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What is executive coaching?
Coaching has been around for thousands of years. Athletes in ancient Greece had coaches for their Olympic events. This tradition continues today in all sporting disciplines and has found its way into all areas of our lives.
We specialize in executive coaching which is intended to support senior executives in medium to large organizations to strengthen their leadership abilities, achieve improved performance and exceed their personal and corporate goals.
Executive coaching has its roots in many fields: leadership development, clinical psychology, organizational development, peak performance training, and human resources. We believe that an effective leadership coach can assist their client to understand their unique gifts, exploit their strengths and maneuver around their weaknesses by making more informed choices.
We are focused on seeking greater personal satisfaction for our clients by challenging them to exceed their business goals and fulfill their dreams – at the same time. Our approach is personalized, thorough and by asking the right questions, our clients find the right answers.
Are there other types of coaching available?
There are business, personal, career, life, sports and spiritual coaches. Each is a niche that attracts coach practitioners based upon their experiences, training and interest. Although we invariably assist our clients with career issues, our primary focus centers on helping senior executives get better results through better leadership in their current role. Our coaches have many years of leadership experience and success in several different types of organizations and industries.
Who can benefit from individual and team coaching?
There are three areas where coaching can make a specific contribution:
- Developmental: Coaching clients in their current role. Few companies have continued to support a planned and consistent approach to the development of senior executives. Not all bosses you have worked for are natural mentors, so you have had to figure out a great deal on your own. There may be other options. You don’t know what you don’t know and there’s never a bad time to learn.
- Transitional: Assisting a client who has just assumed a greater level of responsibility in their current or a new firm (visit career transition coaching). If you rely exclusively on the skills that helped you succeed before, you may join the 40% of other executives who don’t make it through their first year in a new role. The costs of failure for all involved are very large here, financially, emotionally and in terms of business momentum.
- Integrational: A coach can be very valuable in providing assistance to an executive charged with leading a complex organizational change. The success of the client AND the integration effort are both critical.
What does the coach tell my boss and others about our work?
The client owns the work between the client and coach. The coaching process is predicated on complete confidentiality between coach and client. The coach will solicit additional feedback or input from others only with the approval of the client. At the same time, the client must understand that the client company is making a significant investment in their development. The client is strongly encouraged to engage their boss and significant others in their planning to support their efforts to maximize the benefits of this investment.
How long does the coaching engagement last?
A normal engagement is for a year. The senior executives we choose to work with have challenging jobs and schedules. If we are to see a meaningful impact of the changes the clients choose to implement, it takes time. See our Coaching for Impact approach if you have interest in a 90 – 120 day effort with a narrower focus. We have another program designed for groups of mid-level leaders that is completed over eight months. See our Leadership Learning Lab.
How often do I meet with my executive coach?
The coaching process is rather front end loaded; there’s a lot for the client and the coach to do to get rolling. The first 4 weeks or so we work in parallel and then we start to meet on a regular basis. We will have regular meetings every two and one-half to three weeks for the first several months, each lasting between one to two hours. After that, it’s about every three weeks for the remainder of the engagement. The coach is always there for the client however, with phone calls, emails, etc. whenever the need arises, days, nights and weekends. One client called from the beach on her vacation. We chatted briefly and then I told her to leave herself alone.
How can I be sure my coach knows my industry?
You can’t. At senior executive levels, it’s all about leadership and results. Although we have worked across a myriad of industries in our corporate lives and have served as coaches in even more, it’s not industry experience that matters. The similarity of leadership challenges across industries is quite remarkable. And we never suggest business solutions; that’s the client’s job. We ask the right questions so they may lead more effectively. Your chemistry with the coach is more important than industry knowledge on their part. Please see Client companies to learn more about the breadth of our work.
Does coaching really work?
Fortune magazine quoted a study indicating that executives across Fortune 1000 companies who had hired coaches reported the following results:
- A conservative estimate, at least a $100,000 return was about 6 times the investment the client company made in the coaching relationship.
- 28% indicated a boost of quantifiable job performance of $500,000 to $1,000,000.
- Better relationships with direct reports (77%), bosses (71%), peers (63%), and clients (37%).
- A marked increase in job satisfaction (61%) and organizational commitment (44%).
What our satisfied clients say is our testament as to why this is a very beneficial form of executive education.
How much does the average coaching program cost?
This is an investment in the most critical resource organizations have. We charge $200 – $250 per hour for our services and for some there is a per person or an event charge. But we invest time at the end of our work with a client to determine the impact or improvements that have occurred. We are hired again and again by companies because we get results for the client and the client company. The time, energy and focus on the processes we use are what make the impact so significant.