Over the last decade, coaching for higher-level executives has grown multifold. Earlier, coaching was primarily associated with athletes and celebrities to get the most out of them. Executive leadership coaching is now a de-facto for most Fortune 500 companies.
But the coaching concept can equally be adopted by mid-sized, small businesses, and startups. In this article, learn about the five leadership skills you can inculcate with executive coaching.
What is Executive Coaching?
Before moving ahead, it’s essential to define what executive coaching is. That’s because most people confuse it with counseling, mentoring, or consulting, and even training. All of these are fundamentally different concepts intended for other purposes.
Coaching refers to the partnership between a client and a coach that aims to maximize the person’s personal and professional capability. Thus, it is a client-driven process that goes beyond upskilling or mentoring.
In executive coaching, there are a series of one-on-one meetings where the focus is on specific developmental issues. The coach creates a safe and structured environment where the executive can grow as an individual and perform at the highest level.
The coach also helps the execs visualize their current competence, how others view them, and clarify future goals. Then, he can formulate steps to achieve that goal. While coaches can come from any diverse background, they must have rigorous psychological training under their belt. Otherwise, they will do more harm than good.
Besides that, there are several leadership skills you can learn and enhance along the way. Five of them are explored below:
Effective leadership entails a wide range of skills, both hard and soft skills. But it starts with the leader himself. They must have a deeper understanding of their personality and individuality. While it may seem easy on the surface, developing that attribute is quite difficult. And that’s what executive leadership coaches focus on developing.
Leaders who are self-aware of their actions and emotions deal better with others. So they get the most out of their resources and increase productivity within the organization.
Self-regulation is closely related to self-awareness. But self-regulation is concerned with how you should act, not merely being aware of your emotions.
While your teammates might not visualize your self-awareness abilities, they will certainly witness your self-regulation capabilities. Thus, it becomes even more critical.
If you find yourself constantly yelling at your employees, then you need to regulate your actions. Leadership coaches work with executives to help them decide how to act in certain situations.
By maintaining a healthy relationship with people around you, there’s a higher chance of succeeding. You’ll slowly gain control over other aspects of life that you were neglectful about.
There’s no denying empathy is an essential leadership skill. Without empathy, you will not be able to build an effective team or build products. Empathy is equally necessary for sales, marketing, and nearly everything in business.
Contrary to popular belief, empathy is not a soft skill. It’s a human skill that’s about understanding another person’s perspective, feeling, and experience. Yet, so many people are inept at empathy.
Executive coaches conduct one-on-one sessions with the aim of understanding and developing empathy. With empathetic behavior, you can unlock your potential as an effective leader.
Every leader should have strong social skills. Without appropriate social behavior, leaders will find it harder to lead a team effectively.
There are wide arrays of social skills leaders must develop, which includes:
- Active Listening
- Showing respect
- Making a good first impression
- Encouraging a social environment and collaboration
- Positive thinking and motivating
Of all the above, active and effective listening has become a must-have skill for business leaders. It’s a process that goes beyond listening to what the other person is saying. It’s about understanding the tone, behavior, and overall body language.
Executive leadership coaches put extra emphasis on active listening. Other social skills hold equal importance in being an effective leader.
Lastly, executive leadership coaching is about staying motivated at work. As humans, it’s easy to lose motivation when things don’t go the way as planned. But by maintaining intrinsic motivation, you will be able to lead even in the toughest of times.
Intrinsic motivation refers to deeply held values and beliefs. This is something you and only you have control over. Research has demonstrated that leaders with strong intrinsic motivation are creative, productive, and committed at work.
Extrinsic motivation is all tangible rewards and incentives that people strive for. While it’s essential, it’s not as crucial as intrinsic motivation.
Irrespective of whether you had the best financial quarter or undergoing turmoil, you should sign up for executive leadership coaching programs. These will assist you become a better leader at any stage.