What’s the Difference Between Working with a Career Coach and an Executive Coach?
Clients decide to work with a coach to improve their performance in various areas including, communication, building and maintaining relationships, improving leadership/ management style and managing conflict and challenges in the workplace. The right career coach or executive coach can work with you in any of these areas. The fundamental difference is that an executive coach has the skills and experience to work with clients that are senior directors or at c suite level, are highly competent and skilled and are already performing at a specialised level.
The executive coach will work with clients to develop self-awareness, precision decision making skills and an authentic leadership style. This type of deep coaching work can only be undertaken with clients who are exceling in the workplace and are currently in an executive position or are high potential staff members.
Executive Coaching is about Personal Development
Ongoing personal and professional development is essential for managers and leaders at all levels. For senior managers and executives finding the right and meaningful developmental option can be a challenge. Executive coaching offers a highly personalised form of learning that is individually targeted for optimum results.
Executive coaching can improve or maintain personal performance and have a substantial impact on organisational business results. Many executives start working with a coach with a specific goal in mind but then choose to continue working with the coach. Coaching provides a space where they are supported, they have a confidential sounding block and a time for independent reflection and contemplation.
Coaching approach is tailored to the client’s individual needs
The coaching approach has been so successful for individuals, team, businesses and organisations because it is tailored to the unique and individual needs of the client or clients. Coaching is a journey of self-discovery and learning that leads the client to successfully discover their true abilities and attain their long-term goals.
The coach is a trained professional that helps the client understand what is important for them and how they can shape the world around them so that they have balance and fulfillment in work and their personal life.
The ability to have a strong sense of self-awareness is an essential skill for any successful executive. Self-awareness is the ability to understand how you see yourself in the world, what your internal biases are, what your core beliefs are and understand the impact you have on other people, with practice this can become an inherent part of your personality.
Self- assurance is a feeling of pure confidence in your ability without bravado or ego. Self-assurance increases with increased self-awareness and makes you feel comfortable with who you are and how you present yourself to others. Self-assure leaders motivate and engage others through their authentic and equanimous leadership style.
Self-regulation is an integrated process that helps the client develop constructive behaviours to support the pursuit of personal goals. Self-regulation helps the client maintain momentum even when the level of perceived self-assurance may falter. Self- regulation is developed with reflection and increased self-awareness and helps the client to feel more in control of their current situation and how they can accomplish their goals.
Coaching facilitates change in relationships
Executive coaching helps the client build and maintain positive relationships through increased self-awareness. The client learns how to reflect on a situation and explore ways to manage similar future situations in a more emotionally intelligent way. Building self-awareness increases insight into other people’s behaviour, which enables a more compassionate and understanding response.
Executive coaching also helps clients reduce stress and improve time management so that the client has more time to engage with stakeholders, colleagues and employees. The ability to give undivided attention when engaging with others at work provides a connection for improved communication and respect.
Personal success and positive relationships are interconnected
When an executive improves relationships with the people at work it improves their experience and satisfaction in the workplace, and it improves the overall organisational culture. There is also a recognised interconnectedness between positive relationships at work and personal and organisational success.
Human relationships in organisations
Organisations are made up of a complex web of interpersonal human relationships. As an executive, how you navigate these interpersonal relationships sets the scene for a large part of the organisation you work for. Coaching helps the client understand these relationships and make positive changes so that they remain or become as functional as possible.
The major benefit of executive coaching is becoming an authentic leader. Coaching gives you the space to reflect and develop a leadership style that promotes your strengths and helps you create a vision for the future that inspires and motivates others.
Managing conflict is something all leaders have to undertake. Working with an executive coach can help you to identify possible conflict before it becomes critical, manage conversations and mediations so that a difference of opinion can be talked through in a productive manner and manage highly volatile conflict situations with ease and a calm leadership style.
Influence and power
Working with an executive coach helps you to understand and leverage from your power and ability to influence others. You will gain a deeper understating of the types of power in your organisation and understand what works well. You will also learn how to recognise indirect leaders and influencers and how to work most effectively with these people.
Benefits of Executive Coaching
Executive coaching has become increasingly more popular over the last 10 years, because of the results achieved in a short time period. The benefits can vary greatly depending on the client and the desired goals and outcome but some of the standard benefits can include
- Job satisfaction
- Empowered decision making
- Improved listening skills
- Improved communication
- Increase in productivity
- Modeling positive leadership style
- Increased social skills
- Increased confidence
- Stress reduction
- Improved mental resilience
- Increased motivation
- Work life balance
Working with an executive coach can helps you to work at a high performing level, maintain and building positive relationships, and manage stress and motivation so that you are always striving for new and innovative ways to business.