Executive Coaching: Why are more managers taking the step?


Coaching has empowered many people, e.g. athletes, singers, politicians, and teams to achieve their goals. So does executive coaching. Why is it so successful?

If you believe that you could be a better manager or leader than you already are, this article on executive coaching is for you.

…and if you’re hungry for more after reading it, don’t miss out these leadership posts:

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In 1875, Harvard and Yale played one of the first football games. Yale had a coach, Harvard did not. The results: over the following 30 years Harvard won only 4 games. Like in sports, business coaches can be tremendous drivers of professional and personal development. Surely one of the key reasons is that leadership styles and demands on business leaders have evolved.

Today’s leader and their development

Today, to be considered a leader, it is no longer enough to occupy a position of responsibility in the top management of a multinational company with hundreds of people in charge.

Leaders today – and at Shine we believe it has always been like this – are people who have followers.

Therefore a top manager is someone who puts himself/herself at the service of people and earns authority because the person is respected for that consistency between what he/she does, says and thinks. Similarly, directors are respected for their authenticity and integrity.

Obviously it is essential that executives and managers also have convincing leadership skills e.g. for communicating, influencing, developing a trustful inspiring vision or efficient decision-taking.

But their technical knowledge is not enough. And developing authenticity, courage, integrity and knowing how to manage emotions is not learned at university or in an MBA.

It is precisely at this point that executive and business coaching brings value: in a personalised way it contributes to developing self-knowledge, self-awareness and key skills to be an efficient, impactful leader.

Two out of three coaches declared to the ICF (International Coach Federation) that their main clients were managers, executives and business owners, in that order.

What is executive coaching, and what are its benefits

Coaching for CEOs and business leaders is not a magic recipe nor the elixir of leadership that will secure your position for life.

Executive coaching is an individualised and collaborative relationship between an executive and a coach, with the objective of achieving a sustained change in their behaviour and transforming their personal and professional quality of life.

Perry Zeus and Suzanne Skiffington

Great coaches become our external eyes and ears and give us a more accurate picture of reality, recognise the intentions of our work, help us identify blind spots (i.e. things we don’t see), and constructively challenge the link between what we do and what we want to achieve.

Fact is: there are many challenges that, faced alone, can become tough: you often don’t see the full picture, might be stuck on analysing the problem instead of driving for the final end goal. And if you se the solution, you might not always know how to make it happen or hesitate.

The result is that somewhere along the way you might stop progressing in some relevant growth areas.

It doesn’t matter if we are at the earlier stage of our life and professional career or look back on a long track record in leadership: evolving and changing is difficult. And empowering strengths and overcoming challenges is even more so. Especially when we do it alone.

Executive coaching for CEOs and Business Leaders

So, executive coaching can be a powerful way to help in your professional leadership development – and more often than not at the same time your personal development.

Especially given today’s global scenario, where managers and team leaders need to constantly evolve to adapt and learn new skills, tools and above all attitudes to lead authentically and comprehensively.

Is executive coaching the only way to develop these skills? – The obvious answer is no. But: we experience every day that coaching is an accelerator of development.

It gives flexibility and the right personalised approach to facilitate change, make us more empathetic, aware, better emotion managers, better listeners and communicators, better solvers.

Executive coaching-101

Coaching skills that every manager can learn and develop through executive coaching

What are the skills a good executive coach should have to bring the value described above? Here’s a list of some critical skills. Skills, that – as a matter of fact – every leader should integrate to develop their leadership impact and leadership efficiency.

  • Developing active listening
  • Achieving empathy and motivation in team members
  • Develop emotional intelligence
  • Ability to generate clear and motivating communication: assertiveness
  • Ability to create value-key questions
  • Help people challenge their fears and limitations
  • Create comprehensive and achievable action plans
  • Learn to delegate wisely and wisely (to whom, when, how)

To wrap up: now you know why more and more managers are opting for executive coaching: its effectiveness as a development tool has driven them to achieve their two main objectives: achieving results and developing people. All starting by developing themselves.