At The Leadership Development Group, we’re experts in executive coaching. And, we recognize that if you haven’t been fortunate enough to experience coaching yourself, you may fall prey to some common misconceptions. In this blog, we’re debunking some of the most common myths surrounding executive coaching and providing a few ways to maximize your coaching experience.
5 Common Myths:1. It's one-size-fits-all.
Absolutely not! Every coaching program is unique to the goals of the individual leader and the context of their job and organization. The idea that all executive coaching programs are the same and produce the same outcome is misleading.
While all coaching includes assessments, development planning, and individualized sessions, what occurs between the coach and the coachee is customized to the coachee’s particular needs and development goals. Tailored coaching programs enhance an individual leader’s capabilities by ensuring the program considers each coachees’ unique circumstances and objectives.2. The benefit is limited.
In our years of developing and coaching leaders, we’ve heard the concern that the benefit of coaching is limited to the individual leader going through the process. We argue the opposite. The purpose of executive coaching is to accelerate individual performance and to improve team and overall business performance, and executive coaching can have a massive positive impact on entire organizations.
Additionally, the numbers don’t lie. A 2021 survey on the impact of executive coaching as a leadership development tool reported a range of positive outcomes that followed executive coaching:
- 67% of respondents said coaching increased employee engagement and satisfaction.
- 54% said it improved bench leadership strength.
- 50% said it improved productivity.
According to the May 2023 LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report, companies with employees who have been coached and learn new leadership skills and behaviors have a nearly 7% higher retention rate than those who are not coached. The Global Talent Trends Report from October 2022 also found that employees who make an internal move — which can be accomplished through gaining skills through coaching that prepares them for a higher role — are more likely to stay at their organization longer than those who stay in the same role without development opportunities.4. Executive coaching is not measurable.
We’ve also heard that the impact of executive coaching is intangible and difficult to measure. While we agree that it may seem difficult to quantify the benefits of executive coaching, these programs can be highly measurable and impactful. We know that executive coaching increases the likelihood of positive organizational outcomes by 25% and overall job performance for individuals by 20%.
Well-designed coaching engagements set clear objectives, establish key performance indicators (KPIs), and regularly assess progress towards achieving those goals. Metrics such as improved leadership effectiveness, increased employee engagement, enhanced team performance, and measurable business outcomes serve as tangible evidence of the value of coaching.5. Executive Coaching is a quick fix.
The phrase “better late than never” applies in some cases, but when it comes to coaching, we think the earlier, the better. Proactive coaching is best used to enhance the performance of executives who have been identified as high-potentials and who may be selected for roles with increased scope.
Additionally, some believe that executive coaching offers instant solutions. In reality, it’s a process that requires time, commitment, and effort from both the coach and the coachee, with change and growth occurring gradually.
5 Ways to Maximize the Benefits of Executive Coaching
Once you’ve decided to pursue executive coaching for yourself or other leaders in your organization, here are a few tips to make the most of your time with a coach.
- Find a coach or program that fits your needs. Executive coaching is an investment, so it’s critical to find a coach that fits both your organization’s cost expectations and growth and development goals. You can learn more by visiting our blog on the top four criteria to look for in an executive coaching firm.
- Buy into the process. Embrace executive coaching as a powerful tool for growth in your current role and a way to accelerate your future career advancement. Let the coach guide the process of self-discovery and self-actualization, skills that will stay with you long after the coaching ends.
- Set realistic expectations. Recognize that coaching requires time, effort, and commitment to realize lasting change and growth.
- Measure your success. Define clear goals and measurable outcomes at the beginning of your coaching engagement so you can track progress and see the impact of coaching on individual and organizational performance.
- Make growth the norm. Cultivate a mindset of growth within your organization by encouraging other leaders to seek coaching as a valuable development opportunity.
Still not convinced? Talk to TLD Group today to learn more about the benefits of executive coaching.