When we train coaches to work with executives we focus on supporting them to work with the organisation. Ultimately professional coaching is coaching, whether we are working 1-1 with an executive, a graduate or with an individual outside of work. What changes as such is not how we work as a coach with the individual but how we work as a coach with the organisation.
Exceptional executive coaches harness their work to extends to a wide range of stakeholders and that coaching success relies on a systemic approach that considers not only the individual but also their relationships both within and outside the organisation.
A Holistic Perspective
Executive coaches typically engage in work to support individuals in leadership roles toward personal and professional growth. While this is undoubtedly a crucial aspect of their work, what sets exceptional coaches apart is their recognition that no leader operates in isolation. Brilliant coaches view leadership through a holistic lens, understanding that the success of an individual leader is intricately connected to the larger organisational system. Therefore in coaching we need to work across and with the system rather than just the individual.
The Ripple Effect
When a leader works with a coach, the effects need to ripple through the entire organisation. Exceptional executive coaches anticipate and embrace this ripple effect, recognising that changes in a leader’s behavior, mindset, and skills can lead to shifts in team dynamics, company culture, and even overall performance.
Moreover the benefits will also ripple within the individual, allowing them to lead more in service of their values, what’s important to their team and their wellbeing.
Want to Train as an ICF Executive Coach?
That’s great! But please don’t get confused by all the jargon. We are here to help you with the process.
Unless you have a prior ICF Certificate your starting point is the Level 1 Diploma in Integrative Coaching. This is delivered online, flexibly over a number of evenings and weekends. It covers the fundamentals of coaching and also frameworks such as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Coaching.
You can then opt to complete the optional Certificate in Leadership & Organisational Coaching to help you hone your skills to work more systemically with organisations.
A Systemic Approach in Action
Here’s how executive & leadership coaches navigate the complex web of organisational relationships:
1. Identifying Key Stakeholders in and out of work: Great coaches take the time to identify the key stakeholders in a coachee’s professional journey. This includes their immediate team but also peers, superiors, and external partners. But not only! Coaches will also invite the client to identify stakeholders within the personal system that the individual is in – their relationships outside of work, their commitments and what’s important to them.
2. Assessing Interactions: Coaches delve into the dynamics of these relationships, examining how the coachee interacts with various stakeholders. They explore communication patterns, conflicts, and collaborative efforts.
3. Targeted Coaching: Armed with insights into the broader context, coaches can then tailor their approach to address specific challenges within the organisation. They work with the client to set goals that not only benefit them personally but also contribute to the organisation’s overall success. This is a holistic approach that considers a number of aspects rather than coaching being seen as just a performance-enabling activity.
4. Cascading Impact: As the client implements changes and growth strategies, the effects spread. Improved leadership qualities often inspire teams to perform better, enhance communication, and foster a healthier work environment.
5. Adaptation and Continuity: Executive coaches understand that organisations are continuously in flux. They help coachees develop the adaptability and resilience needed to navigate changes in the organisational landscape.
Benefits of a Systemic Approach
Enhanced Leadership: Leaders who receive coaching with a systemic approach become more effective in their roles, driving positive change and innovation.
Improved Team Dynamics: Teams benefit from improved leadership, leading to greater collaboration, trust, and productivity.
Sustainable Growth: Changes are not just cosmetic but ingrained, ensuring long-term organizational growth and success.
Culture Transformation: A systemic approach can lead to a cultural shift where transparency, communication, and accountability thrive.