What is executive coaching

21 Jun 2021

What is executive coaching

What is executive coaching?

What is executive coaching and mentoring?

Is executive coaching worth it?

Does executive coaching work?

Why is executive coaching important?

These are some of the questions that are asked most often.  In fact these questions pop up in the Google search bar autofill.

As a coach with over 7 years of experience and having coached several senior leaders, I thought it is time to share some authentic answers here.

What is executive coaching?

In India, lot of coaches believe that coaching is about giving advice. All people who are over 45 believe that they have enough life experience to give advice and hence believe that they can be coaches.

According to International coach federation (ICF) which is the governing body for coaches globally, coaching is defined as a partnership with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.

Hence executive coaching is where the discussions are purely professional and help in career development and personal development.

Now, with experience I know that there is no executive coaching without life coaching built into it.

What does executive coaching mean? What does an executive coach do?

Coaching is probably one of the most—if not the most—individually tailored practices in talent development as it involves a close and confidential relationship between the coach and the person being coached. Meeting one-on-one with senior managers or leaders within an organization (such as a director, vice president, president, or member of the C-suite), the executive coach provides a safe, structured, and trustworthy environment in which to offer support for the individual. The coach also helps the leader understand their current competencies, see how they’re perceived by others, and focus on identifying and clarifying current goals as well as the appropriate action steps to reach those goals.

Does executive coaching work?

Yes, executive coaching works. I have seen all of my clients embrace their goals and future with more passion and becoming more accountable in their lives and at work. Executive coaching enables working professionals become more self-aware, set goals that align with their values, create plans to achieve their goals with more passion and determination.

Here is a blog that wrote on how executive coaching can help at individual.

Why is executive coaching important?

Executive coaching has several benefits. An individual who enlists a coach benefits in the following ways:

  • It helps rewire the brain to think differently and get rid of thought patterns that don’t work well. It helps install new beliefs and patterns that are empowering.
  • It’s a journey of self-discovery that enables one to understand themselves better and get clarity on the priorities.
  • It enables one to become more confident and productive at work
  • Coaching trains mind to think about what next, rather than dwell on the past
  • Coaching helps in improving on strengths and mitigating the negative effects of the weaknesses
  • Coaching helps in developing a problem-solving mindset

In my opinion, everyone needs to engage with a coach from time to time to understand themselves better and set priorities to live a meaningful life and to live to their potential. This makes executive coaching important. In my opinion, every individual must have a coach from time to time to get clarity on what’s important at that time and reset their priorities.

Is executive coaching worth it?

I keep receiving a lot of coaching enquiries. I have conversations with the enquiries on email and later over the phone. In some cases, interested people wish to meet the coach as well. But, only about 20% of the enquiries actually enroll.  There have been cases where I have had clients sign up with me after 3 years of getting in touch with me and having an initial conversation.

When I ask them as to why they took so long, the answer is often surprising. The answers were

  • I thought things will work out by themselves
  • I thought this will pass and things will be fine
  • I thought I will read some self help books, so on and so forth.

I feel that with the help of a coach, and a 6 week coaching engagement, one can achieve a lot of clarity in life. One can resolve their problems way quicker rather than prolong it for 2 or 3 years or more.

All coaches aim to bring a shift in the mindset or a shift in the perspective that helps their cleints view things in a different way that will be beneficial for them to solve problems, make peace and move forward.

Hence, executive coaching is worth it and money well spent. It is an investment for personal development.

What is executive coaching and mentoring?

An executive coach helps a working professional achieve their potential at work. All coaches aim to bring a shift in the mindset or a shift in the perspective that helps their client’s view things in a different way that will be beneficial for them to solve problems, make peace and move forward.

Hence, an executive coach need not be an expert in the area of expertise of the client.

On the other hand, a mentor is a person who has expertise in the client’s area of expertise and profession. For example, a restauranteur may want to be mentored by another restauranteur on how to grow the food business. To guide in this area, the mentor must be an expert in that area, and must have done it himself in his life.

A mentor need not be an executive coach.

About Author

Sandhya Reddy is a PCC Accredited Executive Coach and Leadership coach based in Bangalore, India. She is the Founder and Principal Coach at Chapter Two Coaching, a coaching consultancy that specializes in leadership development.  She is a Certified Hogan Assessor and Coach.  She has over 750+ hours of experience with coaching senior professionals. She has enabled personal transformation for over 1500+ individuals through coaching interventions, workshops, webinars and mentoring.

Chapter Two helps leaders in middle levels and senior levels engage better with their teams, peers and senior stakeholders. We help teams develop a growth and performance mindset, align better with the organizational culture and values and function more cohesively. We are also passionate about women’s leadership development and have developed a practice around it. We enable leadership development through 1:1 coaching interventions and through a set of curated leadership and personal transformational workshops.








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