In the past decade, the use of an executive coaching program within a business has exploded in popularity. Up until this point, they were fairly rare within the business sector, but the results they provide an organisation or individual have seen them become of the most widely used learning and development tools. And, this only continues to grow due to the simplicity and tailored approach this service offers.
However, not all coaching programs were created equally! Therefore, it’s vital you understand to look for when choosing the right one for you. In this blog post, we’ll be detailing how to do so to ensure you make a fully informed decision and select the appropriate program that will see you learn how to meet and exceed expectations.
What is an executive coaching program?
A program will usually span several months, typically between six and twelve. You’ll progress through the following stages, from an initial assessment to final review – each step bringing you closer to reaching your set objectives. The best executive coaching program will be tailored to suit your needs, should a coach appear to be following a certain, structured format you may want to re-evaluate the relationship and look to work with another tutor instead. So, what will the timeline look like?
#1 The initial assessment
The first meeting will see the coach and client participate in discussions to reveal the client’s background, understand their objectives and goals for coaching and gauge their level of engagement in the process.
A client will need to have an open mind and willingness to learn and develop for any executive coaching program to be successful. And in this meeting, the coach should access how effective a program will be for the client to ensure expectations are clear. It’s vitally important a coach emphasises the need for commitment and dedication to the process. They may even ask the client to complete an in-depth self-assessment to highlight the coachee’s motivations, strengths and weaknesses to build a detailed profile and understand whether or not a certain method will be beneficial.
#2 Coach assessment and feedback
The coach will then call upon a variety of different tools to assess the individual – discovering their behaviours, leadership styles and so on. This stage will help build the relationship between the coach and client and guide the focus of the program, aligning developmental needs with the client’s goals. Effective coaches will draw their own assessment of the individual; however, if possible within the organisation, they will also conduct research and gather information from other colleagues to create 360-degree feedback.
This step is invaluable and should not be rushed, the feedback gathered here will then be utilised to create the client’s actionable plan. A thorough assessment will guarantee the program is catered to the individual – potential pitfalls that may delay progress may be avoidable as the coach will have been able to foresee methods that will have little success.
#3 Planning and implementation
The next stage sees your coach creating an actionable plan to serve your development and growth – they’ll schedule regular catch-ups either in person or over the phone to continually monitor progression and to discuss any issues can be raised. The executive coaching program could focus on any of the following:
- Enhancing planning and strategic thinking
- Building and effectively leading teams
- Increasing self-awareness
- Finding clarity in a current role, or preparing for a promotion
- Strengthing key relationships or building new connections
And much more, dependent on your goals as an individual or business. The best coaches will be by your side every step of the way to offer support and guidance.
#4 Mid-point and final review
On top of regular calls and catch-ups, your coach may also schedule a more formal mid-point and final review. Halfway through your journey together, it’s crucial you evaluate what has been successful, where you currently are and how you’ll meet your end goal. The coach may ask the client questions such as:
- What do you think is working well and where can you see room for improvement?
- Is there anything you think we should be doing differently?
- Do you think we are on track to hit your goals?
The answers to these questions will assist the coach and client to identify new opportunities to ensure targets are met whether this is in the way of more support or changes to the development plan.
Once expectations have been met or exceeded, the reviews will tend to gradually roll down but a final session may be conducted to gather additional feedback, celebrate achievements and provide a conclusive report on the progress of the executive coaching program.
What should your expectations be?
As a client, you should expect your business coach to empower you, allowing you to overcome limiting beliefs and reach your professional goals whether that is as an individual or overall business. They’ll identify areas in which you may not have even considered – your blind spots as it were, and develop these to see you achieve your desired results. But, the question we are often asked, is what should you expect to see from your executive coaching program?
#1 Increased productivity levels and engagement
Your business coach can renew your focus and will help you prioritise your goals, ensuring you dedicate your time and effort in the right place. By doing so, you’ll be able to cut through any unnecessary tasks and improve your productivity levels – ultimately, ensuring your reach your objectives. In addition to renewing your purpose, a coach can also identify where you may be wasting your valuable time. Just because you’ve done something one way doesn’t mean it’s the most effective method! A task could be significantly simplified and you can engage more in the development of your business.
#2 A boost in confidence and greater self-awareness
Sometimes all you need is a little reassurance; guidance and support from a business coach you trust can do wonders for your confidence as a professional. They’ll work with you to develop areas you may have considered a weakness and by doing so, you’ll learn how to independently recognise where you can improve in the future. Coaching is not about instructing, instead, it’s about providing you with the tools to grow and analyse yourself, serving you long into the future.
#3 Greater job satisfaction and a better work-life balance
When you have a specific purpose and are following a dedicated plan to reach a particular end goal – one that you desire, you’ll feel more motivated to complete the tasks that will see you accomplish these. With a structured, actionable plan, you can also work with your coach to balance your work and life better. Overworking is a common pitfall for many and when you work with a coach, you can create a sense of harmony between the two but still rest assured that the job will be completed on time.
#4 Improved morale through effective communication and reporting
We’ve already touched on job satisfaction, but all those involved in your organisation may receive a boost in morale if they witness significant improvement. Development is key to loyalty and happy employees; a major downfall for many organisations is their lack of communication and reporting. A business coach has the expertise and experience to implement effective tools to boost both of these. Communication ensures your team stay in the loop, and reporting allows you to monitor and measure success – each plays a major role in the morale of your team.
As a business owner or professional, it’s easy to procrastinate and put things off but when you have someone to answer to, specifically when they are outside of your organisation, you feel obliged to take action and meet expected deadlines. Coaches cannot implement change themselves, it is up to you to take the steps and action specific tasks. Not only does this hold you accountable, but it also means you are more likely to keep to these changes long term, instead of trialling something as a short term fix.
#6 Improved organisation effectiveness and profitability
Finally, an executive coaching program will heighten your ability to time manage – and time is money! When you organise your business more effectively, you will have more time to look into new opportunities and areas of development. Ultimately, allowing you to reap the rewards of further profits!
With a customised program, a client will gain in-depth insight into their own personal behaviour, working style, practices, strengths and limitations. Coaching is different from instructing or teaching, instead the participant is required to identify their problems themselves and will learn how to apply an effective solution – transferable skills that will serve them into the future. Learner-led coaching has been proven to be more successful and coaching does just that, but it’s important the participant has a personalised program to follow to understand how they will progress over the course of this learning.
Are you in search of a professional business coach that will provide you with results? Do you want to see how together we could transform your business with a tailor-made program? Don’t delay. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete this contact form, and reach your full potential now.