What is Executive Coaching?
What is executive coaching? Is it:
A) Mentorship over a period of months or years,
B) Intensive therapy for high-achieving professionals,
C) A tried-and-true process for getting rich, famous and happy, or
D) None of the above?
If you answered ‘D’, you’d be correct. Despite its relatively straightforward nature, many people misunderstand the purpose of executive coaching. And while we’ve previously discussed the role of an executive coach, the differences between coaching and therapy and the benefits of executive coaching, the question of executive coaching itself—who it’s for, what it does and what it really means—can seem hard to narrow down.
What’s more, our approach to business coaching is much different than what you might’ve heard before. Read on to learn what coaching means to us and what that means for you.
What is executive coaching?
In its purest form, coaching is a relationship between two people. Executive coaching, then, is a relationship between a coach and a highly-driven leader, CEO, stakeholder, entrepreneur or visionary.
A coaching relationship is specifically designed to help executives conduct a form of deep exploration within themselves. This deep exploration involves helping business leaders understand their own thinking processes so that they can overcome gaps, disturbances, or setbacks in their lives. At its best, executive coaching is an extraordinary relationship that is designed to help leaders understand the connection between their thoughts, and the outcomes that incur as a result of those thoughts.
Who is executive coaching for?
Executive coaching is for people who want more. It’s for people who want to grow, learn, and get ahead. It’s for people who think, “I have one life, and I want to make the absolute most out of it.”
Executive coaching is not designed for reprimand or repair. That’s why executive coaching is so different from therapy—rather than focus on deep personal problems from the past, executive coaching looks to bring out the best aspects in a leader and elevate them as high as possible.
Why do executives need coaching?
All of us, even high-achievers, plateau. The greatest business leaders of the world can fall stagnant just as easily as everyone else. When that happens, how do entrepreneurs tackle their setbacks?
Through executive coaching. Great leaders recognize when they’ve plateaued, and take steps to move past their limitations through coaching.
So, have you plateaued? If you answer yes to any of the following, you might be in need of an executive coach:
- You’re feeling chronically isolated. You can’t relate to other people, because other people don’t understand the responsibilities you hold on your shoulders.
- You’re experiencing friction with others in your life. Nobody works as hard as you, moves as fast as you, plays on the same field as you—it’s as if you’re playing 4D chess in a world of checkers.
- You’re dissatisfied, even when results are good. Your profits are great. Shareholders are happy. So why aren’t you elated?
- You’re experiencing “slippage.” You’re burning the midnight oil… and burning out. Your health, eating habits, family responsibilities and romantic life are slipping through the cracks, and you can’t seem to claw them back.
What is an executive coach?
An executive coach is the second half of the coaching relationship. Whereas you’re in the relationship to move past setbacks and achieve more, an executive coach exists to help shed light on your blind spots so that you can move past them with grace and ease.
Why do you need a coach for this process, you ask? Couldn’t you simply figure out your problems on your own?
Sure, you could work on figuring out your own problems, idiosyncrasies and unhelpful beliefs… but to do so would be akin to cleaning skyscraper windows from the inside. It’s hard to see our own blind spots—that’s why they’re called blind spots, after all.
So, while you may be able to move past your limitations on your own with concerted effort, executive coaching speeds that process up by ten, twenty or even one hundred times its original rate. In this way, executive coaching is designed to work the same way leaders do: quickly, with efficiency and with huge results.
What executive coaching is not
Executive coaching is not therapy. It is not mentorship. It is not a means to earn another million dollars, nor is it the ticket to eternal happiness.
Make no mistake, however. Results like these—a higher salary, a promotion or a better life—often DO come from executive coaching. It’s just that these benefits are SIDE EFFECTS of the coaching process, rather than the process itself.
Instead, the goal is to maximize the true potential of a highly driven individual by elevating their strengths and shoring up their weak spots.
Should I try executive coaching?
If you found yourself relating to this article, then the answer is undoubtedly yes. And the sooner you begin the business coaching process, the sooner you’ll start experiencing the results you’ve always wanted but found elusive.