EXECUTIVE COACHING-SHAPING THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW
John was a senior manager who was working hard towards becoming the CEO of his company within the coming few years. While he was sharp and astute, he started feeling stuck to resolve the daily office challenges, and felt that most of his energy was consumed in the same. Moreover, he realized that he was losing focus from primary goals, and felt a disconnect with his team members. He therefore decided to opt for the executive coaching, and unsurprisingly, it was one of the best decisions that he could have taken for his and his employees’ growth. Not only did he connect with his own self and shape his leadership skills, and corporate presence, but also his relationship and performance management skills improved greatly.
As human beings, we’re in the process of constantly evolving in our professional or personal lives. Walking along a path of constant development, does learning really stop at any age in life?
In this modern world, doesn’t one of our main goals revolve around succeeding and progressing in our careers? While we tend to associate any form of counselling to life coaching, organisational psychology too has evolved tremendously to recognize the development of professionals in their respective fields that would help them become dynamic leaders of tomorrow.
The rising need for more empathic and transformational leaders at present has made executive coaching services extremely popular in today’s times. Read on to know more about this organisational booster.
WHAT IS EXECUTIVE COACHING AND MENTORING?
A highly effective coaching method, executive coaching and mentoring is a process in which a qualified professional known as an executive coach partners with managers or senior executives of a company to enable them to achieve self-awareness and shape them into strategic thinkers while ensuring that they remain coherent to the company’s goals. Contrary to popular belief, they are neither consultants nor therapists, but collaborators who avoid giving direct advice or solving their client’s problems. With the means of questions, they mould, handhold and train their clients with tools to effectively solve their own problems.
Whilst keeping their client’s career aspirations in mind, executive coaching enables leaders to become increasingly self-regulated, empathic and motivating due to their flexible thinking. When this gap between interpersonal and performance management is bridged, employees too, feel highly loyal and committed to their jobs and workplaces. Behaviour change is considered as the most important goal of the executive coaching process.
However, do you feel that all companies require such an intervention, or rather are they open to it? Even though a remarkably smaller percentage of firms engage in such activities at present, executive coaching is gradually finding acceptance among the corporate hierarchy due to its manifold benefits.
From the Tata Group to Mahindra & Mahindra; Hindustan Unilever and HCL, several Fortune 500 companies are increasingly using executive coaching as a tool for organizational development, with senior executives turning to coaching full-time. The myth, “only poor performers require coaching” does not hold much value today.
What qualities should you look for while choosing an executive coach?
John’s story mentioned above sheds light on a salient question- what kind of an executive coach should you work with? Just like a mentor, you need someone who will collaborate with you and objectively guide you to work on several aspects requiring improvement. They will, in fact, lead you to incorporate the vision that you may have for your company, steadfastly.
Firstly, while looking for top executive coaches who will guide you through this change process; always remember to look at their credentials. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) or European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC), the Coach Training Institute is now seen as a well-recognized, accredited body, through which they get their training and executive coaching certifications to practice.
As a potential client, this Executive Coaching accreditation will ensure that:
- You work with an authentic coach.
- They have in-depth experience in dealing with a vast array of organizational issues that the top management may face.
- It gives you confidence in their abilities, as you will be well aware of their professional background, social media presence and success rates.
Through years of experience, they develop an efficient knack to help leaders handle the toughest of organizational situations. Instead of lecturing, they listen, think and ask thoughtful questions, thereby providing a platform for their clients to prosper during their one-on-one sessions.
Additionally, they bring the following characteristics to the table:
1. Coaches prove to be great sounding boards: The authentic coach attends to what business leaders are saying without interrupting them, and then responds with meaningful questions. Instead of guiding you in a particular direction with a clear-cut solution, they use their virtue of conversational intelligence mindfully, and put across a unique perspective.
2. Transfer of learning: Just like a football coach, who may not be able to instruct his quarterback to play in a particular way during an intense match, executive coaches, too, cannot play the front running game for their clients. Passing on their principles, they simply coach and prepare managers to become effective leaders. Through constant positive support, constructive feedback they ensure that you apply their reflections on the job productively.
3. High on emotional intelligence: While many business leaders may pay more attention to logic and data to make it at the top, executive coaches help leaders to connect with their humanistic side, since a major component of running a business is to manage people. Coaches, indeed help managers to improve their interpersonal and external relationships, while increasing one’s self-esteem, performance and career growth management, team management and communication skills.
4. Your trustworthy confidante: We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s lonely at the top” quite often. Yes, it does hold true sometimes, making it difficult for executives to share their issues with others for several personal or professional reasons. Coaches act as neutral individuals, giving you a confidential, private space to voice your challenges and reach a win-win solution by indirectly nurturing you towards a new perspective.
5. Coaches teach from everyday experiences: Experience truly, is a powerful teacher. Coaches have closely witnessed what works or not, and they try to share their learning with business leaders objectively, thus preventing them from making big corporate mistakes in the process. They will serve as maps, partnering with leaders to the path of success.
6. Goal setting and accountability: A building block for success, goal-setting is a very important step in the process of executive coaching. Sometimes the goals or targets set by business leaders can be too low, lofty or incoherent. Coaches help gauge the functionality of these goals effectively, and visualise its potency. Allowing a capable manager like you to mentally model the same, an executive coach will hold your hand through various obstacles that you may encounter.
7. Lifelong Learning: Executive coaches are continuously upgrading their knowledge base and skill-sets to serve the needs and requirements of diverse businesses, which may work according to particular trends. Moreover, they call this profession a calling, wanting to make a noteworthy difference.
Therefore, this outside perspective and specialized assistance from top executive coaching firms can work in the management’s favour to handle various intricacies of the business in a manner befitting the growth of all personnel victoriously.
Even if you’re an aspiring coach, apart from the required training and certifications from regulated bodies, you need to have an open-minded, dynamic ethos for continuous learning and a zeal for self-growth. A highly profitable career path, top executive coaching firms can charge an executive coaching salary of up to Rs. 50 lakhs per year.
WHY DO LEADERS REQUIRE EXECUTIVE COACHES IN TODAY’S TIMES?
Today, globally, companies have realized the importance of having highly productive, responsible and driven employees. And, this is why executive coaching is important. This process not only helps the leaders and employees individually, but even positively affects the organization as a whole.
According to research findings, accurate self-awareness in leaders is increasingly associated with effectiveness and profitability of organisations, with employees preferring leaders who are sure of themselves and their visions. While popular notion abides by the phenomenon of the ‘survival of the fittest’, don’t we all wish to be a part of an organisation that provides a learning ground, where we can make mistakes and learn important lessons from it? So, what type of leadership does an organization require to provide such a stimulating work culture?
The most successful leaders are those who are encouraging, motivating and stimulating in their approach; creating an environment to thrive and grow. As a potential leader, you want to be energetic, enthusiastic and passionate, inspiring your employees to give their best. Advocating an open line of communication will not only break the rigorous hierarchy, but will also make you approachable and dependable. Similar to the principles followed by the executive coaches, this style of leadership has proven to be highly effective.
Based on a concept coined by James McGregor Burns in 1978, the transformational leadership style, or coaching leadership causes long-term positive changes in individuals and social systems. Unlike a transactional, ‘give and take’ relationship, such leadership allows managers to collaborate with their employees on an individualised basis whilst providing versatile opportunities to flourish. Therefore, the manifold benefits of executive coaching are as follows:
For the Individual
- A coach will help strengthen the individual identity and perceptions of their client in order to lead dynamically.
- An executive coach may also help a leader overcome his or her biases and identify an employee’s innate potential by challenging their limiting beliefs and assumptions. Through full-proof assessments, it becomes hard to miss the actual capabilities of a deserving employee, providing them with ample opportunities to learn and develop their skill set.
- Executive Coaches train leaders to have a lasting positive effect on their employees, thereby fostering a feeling of loyalty, commitment and belongingness amongst them. After all, isn’t a “happy employee a productive employee?”
- Additionally, they help managers leverage their existing strengths and boost self-confidence.
An executive coach will help you develop strong decision-making skills, and be a true team player. By encouraging you to reflect and review your own performance as an executive with an open-mindset, there is immense scope of improvement in areas requiring change, which will further enhance your success.
- By teaching you to collaborate and mentor your employees, they in turn increase the engagement rates and develop strong relationships at work that are based on empathy, altruism, affiliation, shared goals and commitment.
- An executive coach will help ease your career transition into a new role, when the time comes by acting as an ally.
- For the Organisation
- By promoting an attitude of collective growth and empowerment, executive coaching services help to boost the overall morale of all employees, whose effects are seen in the way of increased profitability, productivity and retention value.
- Smooth functioning of tasks due to stronger team management and commitment to top-quality performance.
- Better conflict management among several levels in an organization.
- It provides clarity in terms of the objectives and expectations that are to be met.
- Supported by a strong background research about the organization, their tailor-made approaches are designed to support dynamic and influential leaders to see their goals clearly and establish a harmonious symphony through the organizational hierarchy.
Thereby, having an experienced executive coach works wonders for an organisation by helping them to scale the enterprise to new heights.
As someone who wants to be an effective leader, are you tempted to learn more or be a part of this life-altering process? Are you ready to blossom and be nurtured by an expert in this industry? If yes, then read on to know more about Coach Dr. Paras- an executive coach and the Founder of Matrix.
More about Dr. Paras, Founder, Matrix
With over 16+ years of experience, ICF- MCC and EMCC-MP Certified Coach Dr. Paras is a professional coach, leadership consultant, trainer, mentor and mental health professional. He further holds additional certifications as an NLP Practitioner- Dr. Richard Bandler (co-founder of NLP), Mindfulness Practitioner and a Hypnotherapist- ACHE, who aims to bring about transformational change in his clients. Through his Executive Coaching programmes, he focuses on building and shaping individuals into exceptional leaders of tomorrow.
These programmes will help you:
- Increase your self-confidence
- Improve your communication skills
- Feel efficient and achieve breakthroughs.
- Foster solid interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships.
After studying the company’s objectives and goals, he believes in designing a realistic plan to help you achieve success. Goal-setting, along with a winning mindset is paramount to achieve prosperity.
How important are goals to drive an organization’s success?
Irrespective of whichever field of work you are in, one facet remains common- success is guaranteed when you work towards goals. Years of research in the corporate workforce has proven its efficacy repeatedly. Moreover, don’t we generally perform better when we set challenging and specific goals for ourselves?
Having evolved from one of the earliest goal-setting theories given by psychologist Edwin Locke, several contemporary adaptations have worked wonders in this process. Modification and feedback, being a constant, the recently developed GROW Model has been widely used to ensure triumph. Originally developed by popular business coaches, Graham Alexander, Alan Fine, and Sir John Whitmore in the 1980’s, GROW stands for:
· G: goal
· R: current reality
· O: options or obstacles
· W: Will to succeed
To think of it in another way, isn’t it like undertaking a journey? Your destination becomes your goal, your starting point is your reality, the various routes are your options and by embarking on the journey itself, you establish a strong will to reach your final stop, despite any obstacles you may face. If you are enthusiastic to learn more about this powerful, result-oriented model, do check out Dr. Paras’ YouTube video explaining it in simplistic terms.
Coming to the actual procedure of setting goals, do you sometimes feel confused and overwhelmed whilst deciding the basis of formulating them? Yes, we may have numerous tasks to tend to, but it is equally important to set priorities. Now that you all know how instrumental goals are in obtaining the desired results, I’d like to share a formula with you to ensure maximum results- SMART Goals. At Matrix, we believe in promoting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound goals jointly with the client and monitor progress through constant evaluation. While laying down this list of objectives, several factors are taken into consideration to enhance and boost the company’s profitability and working style.
In a nutshell, an executive coach strives to assist a leader in bringing about an overall harmonious business change, which benefits everyone equally. Emphasizing on continuous action and constructive feedback, all parties can monitor the instantaneous progress or rectify any undesirable behaviours. Laying out a roadmap, this invigorating process ensures overall organization success, fostering and encouraging, both employers and employees equitably, resulting in increased productivity and career satisfaction.
SUCCESS STORY: IMPACTING LIVES
An award-winning certified top executive coach, Dr. Paras has generated numerous success stories worldwide while increasing the business ROI for firms. Through his leadership programmes, he has brought about an enterprising change in the workforce of companies that he has worked with. His six and nine months long leadership intervention programmes have brought about a massive shift in the personal and professional development of several top and middle management personnel that he has worked with.
During these current times, it is no surprise that many companies have been resorting to cost-cutting measures due to a massive decrease in operations. With extreme uncertainty looming over the job market, a lot of professionals have been facing immense stress, lower job productivity, burnout and unemployment. In one such instance, Dr. Paras successfully coached a senior management client (confidential) of a top firm to help manage the interests and objectives of the company, while protecting and safeguarding their employees. Reiterating on relationship building, people are what drives a workforce and it is of paramount importance that we protect and support them during such unforeseen circumstances.
Eminent author, John Maxwell once quoted, “Leaders become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others.” When employees feel that they are cared for and heard, they perceive themselves as valuable assets of the company, increasing their loyalty and commitment.
In conclusion, if you have enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about leadership coaching, an important facet to remember is that we need to be extremely self-aware and regulated. Throughout this executive coaching process, as great leaders-in-the-making or future coaches, everyone goes through a beautiful journey of self-discovery. In fact, Dr. Paras even recommends a few brilliant books to read, which provides incredible insight on human behaviour and relationships. They are:
- Ego Vs. EQ: How Top Leaders Beat 8 Ego Traps With Emotional Intelligence by Jen Shirkani
- Born to Win: Transactional Analysis With Gestalt Experiments by Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward
- Co-active Coaching: Changing Business, Transforming Lives by Laura Whitworth
- The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey
- Man-Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
Before we sign off, if you are further intrigued by executive coaching or have any questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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