For corporate and public service high performers, who operate in competitive, pressure-cooker situations, having an encouraging executive coach on the sideline makes perfect sense.
In Australia, we have the highest density of executive coaches in the world – apparently. There is no shortage of us, that’s for sure! It is a demand and supply situation. Given the industry remains unregulated, not all executive coaching is created equal, which can impact on how you’ll benefit.
By choosing an executive coach with relevant qualifications and experience, senior-level professionals can expect to benefit in the following six ways:
1. Improve productivity
Being a senior-level professional involves a certain relentlessness. While having particular personality traits may have helped you rise through the ranks, the burden of responsibility and constant distractions can leave you feeling like you’re chasing your tail.
If you’re keen to deliver quality leadership, within reasonable working hours, an executive coach can give you specific and tactics tools that can help you manage workflow, minimise distractions and determine what the priorities should be – better productivity is the end game.
2. Greater interpersonal effectiveness
You are the one who interacts at a strategic level with employees and stakeholders – are you comfortable in this capacity, or do you find it doesn’t come naturally? Either way, having effective interpersonal skills (or “soft skills”) is a must, wherever you are on the career ladder.
Whether it’s building team morale, making tough decisions or developing high-level relationships with stakeholders, working with an executive coach means you can identity how you can improve your interpersonal effectiveness – to achieve business and personal goals.
3. Set aside self-limited beliefs
In my executive coaching experience, self-limiting beliefs is a common theme. It side-tracks many of us from pushing through the comfort zone. By playing it safe – because your inner critic says so – you may miss out on amazing career opportunities, or other dreams, through fear of failure.
An executive coach can provide not only an objective perspective and a clear forward plan – through collaboration and really drilling down to work out what it is that’s holding you back (and why) – those self-limiting beliefs can be replaced with light-bulb moments of clarity.
4. Reach your full potential
In the eyes of many people, I had really made it. And in many ways, I did – over two decades leading and developing people and governance at the Australian National University and Australian Public Service. But in recent years, there has been a niggle in my mind about pursuing executive coaching.
Now, after working hard on transitioning into a career as an executive coach – I can confidently say I am on my way to reaching my potential. Potential is very personal – an executive coach, with the right expertise, can be a great ally on your journey to find satisfaction and fulfilment.
5. Someone in your corner
An executive coach can provide an outsider viewpoint in a non-judgmental environment. We are more than a sounding board. At Kim Vella Executive Coaching, we use a strengths-based approach – a client-led program with a focus on future outcomes and accountability.
It can be lonely at the top. Having someone in your corner can contribute to sharpening your leadership skills – and importantly – help an executive shape their own path forward with confidence. This is relevant to both CEOs and emerging business leaders.
6. Is your coach qualified?
The executive coaching profession has copped plenty of flak over the years. As noted previously, the industry remains unregulated. When weighing up your options, look for the International Coach Federation logo – to ensure the coach has received professional training.
You will also want to know about an executive coach’s own business background, and without a doubt, there has to be good chemistry for you to gain the most benefit out of the professional partnership. Here are some other questions you may like to ask.
Of course, the benefits of executive coaching are not confined to these six. Based on your experience, let me know what others you would add to the list.