Executive Coaching Essay

Pages: 6 (1878 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Leadership

Executive Coaching

In the recent past, organizational and executive coaching has continued to gain in popularity as firms seek to enhance the ability of leaders and executives to achieve both organizational and professional goals. In my view, the growing popularity of executive coaching is also in one way or the other rooted in the critical role organizational/executive coaches play in developing leaders in their current job setting. In this text, I describe my past views in regard to the purpose of organizational/executive coaches. Further, I highlight my current views on the purpose of coaching based on the ideas I have obtained over time from various sources. In the final sections of the text, I compare and contrast my past (initial) and present (enhanced) views on the purpose of executive coaching.

The Purpose of an Executive/Organizational Coach: An Examination of Past Views

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Although the popularity of executive/organizational coaching has been on the rise in the recent past, the same cannot be considered a new phenomenon. Personally, I have in the past held diverse views regarding executive/organizational coaching, its nature as well as purpose. To begin with, prior to my enhanced understanding of executive/organizational coaching, I considered the same to be critical for the development of talent in an organizational setting. I held the opinion that executive coaching was instrumental in enhancing the existing skills and leadership capabilities of executives. This in my view was necessary as organizations sought to build their effectiveness and that of their employees using a wide range of coaching approaches and assessment tools.

Essay on Executive Coaching Assignment

Next, I was convinced that yet another important purpose of an executive/organizational coach was spearheading organizational and behavioral change. In my view then, the roles of an executive coach as a change agent could vary largely. In this case, I was of the opinion that in seeking to bring about change, executive/organizational coaches were involved in the establishment of a coaching culture (where it didn't exist) as well as the general creation of a learning organization. Hence in my view, the purpose of an executive/organizational coach as a change agent was largely limited to the development of new ways of working and thinking in any given organization.

I also considered the purpose of an executive/organizational coach to revolve around helping leaders accelerate their success. In this regard, I reasoned that one of the main reasons organizations hired executive/organizational coaches was to nurture the existing talents and skills of leaders so as to fast track their development towards self and organizational fulfillment. Closely related to this was the view that coaches could be counted upon when it came to the enhancement/facilitation of special organizational or personal objectives of executives including but not in any way limited to team building, performance management, communication skills (professional and interpersonal) and career transition.

The Purpose of Coaching: Enhanced Views

Based on a variety of readings on the subject, my understanding as well as view of executive/organizational coaching and its purpose has been greatly reinforced. According to Goldsmith and Lyons (2006, p. 95), "today's successful executives must embrace self-development and learning." It is becoming increasingly difficult for executives in the current day and age to apply old approaches to new problems facing businesses. This is partly due to the dynamic nature of modern business. Therefore, executives have to find a way of responding to pressures and new trends in their respective work situations. To respond to these pressures and meet various organizational needs, modern executives are increasingly embracing learning and self-development. The purpose of coaching in this regard therefore involves the development of executive skills and knowledge in a way that helps the concerned executives handle situations cropping up in a more professional and proactive way given today's highly dynamic business world. Hence in this case, the purpose of coaching remains the development of skills and other competencies. This is the approach Peltier (2010, p. 348) brands "coaching for skills." In his submission, Peltier (2010) is of the opinion that coaching for skills can be triggered when there is a perceived deficit of certain skills. Skills to be enhanced in this case could include time management, personal organization, interpersonal skills development etc. When the purpose of coaching is the development or enhancement of certain skills, the author is of the opinion that the coaching process comes to an end "when the executive learns the skill" (Peltier 2010, p. 349).

Closely related to the above point is what Flaherty (2010, p. 3) calls the "self-correction" product of coaching. Here, the purpose of coaching remains the empowerment of clients. In the author's opinion, clients who are well coached can easily identify when their actual outcomes deviate from desired outcomes and in such a case institute corrective measures or adjustments without the continued intervention of the coach. Hence in such a case, when the purpose of coaching remains the empowerment of clients, the coach should concentrate on building the competency of the client and thus should not make him or herself indispensable.

Next, according to Goldsmith and Lyons (2006, p. 95), "coaching allows executives to learn while at work, while keeping up the pace." Though learning and development of skills remain important undertakings whose relevance cannot be overstated, the same in some instances could be resource intensive and time consuming if it is not taken on-the-job. As Goldsmith and Lyons (2006) note, today's fast paced organizational climate makes it hard for leaders to embrace learning as an entirely separate undertaking. While executives may have to spend some time off-site as they seek to polish-up their technical know-how, the authors argue that "leadership skills are best learned in the workplace and on the job" (Goldsmith and Lyons, 2006, p. 95). Thus in a way, coaching comes in handy when seeking to apply learning to immediate work situations. This is what Goldsmith and Lyons (2006, p. 95) refer to as "just-in-time teaching of skills." Hence coaching fulfills a critical purpose of allowing executives and leaders to develop new skills and capabilities while at work.

Third, as Flaherty (2010) notes, coaching helps organizations retain their employees by providing them with an opportunity for continuous learning. Many employees (even the most outstanding ones) today do not anticipate continuing working for a single company or firm for their entire career. They hence work or live with the notion that their positions are in one way or the other temporal. This is founded on the fact that most organizational positions have been rendered temporal based on the various re-engineering and downsizing efforts by organizations. In an attempt to address this concern, Flaherty (2010) is of the opinion that organizations are increasingly using attractive compensation packages and new learning avenues (i.e. coaching) to retain some of their employees for as long as possible.

Yet another role of coaching is the provision of management or executive support. In this case, a coach may be of great help when the leader needs help in making decisions or formulating policies. Peltier (2010) is of the opinion that based on the ongoing nature of such an undertaking; the coach may either be required to avail him or herself on as-needed or regular basis. Peltier (2010, p. 350) also notes that in such an arrangement, the coach may be regarded both "a sounding board and reality test."

Change management can also be considered yet another purpose of coaching. It can be noted that one of the main impediments to the change process remains resistance to change. Further, according to Hudson (1999), the ability of employees to stay focused on long-term projects and sustain motivation is often impacted upon by complex change. In this case, coaching comes in handy in availing clarifications regarding the said change as well as diluting worries and concerns in relation to the same. In a way, effective coaching can help deflate some misplaced concerns which inform resistance and in the process help in gathering support for the change process. Hudson (1999) is also of the opinion that coaches can help clients see the various benefits of change. With that in mind, coaching acts as an effective change agent as it helps in motivating individuals in a given organization to support change initiatives.

As a mentor from within, the relevance of a coach in both personal and organizational development cannot be overstated. In Peltier's (2010) opinion, only a handful of organizations organize for a mentor from within. This is regardless of the fact that most organizations are prone to occasional mistakes which could cloud their resolve to march forward. In such a case, the role coaches play as both teachers and mentors is critical towards enhanced organizational performance.

The Purpose of Coaching: Initial Views vs. Enhanced Views

Based on the discussion above, it is possible to compare and contrast my past (initial) and present (enhanced) views on the purpose of coaching. To begin with, just as I did in the past, I still consider change management one of the main purposes of coaching. My opinion then, which has been further reinforced by… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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