Today’s business executives, those higher up on the corporate ladder, have a lot on their plates, especially in today’s digital world where e-mail, faxes, Skype live chat meetings, and much more add up to a lot to juggle. Sometimes, even the best educated or trained professional may get overwhelmed, and that is just with the paperwork; perception of self and others as both human beings and employees can be difficult, and may require some skills not finely taught in general institutions or training. But an executive coach can make all the difference, and bring out the best in upper management. These consultants, and similar ones such as life coaches or a career coach, can offer similar skills for a client.
The Need For an Executive Coach
A business professional cannot always “do it all.” Every employee is a different person with different personal and professional needs and interests, and sometimes, an employee may quit because he or she feels undervalued or unneeded, or the benefits and feedback from a company are not adequate. A high rate of employee turnover can harm a company, costing it a lot of money to replace those people and suffering from the lack of the work that that employee would have done. Many business leaders recognize that employee retention is something to take seriously, but sometimes, the work environment, or the boss’s management and personal style, may be fueling that high retention rate. However, an executive coach can help prevent these problems.
Put simply, an executive coach is hired by a client boss at a company and guides him or her on how to be more effective at communication, evaluating and perceiving others at the workplace, and self perception. Often, the skills taught are meant to be learned and continued after the executive coach’s work is done. If a boss feels a need for an executive coach, he or she can search for a few and compare fees, client feedback, and more. A coach, once selected, can work closely with a client for self improvement.
As explained at Forbes, there are several arenas in which an executive coach can assist a client. For one, self perception is something that an executive coach will teach. The coach will observe how employees perceive the boss (along with the coach’s own observations) and share these with the client. Good self awareness, after all, can positively impact profitability and organizational awareness, and the client can figure out how to grow and better see him or herself in the future.
In addition, the executive coach will teach the opposite: how to perceive others. Sometimes, a boss may lose good employees because they fail to acknowledge or make use of an employee’s skills or work efficiency, or conversely, may accidentally keep a poor worker for too long due to not properly assessing them. Similarly, the executive coach can teach leadership skills to the client by showing them how to respond better to others and facilitate better communication, and inspire and motivate others. On a related note, an executive coach can show the client how to build better and more productive work relationships, and in particular, help the client undo a natural tendency to favor people of a certain race, work style, religion, or sex. Narrow relationship-building can lead to a lot of missed opportunities, after all.
Similar guides exist for client bases outside company executives. Life coaches can teach similar skills of self perception and how to evaluate and make friends with others, for such areas as making meaningful friendships, dating, getting along with roommates, or how to maximize a person’s own skills, hobbies, and positive personality traits and make the most of them.