The definition of executive coaching is a set of activities that aim to train managers and executives, to consolidate their leadership on a path of personal growth awareness. At the base of this process lies effective communication which is the pivot around which this method of empowerment revolves, designed for senior managerial profiles with skills and roles of responsibility.
THE BASICS OF EXECUTIVE COACHING
In order to perform the role of manager in the best possible way, it is essential to acquire full awareness of it and to establish realistic objectives that can be implemented both in the short and long term. The managerial strengthening path implemented through executive coaching focuses on some key questions, aimed at establishing the starting situation and the desired arrival point, with particular reference to the increase in authority within teamwork and effectiveness in the interaction with those in superior levels within the company. Executive coaching favours continuous improvement of one’s performance because it is able to evoke a profound inner transformation, leveraging on the unexpressed potential of the person, thus favouring, for executives, a continuous improvement in the relationship between manager and collaborators. At the same time, the training path is also introspective, because the managerial figure needs to look within himself, define his own growth objectives in line with those of the company, according to well-defined steps.
WHY IS EXECUTIVE COACHING IN A COMPANY FUNDAMENTAL?
One of the epochal changes facing companies today is the shift in attention to human resources, in particular by moving the focus from processes to people, who are the beating heart within a company. Empowerment, mentoring and coaching are concepts that refer to the enhancement of one’s interpersonal relationship skills, understood both as one’s own awareness of one’s abilities in the strict sense and inserted into a professional context. Precisely for this reason, executive coaching has become a central lever in the company, because its benefits are measurable, both in terms of quantity and quality. In quantitative terms, one of the objectives of executive coaching is to determine the Return on Investments (ROI), i.e. the actual business economic benefit deriving from a specific investment.
The increase in productivity relating to the increase in business is, therefore, a tangible factor, directly proportional to a profitable and effective exercise of one’s leadership potential.
Another reason why executive coaching is essential in a business context is in the creation of a high-performance and innovative business culture among team members, at all hierarchical levels. A stimulating and innovative environment, which favours dialogue and active participation of collaborators among themselves, constitutes for fertile ground within a climate of healthy competition, aimed at improving and obtaining excellent results. The executive coach can be considered as a kind of trainer, who prepares and follows managers on their path of individual and professional improvement, to achieve self-empowerment and professional goal satisfaction.
EXECUTIVE COACHING: WHEN IS IT NECESSARY?
In a structured business context, time management and conflict management are one of the main soft skills of an executive. Reconciling professional and private life is also a daily challenge, which requires constant motivation and great clarity. For this reason, executive coaching sessions are crucial for managers who want to increase performance and overcome the challenges of managing time, human resources and business numbers.
Very often, improvement in communication prevents the onset of conflicts or reduces their extent, with the possibility of reaching a solution in a short space of time and a quick resumption of management control. In the most stressful and / or extraordinary cases, however, the executive coach helps the manager in the to unlock his potential to obtain the best possible results in a given context. Furthermore, executive coaching will prove to be profitable and rich in benefits even in those phases in which no particular critical issues arise. The coach’s support is to guide the coachee towards focusing on short and medium-term goals, to correctly identify available resources and an overview of the company, to make the best possible decision among the many that exist.
WHICH RESULTS ARE POSSIBLE TO REACH THANKS TO EXECUTIVE COACHING?
Manager 2.0 is used for problem solving of varying extent and scope on a daily basis. With this in mind, the purpose of executive coaching is not to provide pre-packaged solutions, but to make tools available to managers for more effective management. By placing the manager at the centre of the action, being fully aware of the most suitable means to achieve the objectives, in the shortest possible time. In general, a challenge facing companies every day is change, in particular, the role of the executive coach focuses on supporting customers in business results, regardless of the starting point.
To confront this task, it is necessary to develop strong listening skills, motivation, concentration and to better orientate oneself among the possible options to achieve set goals. In order to carry out his activity in a constructive and effective way, the executive coach must immerse himself in the business reality acquaint himself with information, which he is required to treat in compliance with current regulations and, in general, with the utmost confidentiality and professionalism. Trust is another key activity carried out by the coach and reserved for executives, because this figure will need to come into contact with a series of know-how and information regarding the business. For this reason, trust and confidence, concepts perceived by customers as fundamental, constitute the foundation of the relationship with the executive coach.
HOW ARE EXECUTIVE COACHING SESSIONS USED FOR MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT?
Executive coaching sessions are usually “designed“ to measure, based on a company needs, considering the different situations encountered during the first interview and the briefings that may be necessary between the manager and the professional trainer. Based on the availability of the manager and the objectives he intends to achieve and considering the situation, it will then be possible to prepare a training program modulated according to customized rhythms.
In general, however, the time available to managers tends to be scarce, given the numerous professional commitments and deadlines that they are periodically required to meet. For this reason, executive coaching sessions aim to optimize timing by concentrating on a series of key concepts in a few sessions, with the use of powerful active and “evocative” questions, aimed at making the interaction between coach and coachee stimulating, profitable and satisfying.
The following are among some topics addressed in the context of executive coaching:
- definition of clear, specific and determinable objectives;
- development of skills in achieving effective feedback;
- better negotiation skills;
- increase in the effectiveness of action in the prevention / resolution of conflicts scenario, both within the company and with external parties (e.g. shareholders);
- improvement of communication skills;
- adequate motivation of oneself and collaborators, methods of support.
And the power of coaching doesn’t stop there. A well done “contracting” phase (i.e. the phase of alignment between individual objectives and how to achieve them) means not only starting on the right foot and creating an optimal harmony between coach and coachee but targets topics concerning the specific corporate context and relating to contingent personal issues.