Executive & Senior Management Coaching
Executive and Senior Management Coaching focuses on the achievement of individual and team development objectives that in turn improve organisational performance outcomes.
Our executive coaching process brings a skilled organisational psychologist into the organisation to observe behaviour and provide feedback on its consequences; they analyse, and structure organisational problems; they employ social and management sciences to define strategic solutions; and they co-design action plans that executives and management teams can immediately implement. In their work, an executive coach employs concepts from disciplines as diverse as personality psychology, cognitive therapy, management theory, systems models, group dynamics, and strategic thinking; bringing these to bear at the point of greatest need for the executive – the critical issues that keep them up at night.
Individual Executive Coaching
Coaching of an executive provides a personalised development experience that can produce a step change in their leadership effectiveness. Rather than focusing on what the executive must learn or develop, coaching focuses on the issues they face in their daily work, as they are facing them, with the coach providing insightful analysis and supportive guidance in how to deal with these. Executive coaching differs from standard training methods in that it draws upon knowledge of the leader’s personality, thinking and leadership style, combining these with the technical skills of understanding organisational problems and how to influence people, to produce customised solutions that the executive will put into action immediately.
Executive coaching typically starts with psychometric profiling and feedback on a range of leadership attributes including personality, leader derailers, emotional intelligence and personal values. It may also involve skill and behaviour assessment in the areas of business acumen, management competencies and 360-degree feedback. From this the executive’s leadership profile is derived, indicating areas of relative strength and weakness and in particular potential ‘blind spots’ where they may be unaware of their flaws. The focus of the executive profile is to define the clay the executive has to work with and how best they can leverage their talents. The aim is not to ‘fix’ them, as generally executives who receive coaching are already recognised as highly effective professionals (otherwise why would you spend the money on them?). To such people, the coaching experience offers a fast track to moving beyond their individual effectiveness to becoming a role model and leader of exceptional performance.
Individual Executive Coaching Sessions
Executive coaching sessions are typically 45 minutes and are conducted in 2 – 3 weekly intervals with sessions conducted face to face and over the phone. Coaches may be involved in the workplace to observe the executive’s behaviour and impact, providing an integrated perspective on how their leadership profile operates in real-time scenarios. Practice activities and behavioural homework are undertaken by the executive and reviewed at the start of each coaching session. All sessions are private and confidential, and have the single purpose of supporting the executive to achieve their professional leadership goals. In this regard, the coach is solely dedicated to the executive’s needs and will act as a trusted confidant and partner in their professional development.
Senior Management Team Coaching
Sometimes the senior management team as a whole requires the insight and development opportunities provided by executive coaching. This is particularly important when a new management team is being formed, or during times of turbulence or crisis, or when the board feels that senior executives are not operating as a high performing unit.
An executive team coach observes interactions during leadership meetings and provides feedback on the behavioural dynamics operating in the group. They use models from group psychology to assess competitive and collaborative behaviours in the team, the balance of which underpins both the creative and the destructive potential within groups, and they provide feedback to shape these inherent tensions into highly productive team interactions. The coach may support the executive team to better understand their problem solving and decision-making processes, and how individual behaviours can enhance or derail these. They often help executives to differentiate between the functions of governance, strategy formation and operations, and to recognise the different roles of the board and the executive team with regard to these functions.
The work of the executive team coach may involve introducing systemic models for understanding complex organisational issues; or theories that bring risk and opportunity frameworks into team decision making; or innovative thinking approaches to business process planning; or critical thinking perspectives to the formation of strategy. Whatever the intervention, it is imperative that the coach’s advice is directly relevant to the challenges facing the group, meaningful and comprehensible to those involved, and specific and immediately actionable by the senior management team. Indeed, the two most important qualities of a great executive team coach are the ability to identify the root causes of critical issues and knowing the most relevant discipline and body of knowledge to apply to them. An executive group that uses the insights provided by a great coach to leverage their individual and collective effectiveness will recognise their true potential as a high performance team.
If you would more information or need coaching for yourself or your team, please contact us.