Professional executive coaching: the complete guide 2024
Rémi Zunino
Rémi Zunino

Professional executive coaching: the complete guide 2024

According to Harvard Business Review, 80% of coached leaders recognize a significant improvement in their skills and professional performance.

Professional executive coaching is a personalized, structured and collaborative process where an experienced coach accompanies a manager (CEO, CEO or other senior manager) in developing his leadership skills, improving his performance and achieving goals specific to the company or his career.

In this article, you will discover everything you need to know in 2024 about professional executive coaching:

  • Definition of professional executive coaching
  • In what situations should executive coaching be used?
  • What are the benefits of executive coaching?
  • How to choose a professional executive coach?
  • Professional executive coaching: what are the possible formats?

Professional executive coaching: definition

Professional executive coaching is a practice dedicated to the personalized support of senior managers and managers of companies, such as CEOs or managing directors. This process involves partnering with a specialized coach who helps these leaders develop their leadership skills, optimize their professional performance, and achieve personal and organizational strategic goals.

Coaching goals focus on: leadership improvement, strategic vision, change management but also personal development.

Executive coaching is a valuable investment for any company seeking to strengthen its leadership capabilities and foster a culture of excellence and innovation.

In what situations should you call on an executive coach?

Because of his position within the company, the manager can see a distance created in an inevitable way with the rest of his teams. It is for this reason that we often hear about the famous “loneliness of the leader.”

As leaders, leaders often face difficult decisions, complex challenges, and delicate situations where they cannot always share concerns with their team or other colleagues. This loneliness can be compounded by the fact that leaders need to maintain an image of trust and leadership, which can further isolate them.

The challenge for managers will be to find the right distance that will allow them to best embody their different leadership positions. Namely, developing a clear strategic vision, having a strategic reading of your environment, competitors and the market, constantly juggling between long-term and short-term visions, engaging your teams and stimulating collaboration between them in a context of permanent transformation, etc...

It is through the diversity and complexity of these issues that we can say that, throughout the career of a manager, the intervention of a professional coach can be beneficial.

So, in what situations can executive coaching be effective?

To talk more concretely about an example, let's take the case of taking a leadership position. This is a typical situation where executive coaching is useful. In fact, this is one of the situations most frequently encountered by Talentis professional coaches who support managers. Around 80% of the coaching sessions conducted within Talentis concern taking up a job.

This moment is a turning point in the life of a leader because he will have to adopt new postures specific to his new status, and interact at a completely different level within the organization. The manager is in a way entering a new dimension in which he will have to find the right distance from his teams.

The manager can also work with a coach on the more strategic aspects of his function. In this case, the coach will act as a real “sparring partner”, stimulator of reflection and “challenger” of ideas through careful questioning. In executive coaching, the client works both on their identity as a leader, and on their ideas, decisions, strategy, etc...”

Take the example of the reorganization of a Comex. This situation often involves significant changes in the structure and strategy of the company. The stakes are high in terms of leadership and team dynamics. Executive coaching can be crucial in helping Comex members navigate these changes, manage complex group dynamics, ensure clear and consistent communication, and maintain strategic alignment. Coaching can also facilitate better collective decision-making and help manage any conflict or resistance to change.

Another example is the transformation of an organization. When a business undergoes a major transformation, whether due to technological innovation, market changes, or internal changes, leaders play a crucial role in driving change. Coaching can support them in formulating and implementing transformation strategies, in managing change within their teams, and in maintaining employee motivation and engagement. A coach can also help leaders develop personal and organizational resilience, which is essential for successfully navigating transformative times.

More generally, in the exercise of his functions, the manager may be required to work, with a coach, on various skills such as:

  • Develop your influence
  • Strengthen the impact of your communication
  • Effectively manage your time and energy
  • Embodying responsible leadership in line with the new challenges of businesses...

What are the benefits of executive coaching?

Executive coaching offers significant benefits, both for individual leaders and for their organizations. This process focuses on improving leadership skills, an essential element in effectively guiding teams and the entire business.

First of all, coaching reinforces key skills such as communication, team management, and strategic decision making. This allows leaders to define and achieve professional and personal goals more clearly, increasing their effectiveness and motivation.

Another crucial aspect of coaching is improving emotional intelligence and relational skills. This helps to improve the management of professional interactions, creating a positive and productive work environment.

Coaching also helps leaders better balance their professional and personal lives, manage stress, and build resilience. These skills are crucial in dynamic and often demanding professional environments.

In addition, leaders gain self-confidence, which is positively reflected in more confident decision-making and strengthened authority as a leader.

Finally, the benefits of coaching spread throughout the organization, resulting in overall performance improvements, more effective change management, and the strengthening of a solid corporate culture.

In conclusion, executive coaching represents a valuable strategic investment for any leader who wants to optimize their leadership skills, improve their personal performance and that of their organization.

How to choose the right professional executive coach.

The essential criteria to validate in order to choose the right coach

Benefiting from effective professional coaching implies collaboration with a coach who is not only attentive and caring, but also in perfect harmony with the person being accompanied. For a manager, it is crucial to work with a coach who fully understands the strategic issues of his role and who can interact equally on topics of high importance. In our opinion, an ideal coach for a manager is a person who has been a manager himself in the past. It distinguishes itself by its ability to address strategic issues in depth, reflecting a precise understanding of the unique challenges that the manager faces.

Opting for an expert coach, selected from the top 5% and with at least 10 years of experience in business as a manager, with more than 1000 hours of coaching to his credit, is essential. This expertise ensures the creation of a “business partner” relationship, allowing for a richer exchange and increased mutual understanding.

These criteria are fundamental aspects to take into account. In fact, according to the latest OPIIEC study (2022), there are more than 15,000 certified professional coaches in France, of which only 40% are supervised and 75% practice coaching for less than 4 hours per week. Trusting companies like Talentis to support the development of their leaders is a guarantee for companies to achieve a positive ROI.

Choosing a coach is a personal decision for the manager, who must select a professional he considers best equipped to help him achieve his goals. An effective coach offers constructive feedback, challenges preconceived ideas and establishes a relationship of trust. The coach's ability to create meaningful relationships is also crucial for fruitful collaboration, ensuring an environment where leaders can thrive and successfully achieve their goals.

What is the process of selecting a coach for the manager?

Once the manager has clearly identified his coaching objectives, he will be able to discuss with his HR manager who will suggest preselected coaches with finesse according to their ability to meet the challenges of managers.

The discovery interview that will follow will allow the manager to validate the alliance with the coach. Does he expect him to listen kindly, or rather a partner to challenge his ideas and push him further? Or even both at the same time? In all cases, the manager will make sure to choose the coach he considers best “equipped” to make him move forward in relation to his goals. A coach capable of giving him constructive feedback, of questioning his ideas, but also a coach with whom there is the possibility of creating a link.

What are the different executive coaching formats?

Talentis offers a fully personalized coaching offer, adapted to the specific needs of each manager. Coachees can choose between traditional face-to-face coaching and the innovative experience of Click and Coach, the online coaching platform developed by Talentis.

“Traditional” coaching at Talentis is divided into four key stages: the briefing, the discovery meeting, the coaching sessions themselves, and the tripartite or quadripartite interviews at the beginning and end of the course. These sessions can take place both in person and remotely, offering considerable flexibility. A typical coaching journey includes approximately 8 sessions of 1.5 hours each, adjustable according to the needs of the coachee.

When it comes to digital coaching, Click and Coach is a fast and flexible option that is entirely remote. This formula allows the coachee great autonomy thanks to its interactive platform. Users can choose their coach, organize their agenda, and benefit from a tailor-made experience. Click and Coach provides access to a network of world-renowned professional coaches, combining attractive rates with premium quality of service.

So, whether through traditional coaching or through an online coaching platform like Click & Coach, Talentis is committed to providing a high-quality coaching experience that is adaptable to the unique requirements and goals of each client.

In parallel with these individual sessions, whether online or in person, managers can work in the form of “cohorts” in large groups that wish to develop the same “pool” of managers.

For example, a large international group that promotes dozens of managers every year through its various subsidiaries can call on a company like Talentis that will be able to support these leaders via coaching workshops (online or face-to-face) and allow them to work together on specific skills adapted to the challenges of their organization and their business.

Professional executive coaching is proving to be an indispensable tool for the personal development and performance of business leaders. It allows them to acquire essential skills, improve their decision-making, strengthen their resilience, and create stronger corporate cultures. For those looking to further explore the benefits of executive coaching, Talentis stands out as a partner of choice.

Talentis offers proven expertise in the field of professional executive coaching, with a team of experienced coaches who understand the specific challenges that leaders face. Their personalized approach and commitment to continuous improvement ensure significant results. If you are an HR manager and you want to support your leaders in search of professional growth, solving complex problems or strengthening your leadership skills, Talentis can help you achieve your goals.

Do not hesitate to contact Talentis to explore the possibilities of tailor-made professional executive coaching and discover how this can benefit the talents of your company.

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