What types of executive coaching are there, and what is the time commitment?
With a view to limiting disruption of daily business and to allowing time for reflection and experimentation on the part of the client while maintaining momentum, executive coaching sessions are usually held weekly.
Read first: What is Executive Coaching?
Each client has his or her own needs, and this means that time needed may vary, but in general, this executive coaching intervention takes three months. The business owner, or a manager together with the business owner or HR manager work with the coach to create a developmental plan. Goals are set, methods are considered and agreed on, and time frames are determined. Broadly speaking, the entire process takes eight to fifteen hours.
This is a more extensive intervention and usually takes place over six months to a year. Apart from determining developmental goals and creating a road map for reaching them, the coach and executive look at strategic issues and the development of business strategy. Each aspect requires extensive data collection and analysis. Usually, the entire process takes a total of thirty to sixty hours of “face time”.
Team coaching not only helps to strengthen teams, it also serves as an essential tool in managing change. Team coaching usually begins with of a clarification the true mission and values of the organization. Each manager on the team provides input and commits to the change process.
Thereafter, further coaching meetings follow in the form of one-on-one meetings, unless circumstances dictate that the whole team should be involved. Unless a contingency meeting is needed, the team coaching is followed up with quarterly meetings in which progress is discussed and priorities are reaffirmed. Again, thirty to sixty hours of interaction will usually suffice.
How can you make the most of executive coaching?
Commitment is the first requirement for success. If you do not feel that you can commit to a process, then it may be wrong for you. Remember, it is up to the organization to determine what it wants. Change can be uncomfortable, but once you have got through the “eye of the needle” your organization can begin to perform. That’s why a serious commitment must be made before a change process is initiated.
The relationship between coach and client is one of deep trust and confidentiality. As a result, the respective interpersonal styles are likely to affect the quality of the relationship as well as the outcomes. It is important that both parties to be honest about any barriers to progress that may be occurring as a result of differences in interpersonal style and be prepared to provide genuine feedback.
Commitment seems to imply that people are ready for change, but quite often, executives may feel that whilst everyone else has to change their ways of working they themselves do not. Clearly, this would constitute a serious barrier to an effective coaching relationship. A willingness to acknowledge that there’s always room for improvement, and a desire to take positive action is absolutely essential.
Your choice of coach could be a make or break decision. Many people who have no certification or training as a coach set themselves up as coaches. Coaching is a specialized discipline; just being able to “talk the talk” will never make a person an effective coach.
Determining goals, charting a process for reaching them, and agreeing on ways of measuring success should all form part of the executive coach’s work process. Get this right and you will have the best chance of taking your business to the next level.
Also Read: How Executive Coaching Works