takes to lead!
An actual leadership training program is an entirely separate discussion, but you will find some elements of leadership training in any executive coach's toolbox.
These high potential employees also need help managing the increased workload they're going to take on - they'll be responsible for tasks of their own, along with the entire team they're responsible for - this balancing act is foreign to many.
With an experienced leadership coach, your high potential employees will be guided through this new role, and you'll be able to ensure the transition is smooth and successful.
If your new manager is now leading a group of people who were once his/her peers, then having a coach guide them on this journey is going to be even more important.
If you have a technical expert who is quickly taking on increased responsibilities, it's imperative that you get them an executive coach to help them improve their communication.
This expert in your organization - whether they're a developer, engineer, or any other complicated profession - knows how to do their job exceptionally well, and they can communicate using the proper terminology around their peers.
But what if they need to speak to shareholders?
Or communicate with leaders of other teams?
One of the more prominent instances of executive coaching we see is to help someone get better at communicating. The act of "dumbing it down" is truly an art - especially as the discussion gets more and more technical.
It would be great if the process were as simple as hiring an executive coach and watching your organization flourish - but unfortunately, it's not.
The executive you are hoping to coach has to be willing to work with a coach in the first place. If they aren't receptive to change or being given an outside perspective, the relationship won't prosper, and you won't see the changes you're hoping to see.
This is why it's important to reserve an executive coach only for those who you believe can take criticism and adjust. They should be eager to start working with a coach.
If you find that your employee is not an ideal candidate for coaching, it will lead to other difficult questions and conversations you need to have.
If they can't be coached, do you truly want them leading your teams - or in your organization in the first place? Don't waste any time or business resources on those who don't deserve them!
If you're ready to find an executive coach for your team, you are likely doing a ton of vetting to find the right one. While coaching is on the rise, it seems tougher than ever to find one that fits your culture and needs.
Executive coaching at Sigmoid Curve is a no-brainer investment in your business. We work with your chief executives, senior executives, or anyone who's responsible for leading a team.
Our end goal is always the same - to help these individuals influence successful outcomes - no matter what it is.
The biggest hurdle executives face today, in our opinion, is getting the most out of their team. By optimizing the way in which your executives work within their teams, you'll get the most out of your employees down the ladder, and everyone will get better at what they do.
Don't make the mistake of delaying - start talking with coaches today and see if they're a good fit for what you need.
The longer you wait, the longer it will be until your business is transformed into a lean machine that operates smoothly and efficiently.
Executive coaching vs mentoring - which of these is right for you and your team? You already know your people are your most valuable resource - which is why you want to invest in them and help them grow. But should you go with an executive coach or a mentor? What are the differences between mentoring and coaching?
Before you hire an executive coach, you need to be well aware of what it takes to truly see a return on the investment. There are some best practices you must follow when working with an executive coach to get the most bang for your buck - which is important if you're allocating business funds towards this.