What kinds of things can executive coaching help with?

The beauty of executive coaching is that it’s so tailored to the individual’s and organization’s needs and goals.

Executive coaching works on developing leadership acumen and effectiveness. But what that means and looks like is as varied as the individuals being coached.

We outline the basic process here. Within that process, you have a lot of leeway in what you choose to cover.

For example, let’s look at four individuals we had the opportunity to coach, all from the same company (we changed their names for confidentiality).
  • Andy, a sales manager, wanted to command more respect as a leader, become more organized and efficient, and learn better ways of communicating with his team. His primary business objective for the year was to increase profitability—despite the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic—and have the company become customers’ “first call” resource and preference for their project needs. To do that, he needed to focus on his sales team, building their knowledge, confidence and effectiveness through proper training and coaching.
  • Bart, a sales rep, wanted to be a more effective communicator, recognizing that rushing to keep up with a busy workload often got in the way of that and hurt the team’s ability to work on business objectives. Namely, his business objectives were to grow business by 10%, increase efficiency by 15%, and improve sales success rates by 10%. The coronavirus pandemic made it especially important for him to work on his virtual communication skills, and also his tact in dealing with the challenges related to the pandemic that were affecting both customers and colleagues.

  • Cathy, an operations manager, wanted to improve her listening, delegating and communication skills, with an overarching business objective to increase her team’s ability to communicate with one another and be more self-sufficient and confident in their work. As the team responsible for giving quotations to customers, an important objective was to increase the dollar value of quotes per person and decrease the time spent quoting.

  • Devin, a field service engineer, wanted to work on his communication, assertiveness and judgment, with business objectives focused on stronger reporting on completed work, growing his team (in size and capability), and having multiple repeat customers Finding the right new-hire and building a network to generate more business were high priorities.

As you can see, each of the four came with specific personal and business objectives in mind, and in each case their coaching focused specifically in those areas. Regular sessions discussed progress and issues to date, and the executive coach offered specific principles and techniques for the individual to apply—even in very granular ways. For example, all four were all coached around specific conversations or situations they encountered or needed to address with managers, direct reports, coworkers or customers.

To ensure the coaching was always fresh and applicable, the initial set of objectives was also revisited in each session, and updated as objectives were met or priorities shifted.


What about the results?

We’ll cover those in our next post, where we’ll look at the coaching’s impact from both the participants’ perspective and their managers’.

Until then…

  • If you had an executive coach at your (or your people’s) disposal, what personal qualities would you work on?
    What business objectives would you set?
    What’s keeping you from making it happen?

How can we help your leaders and business excel?