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Should you become a Whole Person Executive Coach?

Top-tier executive leaders frequently struggle to realize their full potential, as well as that of their company or division. They are too inundated by the operational demands and stresses of day-to-day business. Executive coaches fill the void by working with these leaders to self-identify their problem areas then develop the executive-level skills that enable them to positively impact the entire organization.

As an executive coach, you focus on developing highly effective, influential leaders who are currently working within the top rank of the company hierarchy, typically C-level. This frequently encompasses:

  • Developing leadership and management skills to more effectively motivate and inspire employees
  • Transitioning individuals to a higher level of management or new assignment
  • Acting as a sounding board
  • Improving communication
  • Cultivating time management strategies
  • Improving work-life balance
  • Assisting with succession planning

Executive coaches are also frequently called upon to encompass aspects of life coaching, wellness coaching and often, effective communication. As an executive coach, you are most effective when working holistically with your clients, leveraging their whole being to achieve optimal, sustainable results in all aspects of their life.

Who hires an Executive Coach?

Typically brought in by HR departments, senior managers, and even the coaching clients themselves, executive coaching is reserved for those who are critical to an organization’s success (CEOs, CTOs, CFOs and other top-tier leaders).But recently we are also seeing executive coaching being employed to support new and aspiring leaders as well. Its value is reflected in a range of recent press ranging from Forbes to the Harvard Business Review (HBR).

In an article titled “What can coaches do for you?” the Harvard Business Review found that forty-eight percent of executive coaches are reportedly hired to “develop high potentials or facilitate transition,” followed by twenty-six percent who are engaged to “act as a sounding board.” “Addressing derailing behavior” registered a distant third, with only twelve percent of executive coaches hired for this purpose.

These findings represent a shift in the industry, as well as those seeking coaching. Many executives who now get the most out of your services are those who possess a “fierce desire to learn and grow,” according to the HBR article. (Uh… hello, dream client! Who wouldn’t want to work with someone like that!?)

Within this role, you work alongside directors, vice presidents, managing directors, or other senior leaders of a company or nonprofit organization. You often focus on developing leadership skills and capacity, with highly positive, purpose-driven business results typically being the end goal.

Why you might love becoming an Executive Coach?

This branch of coaching isn’t for everyone. But if you possess strong business and leadership experience and have a passion for the inner workings of high-level corporate life, the answer is a resounding YES! You could get the chance to work side by side with some of the world’s most influential business leaders, helping them shape the companies that in turn shape our world.

In pursuing this branch of coaching, you identify as someone who loves to serve high-profile leaders and decision makers — recently in particular those who are up-and-coming. Like small business coaches, executive coaches often possess additional experience or expertise in a given industry or role within a company that they use in combination with coaching. With this background knowledge and history, you are far more effective at assisting leaders by addressing the needs of that company. Additionally, many people come to us with degrees in leadership development and organization development, wanting to add coaching into their toolkit to shine up their skills and move their résumé to the top of the stack.

In fact, many an executive coach started out in organization development, HR, training and development, or is a former CEO or comparable leader themselves. Above all, they have notable experience in the corporate arena. They can demonstrate a clear methodology for developing others and readily create a unique model that specifically addresses the individual executive and the challenges they face. If that’s you, executive coaching is one of the most effective ways to transition into a consulting-type position or simply boost your profile within your current organization.

An important subcategory that deserves mention here is the executive coach with a focus on nonprofits. Like a standard executive coach, it’s helpful to have background and work experience in the nonprofit arena. But it’s also not uncommon for business professionals to branch out into helping these kinds of organizations. At Coach Training World, we routinely have a broad range of individuals interested in the nonprofit world, or who are already well established within it, seek coach training. So if you’re on the hunt for a tribe that’s passionate about community foundations, company-sponsored foundations and corporate giving programs, cooperative ventures, endowments or private foundations, it’s a fair bet you’ll find more than a few kindred, charity-minded spirits here.

Should you become a Team Coach?

As a team coach, you provide the tools and dialog that enable people to work together more productively and effectively toward an agreed-upon performance objective. In this role, you champion communication, team development, conflict resolution and better self-understanding to improve workplace relationships. And though it’s not always the case, some leadership development and executive coaches also offer team coaching in addition to their standard services.

Your mission is to not only streamline the work process but also make it more enjoyable for all involved. Highly valuable in today’s business environment, this process has been shown to noticeably boost individual and team output toward greater company success and optimal work environments.

At its core, team coaching is about interpersonal skills and improved interactions within a group, recognizing that performance issues may still exist despite the presence of high-performing individuals. While you may employ breakout sessions in which a single individual receives focused attention, this branch of coaching is more concerned with the entire work group or organization.

Who hires a team coach?

Team coaches are hired when a team or group leader seeks to increase their effectiveness and productivity. From corporations, governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations to private communities, these teams seek a custom-tailored approach that addresses their specific needs to reach the most successful outcome. Here are a few of the challenges and opportunities you could be hired for:

  • Establishing expectations for behavior
  • Team performance
  • Effective communication
  • Creating or revising systems for individual reward and recognition
  • Offering support and insight, allowing the team to reach strategic objectives in direct alignment with organizational values
  • Organizational growth and development
  • Conflict management
  • Process improvement

Why you might love being a team coach

Those who are drawn to this branch of the coaching profession have a knack for clarifying a wide range of contrary viewpoints and creating a system that meets the team’s desired vision for effective collaboration. Like any other coaching modality, you must be able to step aside and allow your client(s) to lead by taking responsibility for their own development.

Coaches who operate successfully in this field often have experience with group coaching or working with groups of people in a workplace environment. But that’s not a hard and fast rule. You may also have executive coaching experience or academic training related to team development. Others that prosper in team coaching have pursued academic interests in communication, group dynamics, and conflict management, to name just a few of the most common disciplines.

Most importantly, you should enjoy working with diverse groups of people and tackling the complex nature of corporate culture and business systems.

Learn More About Whole Person Coaching

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