Client by client, ICF coaches help their clients improve lives, relationships and business performance. They make a real and measurable difference in people’s lives, which is why we’re passionate about making sure our coaches are well equipped to do their jobs.
Leadership coaching is an individualized process that builds a leader’s capability to achieve short- and long-term organizational goals. Coaching is personalized, customized, usually conducted one-on-one for a defined period of time and with a specific business purpose in mind. Initially instituted to save derailing managers, leadership coaching now typically focuses on enhancing performance for leaders at all levels. Leadership coaching helps:
- Organizations grow and expand their leadership bench.
- Leaders who want to gain an edge in self-marketing and branding.
- Individuals targeted as future leaders who need to sharpen their skills.
It is estimated that over 60% of Fortune 500 CEO’s have their own personal coaches. While formal education and training equips leaders to handle the more technical demands of their role, their personal growth and relationship skills development are better addressed by a one-on-one coaching relationship.
Candid, thoughtful feedback is critical and harder to obtain as leaders advance in their careers. Unfortunately, promising careers can derail due to blind spots in critical interpersonal and leadership competencies. This can be devastating to the individual and extremely costly to the company.
At its best, coaching is a partnership relationship. Rather than the coach being “the expert” and providing answers for the client; the client is the expert in the organization and the coach helps the client to become even more of an expert. The coach typically employs a variety of methods:
- Data from anonymous surveys or climate surveys to identify behaviours that can be linked with business outcomes.
- Active listening; the coach does not solve the client’s problems but guides the client to solve his or her own problems.
- Help the client set priorities, anticipate and overcome potential obstacles.
- Lead the client out of his or her comfort zone to explore new options.
- Provide perspective based upon the coach’s own experiences.
- Assist the client with goal setting, action planning.
- Recommend specific books or other sources of learning.
- Meet on a regular basis, often with on-the-job “homework” assignments between meetings.
- Manage the confidentiality of the coaching partnership. In most cases, the official “client” is the organization who is paying the coaching invoice, yet the true “client” is the individual being coached.