I have been hearing a lot about executive coaching and decided to share some information, in case some of you are considering this tool. The article, “What an Executive Coach Can Do for You” by Paul Michelman, provides logical and comprehensive advice on the subject. I recommend you take a look at it by clicking on the title above.
Executive coaches are used extensively (well, perhaps before our current economic crisis) by large companies. A few years ago a study found that 86% of large companies surveyed used executive coaches to prepare their lower and middle managers for more advanced leadership.
The article states that coaching assists individuals develop through the use of feedback, something that not all lower and middle managers receive at all. Coaching can also be accomplished without sending employees to expensive trainings that take them from the office.
The author curiously cautions that the use of an executive coach for advancing a career in general, is not a good strategy. Rather, he states that using a coach should be a strategy for those who already know specifically what they want to accomplish, but just “don’t know how to get there.” This is odd to me since I would assume an effective coach could be used to assist an individual discover what they truly want and need as it relates to their job and overall career. Therefore, I would avoid the type of coach the author of this article describes.
To conclude, I will mention that the use of coaching does not necessarily have to focus on moving up the corporate latter. Small businesses can hire coaches to assess their business and give suggestions for improvement. And, a colleague of mine recently hired a Spanish language coach to improve his use of the language; He reports success.
So, if a Wyoming small business owner is considering the use of a coach, keep in mind there are many options out there as to what you can get coaching for and, make sure the coach will deliver something useful to your business rather than just holding your hand to make you feel better about yourself. What has your experience been with an Executive Coach? Please share your story and how this has impacted your business and career.