A couple of weeks ago I heard someone from HR stating that his company top management thought of executive coaching as remedial, and as something to “recover” weak performers… When hearing this all my “coaching bells” rang!
What I thought was buried in the past, the word coaching carrying a remedial rather than a developmental connotation, it is not, at least not completely. It was a common understanding that people needed to be coached because they were not performing well, and the attention was focused on finding and implementing a solution to the immediate performance problem. The executive coach appeared as the prescriber of a solution. Fortunately this connotation has been continuously fading…
As Maslow once said “is not good to give people the truth. The thing to do is to help them to discover the truth about themselves for themselves”, and I quite agree with this vision. People are much more engaged to change and to transformation if they discover and recognize it as their own developmental process.
So, what is Executive Coaching about after all?
It’s a structured process that unlocks a person’s potential to maximize their performance. It helps to learn rather than teaching or giving solutions. The executive coach helps the coachee to achieve their personal best and to produce the results they want in their personal and professional lives.
On the other hand, it is well recognized that executive coaching offers one of the most effective developmental interventions leadership wise. It helps leaders develop self-awareness and recognize blind spots, helps to think collectively, widening their vision and enabling to think systemically.
Whether an executive feels stigmatized when being coached depends a great deal on the approach Management takes. If resistant to coaching it simply won’t work and will be a waste of resources.
With the right approach, being about performance enhancement, generating potential and possibilities, it can be seen as a perk, a competitive edge.
If before people were put forward for executive coaching if they were seen as an organization problem, the reverse is now true, with a focus on high performing candidates who are believed to be worth the investment. Companies want to actively enhance strong capability and have a strong return on investment.
According to an ICF Global study, 86% of organizations say they have a return when investing in Executive Coaching. Moreover 19% of the people saw a ROI 50 times greater than the initial investment and 28% saw ROI 10 to 49 times greater than the investment made.
I invite you to consider investing in executive coaching for yourself and even to start developing a business coaching culture through a Leadership through Coaching style.
Want to know more? Let me know.
Marta Sousa | Business Director & Associated Coach at Bright Concept