Articles // May 23,2022

6 Ways Executive Coaching Can Help CXOs

By Ramakrishnan Sundaresan , Editor - Swetha Sitaraman

Congratulations on making it to the C suite. This is a reflection of your capability and a reward for your commitment to the organization. It is clear that the CEO and the Board of Directors have confidence in your ability to handle larger responsibilities. However, it would be wise to remind yourself that what got you here, might not get you there. In other words, it may not be the recipe for future success. You have to manage expectations not only of those above you, but also those that you lead and are responsible for, and this is where Executive Coaching can help you.

Organizations often engage Executive Coaches to help their leaders manage this transition into the C suite. This can happen while the individual is being groomed to move into the CXO role, or as soon as the promotion is announced.

Through Executive Coaching, CXOs can create greater impact. It helps them build new skills and become more resilient and agile. Below are six ways Executive Coaching can help CXOs –

Heightened Self-awareness

Coaching encourages reflection. In this fast paced world, there is a need to frequently Pause in order to Reflect and to Refresh. Reflection leads to better awareness which in turn leads to better choices, decisions and results. All of us are a product of our experiences. However, you do not learn from experience; you learn and grow by reflecting on your experience. Self-awareness is an essential element of self-management and a critical aspect of leadership. How can you lead others if you cannot manage yourself?

Greater Confidence

Like everybody else, CXOs are often plagued by self-doubt and suffer from imposter syndrome, where they doubt their abilities  or competence and feel like a fraud (Do I deserve this? Do I belong here?). This lack of confidence can manifest itself in many ways such as lack of assertiveness, the inability to say No, difficulty in establishing one’s authority, setting boundaries, etc. Executive coaching can help you overcome this lack of confidence, absence of self-belief or the fear of failure by challenging the limiting beliefs you have about yourself.

Improved Emotional Quotient

For CXOs and other leaders,  EQ is more important than IQ. And like IQ, emotional intelligence differs from person to person. EQ is important for CXOs as their main job is to establish trust, build relationships and communicate effectively. This means CXOs must be adept at knowing their emotions and those of others. They must learn how to manage these emotions well and use them to get things done. Coaching helps strengthen EQ by emphasising on soft skills and traits such as emotional balance, adaptability, empathy, active listening and the ability to receive criticism positively.

Clarity of Purpose and Direction and Better Execution

CXO coaching can help Executives discover their big ‘Why’ or larger purpose behind their existence. Knowing the purpose behind your actions is motivating because the secret of passion is purpose. Coaches also help CXOs set and accomplish aspirational goals that can transform their personal and professional lives. The ability to set SMART goals while at the same time establishing strategies and action plans to achieve the goals is a key element of leadership.

Coaching helps bridge the Knowing-Doing gap. In other words, all the knowledge and experience of the CXO is in vain, unless he or she is able to translate that knowledge into meaningful action and results. Through CXO coaching, a coach can help the executive by identifying the roadblocks that are deterring him or her from taking action and helping them overcome the same.

Managing Change and Transition

Navigating Change in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world is a critical skill. Coaching not only helps new CXOs settle into their roles, but also teaches them resilience and agility. They help to build strength, reduce resistance, and increase their readiness for change. The true test of leadership is crisis management and coaching can help hone this skill. This then helps them to manage stress, build confidence and protect their own mental health along with their teams.

Balancing Heart, Body, Mind and Soul

The need of the hour today is not time management, but energy management. Unlike time, your reserves of energy are a renewable resource and coaching can guide you to maximize and balance your sources of energy, which are – Emotional energy (Heart), Physical energy (Body), Mental energy (Mind) and Spiritual energy (Soul). This holistic approach helps with sustainable behaviour changes and supports individuals to make better personal and professional choices.

Leaders can become more effective through the power of coaching. This has become more relevant now, as companies who had to navigate the Covid-19 crisis, are also looking to emerge stronger and stay ahead in the future. Executive coaching can positively impact growth in organizations by helping leaders to –

  1. Lead through a crisis, like the pandemic, instead of merely responding to it
  2. Develop high performance teams that are future ready
  3. Grow the business multi-fold through a multiplier mindset, and
  4. Drive innovation by promoting a diversity and inclusion agenda for the company

Throughout the coaching journey, the coach acts as a sounding board and an accountability partner to the CXO. It is lonely at the top and CXOs value the opportunity to speak of their prospects and challenges to their coach, who brings an outside-in perspective to issues at hand. They help the executive see around corners and identify blind spots in a fast changing business environment.

Is it possible to surge ahead without an executive coach? Maybe! But having a coach will save you a lot of time as they will help you sidestep all the potholes. A coach will provide the guidance, while you work on building your skills and behaviours. You will acquire the necessary insights that will define success for you and help you achieve your goals in your own terms.

You have already worked hard to get here, why not work smarter by getting yourself an Executive Coach? If you want to know how to find the perfect executive coach for yourself, click here.

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