Leadership coaching is an activity that most companies and their executives constantly wait for. Who will turn down some executive coaching that could help entrepreneurs and executives handle their employees well, which in turn will help employees lift their abilities to the fullest and possibly yield a five-to-one return on investment (for every one dollar you spend in coaching, you get five dollars worth of output because of the increased employee motivation)? No matter how well an organization proceeds, there will always be issues that it will inevitably face and which can test executive morale and there will always be some problems between management and the employees which may take root from the personalities of the executives themselves.

Executive coaching broadly focuses on building up the natural strengths of the executive to make him perform more through his own capacities. Other purposes of executive coaching is to develop additional skills that can be useful in handling resources and to remove thinking patterns that prove detrimental to the executive and his or her system of management. All of these begin with the executive analyzing themselves with the help of a coach. The coach is the person responsible for the executive’s learning; the coach assesses the executive’s development, offers reinforcements, gives feedback, and ensures the executive’s self-improvement and success in future endeavours.

Many types of executives can gain from leadership coaching. From the topmost CEO or Director to the Vice-President to the middle management, coaching can help them reinforce their useful skills and remove their unproductive ones, so that they can handle more responsibilities with ease and moreover; be able to rise to higher rungs in the management ladder with more ease and less stress. Organizational mindset is such that executives have immense raw talent and experience, but they can still be pushed harder to contribute for the company’s good through training and introspection. Coaching can also be a means to help executives sort out their own problems or deficiencies, find all the given facts that could help them come up with plans, and finally figure out solutions that they can use in the future.

Coaching, however, should not be construed as an activity in which the coach provides all the answers to the executive’s problems. That is too intrusive an activity for coaching to do; coaches know far less about the company than the executive knows. Coaching should be viewed as an activity that will help the executive find the answers himself. Coaches do not decide key decisions that the executive has to make; coaches instead promote the executive’s maturity so that the executive will know the implications of each decision made. Coaches are not assertive on the executive’s philosophy; coaches instead try to reinforce the good points of that philosophy, point out applications inside the company, and ferret out the bad points of that philosophy. Coaches provide resources, precepts and plenty of encouragement; so that the executive can stand and think on his feet.

Upon the end of leadership coaching, the executive should be able to examine himself regularly as he decides policy and makes decisions, apply newfound knowledge and strengths to managerial activities, and find more opportunities for greater self-improvement with the aim of being a good business leader that can empower the personnel he handles.

Ajaero Tony Martins