What is an executive coach?
An executive coach helps employees in leadership roles or other important positions maximize their potential. Think of an executive coach as a cheerleader who supports and motivates each client as they navigate the business world. Corporate coaches believe in you and know that you’re capable of great things, but they also call you out—privately—if you do something you shouldn’t.
Services are typically confidential, so clients feel comfortable sharing their hopes and worries during executive coaching sessions. The coach gets to know each client during these sessions, but they also learn more about the company. This helps executive coaches tailor their advice toward the unique needs of their clients while also focusing on organizational expectations.
Overview of what an executive coach does
Executive coaching looks different for everyone because it’s a customized service. An experienced coach will assess the needs and culture of your company, then proceed accordingly.
However, there are some common practices many corporate coaches follow. The GROW method is popular among coaches. GROW stands for goal, reality, options or obstacles, and will or way forward.
Here are some things you or your team members may work on when you hire an executive coach:
1. Personal development
It’s difficult to perform well at work if you don’t believe in yourself. An executive coach helps workers identify and utilize their strengths. Your company’s coach will also help employees tackle weaknesses or fears so they can evolve as business professionals.
2. Goal creation
When an employee lacks goals, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re lazy or uninspired. Sometimes business professionals need help formulating goals because they have tons of ideas and can’t figure out which ones need the most attention. Other times, employees may feel overwhelmed by the state of the company and have no idea which goals to prioritize. Either way, a corporate coach can help clients set and achieve actionable goals.
3. Leadership enhancement
Anyone can call themselves a leader, but some employees are thrown into leadership positions with little to no guidance on how to proceed. This can create resentment from lower-level employees as well as those thrust into leadership roles.
Coaches help your management team thrive by teaching them the traits ethical, efficient leaders possess. Executive coaching sessions can involve current leaders or potential leaders.
Skills to look for when hiring an executive coach
When searching for an executive coach, start by looking for someone who has experience in your industry or a similar field. For example, if you own a high-end law firm, your team may not do well with a coach who primarily helps warehouse workers thrive. You may do better with a corporate coach who typically works with professional offices or small businesses with elite clientele.
Some executive coaches are certified, but certification generally isn’t required. If you want a certified coach, look for someone affiliated with an agency such as the International Coach Federation.
Many coaches offer quick interviews or consultations before you finalize services. During your initial meetup, look for the following skills and traits:
- Confidence: Does the coach believe they have the skills needed to help your team, or are they unsure?
- Reliability: Was your coach on time for your scheduled call or meeting?
- Goals: Does the coach have a general plan for how to help your business and its team move forward?
- Experience: Has the coach provided executive coaching sessions before, or are you their first professional client?
You should also consider the preferences and personalities of your team. If you’re hiring a coach for someone introverted or reserved, they may struggle with a blunt coach who has a no-nonsense personality.
How to determine if your company needs an executive coach
You might benefit from an executive coach if your employees are bored, unproductive or unmotivated. Workers may describe the company culture as toxic, and you may notice excessive workplace gossip or other drama. To put it bluntly, you may manage or own a company where many employees dread coming to work. These issues often stem from miscommunication or a lack of respect between employees in leadership positions and the team members they manage.
Major problems aren’t a requirement for executive coaching, though. You may find it helpful to work with a corporate coach if you have employees who don’t realize how amazing they are or leaders who need some guidance with goal development and execution. Sometimes your team just needs positive reinforcement from someone who has their back, and that’s what corporate coaches do.
The benefits of hiring an executive coach
Executive coaching sessions help inspire leaders to become better versions of themselves. This is important because motivated leaders help your business run smoothly. When your company is run by motivated leaders, you may notice increased productivity, ethical and efficient decision making, and clearly defined goals.
Workers managed by motivated leaders are often happy, confident and enthusiastic. They understand what the company expects and know that team members in leadership positions support their professional goals every step of the way. When a leader believes in their team, employee engagement often improves, and workers may feel more dedicated to your company.
FAQs about executive coaching
Executive coaching benefits many businesses, but you may have questions before you take the plunge. We’ve collected a few common questions companies have about corporate coaches.
How much is an executive coach?
An executive coach costs anywhere from $200 to $600 per hour to more than $3,000 per hour. Some coaches charge a flat fee for a fixed time frame of coaching services.
What makes a good executive coach?
A good executive coach is patient, ethical, goal-driven and compassionate. The right coach should fit your company culture and click with your team.
Is executive coaching effective?
Executive coaching can boost productivity, improve workplace morale and encourage strength-based leadership.
An outside perspective can help your company flourish. Executive coaching can make your employees more confident and successful, which in turn helps your business thrive.