Executive coaching

Coaching is taken for granted in the world of sport where individuals and teams have a coach to provide motivation, enhance skills and refine performance. Ultimately coaching aims to bring out the best in an individual to enable the team to work better as a whole. The same can be said of business and its leaders.

Executive coaching works best when it is:

  • used to help individuals address specific professional development issues or to assist when taking on a particularly challenging work role of project;
  • providing professional and personal development that is particularly appropriate for those in senior positions who have little time and for whom being lonely at the top can be a common experience;
  • driven by the needs of the client. It is about assisting people to achieve their full potential, with a focus on what they want to achieve now and in the future. It is a partnership between the executive coaches and the client and is for a defined period of time.

"My coach helped me to gain clarity over the big issues needing resolution, and identified how I needed to change the way I interacted with directors to address the issues without avoiding difficult matters."

The benefits to the individual

  • Preparation for role/career changes and joining the board
  • Managing stress, change, conflict or crisis
  • Enhancing personal impact and performance

The benefits to the organisation

  • Greater commitment from directors and senior managers
  • Retention of key people who feel valued
  • More creative outlook in business planning
  • Improved management of other staff

The time has come when executive coaching for board members is "a must", as these testimonials show.

The IoD Executive Coaching Service

"Having received a big promotion and being the first time in this role I was looking for a coach who had the technical knowledge as well as the coaching skills to support me."

The IoD executive coaches have a broad spread of experience and skills. 

Executive coaching work most effectively when the individual has clarity about the issues to be addressed. These might be personal 'gremlins' perceived to obstruct performance, certain issues which are best addressed on a one-to-one basis rather than in a formal director training session, or knowledge, skills and behaviours that the individual will need in order to progress into a future role.

Our initial diagnostic process and first session will help to ensure that this clarity can be achieved early on in the process, ensuring that the most appropriate Coach is selected from the start.

The executive coaching process

The process starts with an initial discussion with one of the executive coaches who will seek to understand the individual's objectives, the level of their existing skills, knowledge, behaviours and their motivation. The executive coach will then select the most appropriate executive coach to work with the client, whether it be to deliver career coaching, performance coaching or another form of service.

The time frame for the coaching relationship is dependent on the issues to be addressed. There are situations when objectives can be achieved within a couple of sessions and in other cases the relationship can go on for longer.

Single sessions where executive coaching is required on a specific skill are also available. A typical example of where this may apply includes presentation or media skills in the run up to a big meeting or a press interview. This works very well when some intensive coaching is required and a course is either not immediately available or would not be appropriate because of time pressures or the need for confidentiality.

"The 1:1 sessions have allowed me to identify new markets and think beyond my comfort zones. I have won new business, my customers are confident with my service and I personally have grown in confidence."

Executive mentoring

Frequently the relationship between executive coach and client becomes ongoing on an 'as and when required' basis, giving the client an opportunity to share new ideas or problem solve with an outside party who understands them and their business. This can be a valuable and insightful process, with the objective always to meet the needs of the client. Mentoring implies a longer, less formal and structured relationship which, nevertheless, can be extremely powerful and beneficial over the medium to long term.

Contact us

Please call +44 (0)20 7766 2601 to obtain more details and to discuss your needs and options.


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