What is executive coaching?

The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.”

Here at Arden, we use our founder’s Maren Perry definition of coaching which is based in the ICF core competencies, but adds more specificity: Partnering with a client to increase their awareness about current and possible beliefs and behaviors, then using that awareness to build a plan of action to achieve a desired goal.

What results can I expect from executive coaching?

Executive coaching can bring about several positive outcomes for both the person being coached and the organization as a whole. Coaching can improve performance in key ways, including providing leadership skills, better decision-making abilities, increased self-awareness, enhanced communication, and greater confidence. Moreover, executive coaching often leads to better teamwork, higher employee engagement, and overall growth and success for the organization.

Who is a good candidate for executive coaching?

Executive coaching is best suited for those whom the organization views as valuable assets and is willing to invest in for long-term success. Executive Coaching is a strategic investment in individuals who show promise and a desire to contribute meaningfully to their roles and the company at large.

Ideal candidates for executive coaching are continual learners and professionals who are genuinely willing to self-reflect, evolve, and expand their effectiveness. These individuals thrive on curiosity, are open to constructive feedback, and are proactive in seeking personal and professional growth.

Executive coaching is not best used as a remedial measure for those on the verge of termination.

What does the coaching process look like?

The executive coaching journey at Arden Leadership Academy unfolds in a series of targeted steps:

Selection: Executives engage in “chemistry conversations” with a selection of our coaches, choosing the best fit for their unique development path.

Alignment: The chosen coach, executive, and supervisor collaboratively set clear, measurable goals that serve both the individual and the organization.

Assessment: Coaches assess the executive’s skills to identify growth areas, forming the foundation for a customized development plan.

Execution: The executive works closely with their coach to navigate challenges and implement strategies from their development plan.

Evaluation: A comprehensive review gauges progress and outlines any additional steps for ongoing improvement.

How do you measure the ROI (Return on Investment) of executive coaching?

Just as Executive Coaching is undertaken for a variety of purposes, its effectiveness can be measured in any number of ways. A critical component of measuring ROI involves formulating development plans at the onset, clearly outlining the intended outcomes and specific goals aligned with organizational targets. This strategic planning sets the direction and serves as a baseline for evaluating progress and tangible improvements. 

Furthermore, there’s compelling evidence supporting the efficacy of executive coaching, with studies indicating up to a 7x return on investment. This ROI manifests not just in quantifiable metrics like productivity, retention rates, and financial performance, but also in qualitative aspects such as enhanced leadership skills, improved decision-making, and a more engaged and resilient organizational culture. 

Read more on how it’s measured here.

What does executive coaching cost?

Asking how much the cost of executive coaching is a little bit like asking how much it costs to eat dinner in New York City… It depends. Will you be eating at a food cart on the Hudson River Greenway? Name-dropping at an exclusive bistro on the Upper West Side? Dining at a chain restaurant in Times Square? Enjoying a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Tribeca? As you can imagine, the cost of your meal will vary dramatically!

At Arden, we position our pricing at a midpoint in the market because we firmly believe that quality coaching should be accessible. We balance superior coaching quality with costs that respect your budget, ensuring you receive excellent value for your investment.

Read more about the cost here.

How can I identify the best executive coach?

Identifying the ideal executive coach hinges on experience, credentials, and chemistry. 

At Arden, we start by engaging with our trusted coach-matching process, ensuring you’re conversing with our experienced and credentialed professionals. We recommend interviewing three coaches to gauge rapport and compatibility. This strategy underscores the importance of professional qualifications and emphasizes personal connection, which is crucial for a successful coaching relationship.

What’s the difference between coaching and therapy, consulting, or other services?

While coaching is personal and centered on you, it differs from therapy by operating on the premise that you are whole and resourceful, rather than needing healing. It’s about understanding your unique leadership style and interactions, then refining them. Unlike consultants, who prescribe solutions, coaches partner with you, sitting on the “same side of the table.” We delve into your individual “operating system,” helping you recognize and adjust it, thereby expanding your capabilities moving forward. This partnership underscores your innate creativity and potential, focusing on evolving your thinking and behavior.

How long does executive coaching take?

Genuine change requires patience and persistent effort, especially concerning leadership habits and mindsets. It’s important to understand that this process is about cultivating enduring behavioral shifts rather than seeking quick fixes, and such meaningful evolution takes time. 

The average duration of an executive coaching program is 6 to 12 months.

What kind of topics do leaders work on in executive coaching?

Leaders will work on a variety of topics during executive coaching sessions. The exact focus depends on the individual leader’s needs, challenges, and aspirations.

The topics listed below represent a snapshot of the myriad of areas leaders might explore in executive coaching.

  • Leadership Presence: Enhancing their ability to command a room, inspire teams, and exude confidence.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Understanding and managing one’s own emotions while effectively interacting with others.
  • Strategic Thinking: Enhancing the ability to envision, plan, and execute long-term goals.
  • Communication Skills: Improving verbal, non-verbal, and written communication, particularly in high-stakes or sensitive situations.
  • Conflict Resolution: Acquiring techniques to address and mediate conflicts constructively.
  • Team Building & Management: Developing the skills to create, lead, and motivate high-performing teams.
  • Time Management & Productivity: Finding ways to manage time effectively and enhance personal and team productivity.
  • Decision-Making: Honing the ability to make informed, timely, and confident decisions.
  • Delegation: Understanding when and how to delegate tasks effectively to empower team members.
  • Change Management: Leading teams through organizational changes or industry shifts.
  • Career Transitions: Navigating role changes, promotions, or shifts in career paths.
  • Work-Life Balance: Finding equilibrium between professional responsibilities and personal life.
  • Feedback & Performance Reviews: Giving and receiving feedback constructively.
  • Cultural Competency: Leading diverse teams and understanding cultural nuances.
  • Succession Planning: Preparing for future leadership roles and ensuring organizational continuity.
  • Professional Development: Identifying areas of growth and pursuing relevant training or education.

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