An executive coach is someone who excels in helping an executive effectively deal with stress and increase your overall leadership performance. There are actually several levels of executive coaching: The first level is when you simply want help improving your performance on the job. In this case, you might need a simple course correction or a quick tutorial on how to do something right. However, if you have already been found to be doing things incorrectly, the coach will work with you to help make those mistakes correct, and then teach you how to do them again. At this point, it’s basically a case of taking the executive coaching further to helping you learn how to create a better work environment so that you can be more productive and effective in getting the job done.
The second form of executive coaching is where you have identified a leadership deficit. In this case, there’s probably something going on internally which is keeping you from being as effective as you could be. As a result, your own leadership skills are probably not up to par. In this case, the coach would be able to help you develop your skills.
Yet another example of an executive coaching session might be something more substantial. If you’re dealing with external obstacles such as low morale or poor performance reviews, your own leadership skills might just be lacking. In this case, your coach can be invaluable. He or she will be able to help you identify where you might be weak, offer you strategies to address those issues, and help you develop the new executive skills you’ll need to succeed.
Executive coaching leadership style one, as you’ll come to understand very quickly, is a more hands-on approach. This type of leadership style involves a more direct interaction between the coach and the client. The client sits in a chair, or sometimes even on a sofa, and the coach works with him or her through a series of exercises designed to identify his or her high potential, problem areas, and possible solutions. Often, this type of executive coaching requires the coach and the client to meet in a quiet, private space.
Executive coaching leadership style two is less hands on than the first, but it still has a strong presence. It involves an equally close relationship between the leader and the follower, and often involves at least some supervision by the leader. This leadership style focuses on developing a set of “soft skills,” which are non-verbal communication skills. Those soft skills include positive self-talk, an ability to listen to what the client has to say, an ability to communicate clearly, an ability to lead, and a willingness to put others needs before ones own.
That’s right, there aren’t any executive gurus out there that have all the answers to give you sound advice about how to become an effective leader, but there are plenty of wise coaches out there that can offer you a great deal of insight into how to become a more effective executive. Some of these coaches are executive coaches, and some are hiring executive coaches to work with their clients. Whichever path you choose, remember that a good coach can help you to become a better leader in a variety of ways, and also helps to foster communication among your team. They can be a gitterman, a sounding board, and a life coach all in one!