Distinguishing Executive Coaching from Consulting
There is much confusion about what Executive Coaching is – and isn’t. Many consulting firms have simply gone through their marketing materials and changed the word “consulting” to “coaching.” For many in the business world, that sums up what they perceive Coaching to be, a new word for consulting.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!
Executive Coaching IS NOT about giving advice or consulting. It is not about mentoring. It is not about “helping” others by providing solutions to problems.
Executive Coaching helps create stronger and more productive people that are more valuable to an organization.
While some coaching can appear to be ethereal and too “out there” for companies, that is a much different type of coaching (Life Coaching). There is a distinct form of Executive Coaching that is used in the corporate environment. It is directly tied to personal improvement and increased productivity that in turn pays off handsomely for the organization.
Executive Coaching does not “fix” people. It is rare that coaching can be deployed to “fix” those that deem to be in need of a quick change by their manager.
Executive Coaching can provide dramatic short term impact for companies. But the reality is that it will take from 6-12 months of quality coaching to manifest sustainable changes. Those that tell you that it can be done quicker are selling themselves rather than sharing a reality.
Executive Coaching is about individual planning, goal setting, and achievement in the context of leadership performance. It’s also about personal discovery and enlightenment. It is about realizing one’s full potential, which in turn, benefits the organization.
- Increase engagement
- Reduce turnover
- Increase personal productivity
- Increase job satisfaction
- Help attract higher caliber talent
- Reduce job related stress
- Provide a sounding board for executives
- Increase the value of the organization
- Help turn managers into leaders
According to a Manchester Consulting Group study of Fortune 100 executives, the Economic Times reports “coaching resulted in a ROI of almost six times the program cost as well as a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality.” In a separate study of Fortune 500 companies by MatrixGlobal, it was found executive coaching resulted in a 529% ROI.
It is common in companies to think that they can’t measure the impact of “soft/people” related initiatives, like Executive Coaching. A company can track any initiative that they invest in and should do so with a coaching initiative. A firm can conduct a pre-coaching assessment and circle back every 6-12 months to test for progress. Looking at everything from employee retention, to personal production numbers, it will be clear what effect the initiative is having. A company can measure the results.
Yet, the reality is most managers in corporate America are good technicians at what they do, typically have deficiencies in the “soft skills” area, and haven’t reached their full potential. We do not see executive coaching as “soft skills” coaching, but rather view it as critical skills used to grow and manage a team to insure they are capable, engaged and challenged in a manner that insures they feel valued individually, as a team and as a group.
We know pay is the last resort for attraction and retention of talent. Talent seeks growth and value added management long before compensation. This executive coaching and the behavior it fosters is similar to investments in the IT system on which your business depends. It is not optional, it is critically necessary and deserves a priority and a budget category that demands both maintenance and growth levels of capital (investment spending). We call it human capital not because we see people in capital terms but rather we understand that capital is fluid and human capital is THE critical piece to the components of success in building sustained organizational capability, brand equity and value.
Executive Coaching pays for itself in higher levels of productivity through alignment, the velocity of change execution and lower levels of turnover. Simply put, it grows and unleashes capability. Important humanistic tools are lauded for their results – engagement initiatives, survey work, career planning, employee forums, etc. These are the tactics of the leader seeking fixes and optics of doing the right things. Executive coaching is the strategic toolset that makes well-intentioned tactics do what they are intended to do – build and sustain great teams of rewarded people.
One of the more effective ways to afford a client.
Executive Coaching Skills
A true desire to help others succeed.
A trust in ones’ intuitive “gut.”
On the individual and their challenges vs. a need to “solve” things for others.
A sincere desire to truly hear what others are saying.
A deep belief that human capital is the most important asset that a company possesses.
Great executive coaches can help “weave” all of the new and improved pieces of human capital into the fabric of the organization, at ever rising levels.
A great executive coach can “see” what the “new” organization will look like and help others drive toward that vision. Where there are challenges the coach can co-create alternatives and solutions.
You must be energized by, and able to perform “in corporate world” on a daily basis.
Coach Training Alliance encourages leaders, managers and coaches alike to commit to a path of lifelong learning and continuing education. Coaching skills are never the only tools on the belt, just some of the more critical ones to insuring growth and success of your team. Our executive coaching programs not only encourage a disciplined approach to coaching, but also the marketing and business development skills to expand yours and your organization’s capabilities.
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