Executive coaching techniques are employed to yield maximum productivity of the individual as well as the company. They aim to ensure the recognition of the employee’s potential in the workplace, develop the leadership skills, provide constructive criticisms, provoke introspections and reflection along with other responsibilities that help the employees contribute and become more valuable in nature.
Executive coaching techniques are also supposed to improve the communication of the employee which acts as a major requirement in the case of leadership qualities. It needs to be understood that executive coaching techniques are dependent on the executive coaches and also on the area where the organization requires growth.
Executive Coaching Techniques
A learning and development roundtable study (Corporate Executive board) recognized the top five growing and investment areas from 2005 to 2006 as the following soft skills:
- Leadership Skills (40%)
- People Management Skills (35.7%)
- Job-Specific Skills (28.6%)
- Customer Service Skills (21.4%)
- Technology Skills (21.4%)
More than half the organizations displayed an increase in the employment of coaching services to work on the improvement of such skills and there was also a display of increased spending on coaching as well as mentoring. This shows that executive coaching techniques are vital to enhance such skills and improve the quality of the employee.
Executive coaching techniques varies according to the country, the person (coach) and other such variable factors that are more likely to influence the best outcome. However, some of the common techniques that were narrowed down on by some of the coaches were reflection, guided practice, appreciative inquiry, assessment and feedback.
Appreciative inquiry is a change management approach that aims to identify what is working well, analysis of the reason to why it’s working well and ensure the repetition of this work for efficiency. A coach who works with middle level managers claimed that they lay heavy emphasis on appreciative enquiry as it bridge the gap of the clients past success to the future action.
Some of the specific executive coaching techniques used might also encompass the use of mental models, inclusion of others as a part of coach initiative, finding mentors or even role playing. Role playing is a technique that has gained some importance as it helped the coachees identify their strengths and weaknesses from another person’s perspective.
Some coaches prefer certain instruments (Benchmark, Myers-Briggs), models (Assessment-Challenge-Support) or framework (Hofstede, Trompenaars, Edward T. Hall) to support as executive coaching techniques. The above mentioned specifics are mostly subjective to the coach. These instruments better the work of coaching as they are standardized. However, it is only opted by some coaches and is not a vital technique that is adapted even by most coaches.
Some of the small executive coaching techniques that contributes to the final required outcome are characterized by being extremely conscious of the timeframe trying to cover as much ground as possible and ensure that the material is conveyed effectively to the coachees. Another technique that is found to be effective for most coaches is a list on a flipchart to summarize the entire session and then discuss collectively while the focus is on the coachees answers.
From these techniques, we can conclude that executive coaching techniques is highly dependent on the coach and the techniques itself are subjective to the coachees as well the objective of the executive coaching training.