The effectiveness of executive coaching.

 This essay discusses that in the last several years, the word coaching has taken on a different meaning. There are many people who are calling themselves coaches who work with individuals to help them learn a new skill, find a career, reorganize their lives and create the life they want. In each of these cases, coaching takes on the meaning of providing assistance to people in need. Unlike social work or counseling, coaches help the individual or group bring out the best aspects of their lives. The coach’s job is to help the individual identify a number of goals and realize them within a certain span of time. Coaching in this sense is young and there are no real credentials that are needed for coaching. This means that anyone who wants to call themselves a coach can do so without adhering to specific principles. Many companies have hired executive coaches for their top executives to improve their skills. CEOs of companies have also created an opportunity for new top management to be coached for a period of time in order to acclimate better into their jobs. Executive coaching has taken steps to develop principles for their specific coaching area so that all executive coaches would have standards that they could use to become coaches that are more effective. Executive coaching as a profession has happened over the last twenty years. The concept was synonymous with any type of transition that companies were experiencing and this meant that companies needed coaches for their executives. In the beginning, companies hired executive coaches for their executives in a one time situation. They expected that from this one time their executives would find the help they needed and would not need any other type of coaching later. Eventually, executive coaching became a long-term opportunity for executives and was something that both small and large companies saw as a benefit (The Executive Coaching Forum, 2008). Coaching began to grow not only in numbers, but also in prestige. The challenge with executive coaching as it began to grow was that everyone had a different definition and no one could agree on just one definition, and there were no professional standards (The Executive Coaching Forum, 2008). A handbook was created in order to give the profession some credibility and to start a dialogue about executive coaching as to what it was, how it should operate, and how it should be ethically practiced (The Executive Coaching Forum, 2008). In 1999, several executive coaches met with human resources professionals and leadership development specialists started to meet regularly with the sole purpose to create standards for the executive coaching profession. They created a handbook to make sure that everyone who would use it and do executive coaching would adhere to the same standards. From these discussions, the following definition for executive coaching was created: Executive coaching is an experiential and individualized leader development process that builds a leader’s capability to achieve short- and long-term organizational goals. It is conducted through one-on-one interactions, driven by data from multiple perspectives, and based on mutual trust and respect. The organization, an executive, and the executive coach work in partnership to achieve maximum impact. (The Executive Coaching Forum, 2008, p. 19) This definition provides a background for what executive coaching is and what it is supposed to do for those who use it. Basically, it is geared toward helping leaders in the organization lead more effectively. Executive coaches are skilled in the area of coaching top management and they provide an opportunity for executives to develop their leadership styles. Defining Effectiveness Most leaders would agree that gaining the assistance of a mentor in their first years of being a CEO or when their company is moving through a transition would be an important aspect to do.

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