What is Executive Coaching?

Sherman Hoover
What is Executive Coaching?

Some consider that executive coaching has become an overnight professional activity; but in reality the process has been much slower. It first appeared in 1985 and, although executive tutors have proliferated especially in the early 90's, tutors really began to be hired in the late 90's.


  • What is executive coaching?
  • Benefits of executive coaching
  • Executive coaching classes
    • Coaching for performance
    • Coaching for techniques
      • Their characteristics are:
      • Interpretation errors:
    • Coaching for development
    • Coaching for the executive agenda
  • Advantages of practicing executive coaching
  • Actions in executive coaching
  • Steps carried out by executive coaching

What is executive coaching?

Coaching is a technique that allows to carry out a process of individualized help to a professional, a team or an organization to unleash their talent and empower them, maximizing the effectiveness of their activities..

In the case of executive coaching, it is a personalized form of learning that involves individually helping executives to learn and get the most out of them to take effective action, improve performance and personal growth, in addition to obtaining better business results for the organization. An attempt is made to highlight the strengths of the person.

According to Kilburg (1996) executive coaching is defined as:

“… A helping relationship between a client invested with corporate authority and responsibility in an organization and a consultant who uses a wide variety of behavioral techniques and methods to help the client achieve a set of mutually identified objectives to improve performance and, consequently, improve the effectiveness of your organization in a formally defined coaching agreement ”.

Thus, an attempt is made to highlight and enhance the strengths of the person and teach them to overcome weak points.

Benefits of executive coaching

Some of the reasons why executive coaching is needed are the following:

  • Training alone has proven inadequate to provide executives with the skills they need.
  • Many executives continue to use an authoritarian management style, which leads to a lack of loyalty and commitment from employees.
  • 60% of executives hold managerial positions without having received any type of training in interaction with staff.
  • Increased stress.
  • Increase in professional failure.
  • Executives are subject to more frequent appraisals of their personal techniques.
  • In many organizations, the competitive attitude has been replaced by the need to function as a collaborative team member and leader..

Executive coaching classes

According to scholars, executive coaching can be:

Coaching for performance

Related to performance, it consists of learning that improves the efficiency of the executive in their work.

Some executives perform better in a particular area. In Performance Mentoring, the objectives may not be as clear as in Skills Coaching (explained below) and a considerable portion of the time in Mentoring sessions may need to be spent on clarifying objectives. of the executive.

Coaching for techniques

In techniques coaching, the mentoring process is specifically focused on the executive's current task. The coach helps the coachee learn specific techniques, attitudes and behaviors that will improve their performance at work.

Their characteristics are:

  1. It aims to drive the executive towards greater efficiency.
  2. It consists of a series of interactions designed to meet the individual needs of the client.
  3. Focuses on techniques aimed at improving job performance.
  4. It is a process by which valuable information is provided to executives.
  5. Each person has their own knowledge base and learning pace and style.
  6. It is a service based on the relationships provided by the coach in his role as advisor.
  7. The mentor plays an important role for the executive by exploring, developing and maximizing their potential.
  8. Admit that no two executives are the same.

Interpretation errors:

  1. Sometimes it is not planned properly.
  2. Some organizations and tutors do not appreciate the need to establish a culture of coaching within the company.
  3. Some management consultants are adding coaches to their business cards without having basic skills and knowledge..
  4. It is an activity without qualification or legislation.
  5. Coaching runs the risk of becoming a fad.
  6. Some organizations confuse coaching and mentoring.
  7. Many advisory therapists who engage in executive coaching lack the necessary business experience.

Coaching for development

Development coaching focuses on the future professional career of the executive, and implies the intention of future growth and the development of new competencies.

It includes the exploration of strengths and weaknesses, especially when it comes to coping with a shift into the unknown.

Coaching for the executive agenda

Coaching for the executive agenda means working with executives on any personal or professional matter.

On a personal level, it could translate into a work-life balance..

In the professional, it could include the leadership of an organizational change or the development of strategic planning and a long-term vision. Sometimes there is interference between agenda coaching and other types of executive mentoring.

Coaching for the agenda takes place in the context of a long-term mentoring relationship. Following the establishment of a formal coaching relationship, the student determines the course and direction to follow in order to reach the next level of success..

Advantages of practicing executive coaching

As we have explained previously, executive coaching provides an unquestionable service to those under tutelage.

The main advantages of this type of coaching are the following:

  • Teaches your recipient to face changes and new positions, and to plan to achieve goals.
  • Teaches you to know the organization and to know yourself better.
  • It teaches to identify the strong points and enhance them, and the weak points and overcome them.
  • Teaches the executive to be more flexible in their actions.
  • Teaches to efficiently channel stress.
  • It teaches how to deal with conflicts, both personal and with co-workers.
  • Teaches how to better relate to clients and coworkers.
  • Teaches to be less competitive and more collaborative in the work environment.
  • Teaches to communicate better and to know how to listen.
  • Teaches to improve leadership techniques and even learn them.
  • Teaches how to develop learning techniques, enhance business techniques and know the objectives to achieve greater satisfaction in the performance of functions.
  • It teaches how to delegate, increase productivity and get the most out of the human factor.

The success of a coaching intervention is given by the achievement of the established objectives through the development and execution of an action plan, although it is also related to the mentoring process itself.

Actions in executive coaching

Some of the tools that are normally used in executive coaching are the following:

  • Setting appropriate behaviors.
  • Evaluation.
  • Clarification of emotions.
  • Promotion and development of learning styles.
  • Information provision.
  • Active listening.
  • "Brainstorming".
  • Formulation of specific questions.
  • Problem resolution.
  • Goal setting.

As for its performance, some of the most common and requested are the following:

  • Priority management.
  • Delegation.
  • Coaching for professional development.
  • Presentation techniques.
  • Communication techniques.
  • Conflict management and resolution.
  • Leadership development.
  • Stress management.
  • Negotiation.
  • Coaching for a new position.
  • Time management.

Steps carried out by executive coaching

In executive coaching it is necessary to have a work planning, with a series of guidelines for the development of its management from the first meeting with the company management:

  1. First step. Meeting with the Management.
  2. Second step. Individual Meeting with the Coachee.
  3. Third step. First Coaching Session.
  4. Fourth step. Second Coaching Session.
  5. Fifth step. Weekly Coaching Sessions.
  6. Step Six. Management Feedback.

As we can see, executive coaching is an individualized and collaborative relationship between an executive and a coach, with the aim of achieving a sustained change in their behavior and transforming their quality of personal and professional life..

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