Increased pressure on senior executives has given rise and demand for coaching services. Executive coaching is a field that dates back to as early as the 1950’s. It began with a small group of people combining psychological and organizational development approaches. Since then, it has grown into its own profession, with guidance coming from professional organizations such as the International Coaching Federation (ICF).
The author of this study (Boysen-Rotelli, 2020) describes the current state of research to show the benefits coaching can have on executives and organizations as a whole. She also highlights values and skills coaches need to have to be successful.
BENEFITS OF EXECUTIVE COACHING
Coaching is a type of consultation for management executives and is in the field of organizational development (OD). Coaches help executives and organizations reach goals that they may not be able to reach on their own. Coaches might teach, give advice, and provide resources.
Coaching creates space in the lives of executives to work on goals that might get lost in the busy work environment. These could be personal goals (e.g., increasing confidence), cognitive goals (e.g., increased knowledge or problem-solving ability), or skill-based goals (e.g., competencies, technical skills).
The literature says that executive coaching leads to a high return on investment (ROI), sustained change, increased self-awareness, and more effective leadership. More specifically, studies found support for improved productivity, customer service, relationships, teamwork, and job satisfaction.
SKILLS NEEDED TO BE A COACH
The author highlights four key OD values that coaches need to espouse and their related competencies that coaches should have. The first is respect and inclusion, meaning that a coach needs to equally value input from everyone. Coaches also need to follow the ethical guidelines and standards of the coaching profession.
The second coaching value is collaboration – a coach and a client are a team working toward the client’s goals. Coaches need to establish trust with the client and have a collaborative presence.
The third value is that of authenticity; coaches should act in-line with their values and encourage their clients to do the same. The skills specific to this value that the author notes are active listening, powerful questioning, and direct communication.
The fourth value is self-awareness and engaging in lifelong learning. An executive coach should work from the assumption that clients are the experts on themselves and help them to discover their own solutions. In order to facilitate this, coaches need to work to create awareness, design action plans to help clients set goals, and help clients track progress.
Executive coaching is a valuable resource for executives and their organizations. It allows time and space for executives to work toward goals that a hectic work environment is not able to accommodate on a regular basis. Additionally, executives who themselves become coaches can be an invaluable asset; they can pull from their own experiences while coaching others.
Boysen-Rotelli, S. (2020). Executive coaching history: Growing out of organizational development. The Coaching Psychologist, 16(2), 26-34.