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As coaching becomes more prevalent in the workplace, it can be useful to distinguish between the different type of coaching that are available, so that you find the right type of coach for your particular needs. I like the Forbes article on 5 things to look for when choosing an executive coach, which helps you make a better decision if that is the type of coach you are looking for.
Executive coaching tends to be focused on helping senior leaders within an organisation to improve their leadership and personal performance. It is likely to be provided by an “external coach” and selection of a coach can be based as much on referral and word of mouth, as it is on qualifications and experience. Executive coaching can enable the executive to have a “thinking space” and a sounding board to think through issues and generate new ideas. I have found that it is often as much about the personal growth of the executive and can be transformational for them, as they redefine their purpose or what is important to them personally. It is fair to say that the fee rates for Executive Coaching is often much higher than for other types of coaching, which tends to reflect the seniority of the clients and that it is often taking place within the corporate environment.
This is aimed at helping leaders to improve their leadership capabilities. The coach often has previous experience of a senior leadership position within a corporate organization and therefore understands the organizational and corporate cultural issues that can impact on someone in a senior leadership position. I would also expect a coach that is operating in this field to have a blend of business experience, understanding of psychology and organisational culture and systems, as these three issues often have an influence on the issues that a leader faces.
A coach in this area is focused on the individual’s career or career development. They are likely to draw upon a wider range of skills including advising, consulting and mentoring, and may use some type of psychometric tools to help the individual get additional insight into their career preferences or how their personality impacts on their career choices. Sometimes recruitment companies provide this type of coaching as an added value service to their candidates.
According to Philippe Rosinski, the role of the coach is helping a team achieve superior performance while also helping team members create more fulfilling lives for themselves and others. This means the coach acts as the catalyst for the team to address not only what they do, but how they do it. It may also incorporate facilitation and consulting skills. It can also be defined as “enabling a team to function at more than the sum of its parts, by clarifying its mission and improving its external and internal relationships. It is different therefore from coaching team leaders on how to lead their teams, or coaching individuals in a group setting.” (Hawkins and Smith, 2006) This type of coaching is becoming more popular within organisations.
The business coach provides support, feedback and advice to an individual or team to enable them to improve their personal performance in the business setting. One might also describe business coaching as the activity performed by managers within a business to help their people develop, increase job satisfaction and learn new skills. From my own experience it is less about the psychological development of the individual but more about their understanding of business, and business issues. A business coach might provide some mentoring to a coachee, in the form of sharing their own business experience, but it does not work in the same way when a mentor provides their experience i.e. that is not a business coach.
This area of coaching is becoming more popular, similar to team coaching, because the focus in more about organizational change and the entities that operate within it. According to Wikipedia, systemic coaching is a form of counseling that employs constructivism conversation, aimed at human problem resolution. Systemic coaching recognizes that in order for two or more persons to interact effectively in a social system, any one individual or group of individuals within that system, each as an element of the whole, may require or benefit from coaching aimed at restoring equilibrium or creating a new alignments. It is also associated with work on Constellations and is derived from work in the field of family therapy. Systemic coaches are focused on professional interfaces and the quality of the collaboration, not the individual relationships themselves, according to Cordain. (2008)
Life Coaching has a focus on the development of the individual and may incorporate psychology, neuroscience, sociology, adult development and career development. In other words, the facets that influence how a human lives their life and accomplishes their own personal desires and dreams. It can be associated more with therapy and counselling than any other type of coaching described above. There are likely to be a different set of qualifications that a life coach has compared to say, a business coach. They will be more holistic, psychology based and could include Neuro-Linguistic Programming.
We provide coaching to help individuals improve their performance, and specialise in Executive Coaching. All our coaches are qualified and highly experienced. For further details contact Sue Stockdale to discuss your particular requirements.
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