What is Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching aims to improve the performance of high-powered executives within an organization and is similar to sports coaching for high-performance athletes. The coach's role is to expose blind spots and challenge the executive to achieve greater levels of success.
Every day, hundreds of executives seek the support and counsel of an independent third-party executive or leadership coaches - often referred to as thinking partners. Unlike middle managers or front-line staff, executives are in a unique position at the top of their organization.
The benefits experienced by the executives vary depending on the focus of the coaching engagement. Some of the common benefits experienced by the individual include:
The benefits of coaching depend on the type of organization and the desired outcome of the coaching. In the case of executive coaching, the company benefits if the executive’s performance is improved by more than the coaching PLUS's cost any additional improvements experienced throughout the organization based on the executive's performance.
Let’s say, for example, an executive earns $100,000, and the company invests $10,000 per year for their coaching. Can the coaching improve the executive’s performance by 10%, an amount equal to the investment? And what are the multiple effects? If the executive manages 10 people, how much of their performance is affected by executive coaching? Ideally, there will be benefits throughout the organization, and the return on investment will be much greater than 100%.
According to the International Coach Federation Global Coaching Study performed in 2009, the median company return was reported to be 700%, with almost one-fifth of respondents reporting an ROI of at least 50 times (5000%) the initial investment.
Of course, some results are more "tangible" than others and are easier to translate into a monetary value or bottom-line impact. Of course, that doesn't mean that the tangible benefits outweigh the intangible in terms of importance. In fact, intangible changes in the client's behavior can often have a wide-ranging impact than, or may actually lead to, the more tangible benefits of coaching.
A common misconception about executive coaches they are business experts. While many executive coaches possess extensive business knowledge and experience, they need not be experts in your business line to deliver quality coaching services. A commonly held belief among coaches is that you, the coachee, are your business expert.
As a result, many executives use their coach as a sounding board, a thinking partner, and an independent third-party who helps them stay focused on the most important business parts. In coaching, the learning and the change that people experience are much more impactful and sustainable when the coachee has come up with it on their own – when they discover it from within.