Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Could I Use an Executive Coach?

Years ago, while going through a rough patch in my career, an executive coach proved to be invaluable. He gave me important feedback, helped me monitor my truth meter and provided me with a renewed sense of worth. He also helped me find the courage to begin exploring other options and reminded me to keep looking forward. Jay Bloom says that the higher up one goes the fewer confidants one will have. No doubt. Think about it, could you use an executive coach right now? Bunnie

Could I Use an Executive Coach?

by Jay Bloom, President of Bloom Anew

An executive coach is a valuable resource for organizational leaders because the higher one ascends on the formal leadership ladder, the more limited one is in whom s/he can confide. A leader cannot confide on certain issues with direct reports, employees, colleagues, competitors, or individual Board members, for example. And leaders understand that confining oneself to internal dialogues can limit effectiveness.

In the more than 25 years I’ve been involved in executive coaching, I’ve seen two primary areas that make coaching truly valuable to leaders: transitions and skill development.

Leaders facing some type of transition choice are usually asking one or more of the following questions:

Should I take a promotion and/or relocate?
Do I leave this company and change employers?
Do I get out of this field and re-career?
Am I the right leader for this organization at this time, and going forward? Do I retire? What do I want to do after I retire?

The leader’s spouse or partner may be a resource, but because they clearly have a vested option in the outcome of these questions, the spouse or partner may not be able to provide the neutral space that the leader needs to consider and reflect on his or her primary needs and desires.

At this time of critical transition, an executive coach can help frame the choices, explore the leader’s personal and professional goals, and understand the possible outcomes. The executive coach provides a leader-to-leader/peer-to-peer perspective that also provides encouragement and motivation for change.

The second purpose of executive coaching is in the development of a particular leadership skill or set of skills. As a leader rises higher in an organization, his or her technical skills become less important, and a greater requirement is the development of emotional intelligence skills. No longer responsible for executing tasks or strategies, leaders must manage people, inspire performance, and develop partnerships. These kinds of leadership responsibilities require greater self awareness, managing one’s emotions and the development of one’s empathic skills. All of these skills are required to work more effectively with people and the growing diversity in the work environment—diversity that not only includes race, gender, ethnicity, class and sexual orientation, but also generational differences.

Executive coaches can provide immediate support to organizational leaders in:

crisis management situations
facilitating communication between the board and management
improving management and supervisory skills
creating a healthy organizational culture
consideration of merger or other partnership models
succession planning

As the economy takes its toll on organizations of all sizes, leaders are experiencing increasingly relentless pressures and what feel like permanent whitewater conditions. The confidential relationship with an executive coach is not only a very important investment for the individual leader, but for the organization as well.

Jay C. Bloom provides executive coaching and organizational consultation as President/CEO of Bloom Anew. Jay has undergraduate and graduate degrees in psychology, and has attended executive management programs at Yale and Harvard Universities. Most recently, Jay served as the interim President/CEO of United Way of Columbia–Willamette, as the director of Multnomah County’s Task Force on Vital Aging, and as President/CEO of Morrison Child and Family Services, a $20 million nonprofit, for 13 years.

13 comments:

  1. I think you've really isolated two key areas. Both skills development and transitional moments really can be easier with coaching. There are many skills that execs don't have that could benefit them (i.e. systems development and implementation). And, of course, moving into new territory always comes with accompanying challenges.

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  2. This is a helpful article. I have known a website about Executive Coaching (http://www.instituteforcoaching.com/). Hope that everybody can find out more useful information.)

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  3. Thanks for the writing this article Jay. A study conducted by the International Coach Federation reported the following benefits of working with an executive coach. They stated:

    A landslide of 98.5% of coaching clients said their investment in a coach was well worth the money.

    * 70% of clients said their investment in a coach was very valuable.
    * 28.5% said their investment was valuable.
    * 1.5% said their investment in a coach had not been valuable.

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  4. can you recommend research discussing why non-profits could benefit from coaching?

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  5. When I needed grant writing help I found the resources I needed through informative blogs like this one.

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  6. This article hit home. When I needed to go to dual diagnosis treatment I found that these guys were caring and compassionate.

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  7. That is why; there are many kinds of executive coaching programs that you can select for your employees in order to develop key skills, which they require in order to do their jobs in a better manner. Enlisting your staff for such trainings and coaching programs can eventually help to increase their efficiency.

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  8. Easily, the article is actually the best topic on this registry related issue. I fit in with your conclusions and will eagerly look forward to your next updates. Just saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the fantasti c lucidity in your writing. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates. executive coaching Florida

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  9. An executive coach helps executives to deal with stress and attain a strategic place in life. Becoming leaders in their spheres and developing their communication skills becomes a challenge for the executives.

    Executive coaching Toronto

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  12. There is no doubt that more and more business owners are using the expertise of executive coaches these days to become more successful. Leadership development is a must to take their ventures to new heights.

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