Executive coaching vs. regular coaching: which is right for you?

Executive coaching vs. regular coaching:

Executive coaching vs. regular coaching: which is right for you?

When it comes to coaching, there are many options to choose from. One question that often comes up is whether executive coaching or regular coaching is the right fit. So, how do you choose between the two?

First, it's important to understand the key differences between executive coaching and regular coaching. Executive coaching is specifically designed for high-level executives, business owners, and other leaders who want to take their careers to the next level. It focuses on developing leadership skills, improving performance, and achieving specific goals.

On the other hand, regular coaching can be a good fit for a wider range of individuals and goals. It can cover a broad range of topics, such as personal growth, and relationships.

So, which type of coaching is right for you? Executive coaching may be a good fit if you're an executive or business leader looking to take your career to the next level.

Ultimately, the right fit will depend on your specific needs and goals. If you're not sure which type of coaching is right for you, it can be helpful to speak with a coach or do some research to explore your options.

In today’s post, you'll discover the benefits of executive coaching for your career, and how you can take your career to the next level with executive coaching vs regular coaching. This follows on from my last post, where I answered the question, “What does an executive coach do?” I touched on the topic, but I’d like to look closer today at executive coaching vs. regular coaching.

What is coaching?

Coaching is a broad term for “a form of development in which an experienced person, called a coach, supports a learner or client in achieving a specific personal or professional goal by providing training and guidance.”

The ICF goes further, saying coaching is a “thought-provoking and creative process” that “unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership”.

Almost all definitions make this critical point: coaching is about asking questions that help people find their own solutions and shape their development rather than giving them answers. From a neuroscience point of view, “think neurons that fire together wire together”; the purpose is to stimulate thinking, which translates into action to anchor new skills and techniques.

Coaching takes many forms.

Coaching is a helping rather than a teaching process. There are many times when people need help to get through a difficult situation, so coaching has many forms, below I highlight the difference between executive coaching and other forms of coaching.

Career coaching focuses specifically on helping people make a career transition. They help people align their skills, values and development with a specific career goal.

Life coaching helps people find more happiness and contentment in their lives. It could cover relationships, jobs, finances, and even improving their self-knowledge.

There’s sports coaching, business coaching, executive coaching and leadership coaching, all designed to help people identify their goals, learn more about themselves (strengths and weaknesses), discover their personal truths and design strategies to get them from where they are now to where they want to go.

How does executive coaching fit in?

The key difference between executive coaching and other forms is that what happens to the executive directly affects what happens to the organisation. Executives are responsible for the success of the organisation and influence workplace culture. That means any problems at the top will likely flow down through the whole company, and any positive changes need to be actively encouraged.

When an executive is stuck, bored or unsure how to deal with an organisational challenge, they aren’t just dealing with their own issues. The choices they make affect the lives and careers of everyone in the company.

That’s a lot of pressure and responsibility to carry each day.

Where can they seek help or support?

Where can they seek help without compromising organisational confidentiality? The answer lies in the external and independent executive coach. The coaching an executive might need could be a blend of career/business success, leading self, leading others, and leading business.

The impact of executive leadership coaching.

The ICF reports these results on the ROI of executive coaching:

  • 70% improvement in individual performance
  • 50% improvement in team performance
  • 48% improvement in organisational performance

Other commonly quoted statistics show that executive coaching delivers:

  • Improved executive productivity (reported by 53% of executives)
  • Improvements in organisational strengths (48%)
  • Gains in customer service (39%)
  • Increased retention of executives (32%)
  • Enhanced direct report/supervisor relationships (70%)
  • Improved teamwork (67%)
  • Improved peer-to-peer working relationships (63%)
  • Great job satisfaction (52%)

Why am I quoting these statistics?

Because I believe they paint a great picture of the unique differences between executive coaching vs. regular coaching. While executive coaching undoubtedly benefits the individual, the key driver behind it is organisational performance.

There have been a number of studies conducted on the effectiveness of executive coaching and leadership in improving various skills and abilities. Some of the potential benefits of executive coaching include:

  • Improved communication skills: Executive coaching can help professionals develop better communication skills, including the ability to convey ideas clearly, listen actively, and effectively manage conflict.
  • Increased self-awareness: Coaching can help executives become more self-aware, which can lead to better decision-making and improved leadership skills.
  • Enhanced leadership skills: Executive coaching can help professionals develop their leadership skills, including the ability to inspire and motivate others, set clear goals and expectations, and delegate effectively.
  • Improved time management: Coaching can help executives learn how to prioritise tasks, set and achieve goals, and manage their time more effectively.
  • Increased self-confidence: Many executives who have participated in coaching report an increase in their self-confidence as a result of the experience.
  • Improved job performance: Some studies have shown that executive coaching can lead to improved job performance, including better decision-making and the ability to manage difficult situations more effectively.

Overall, executive coaching can be a valuable development tool for professionals looking to improve their skills and advance their careers.

Are you an executive who’s still on the fence about executive coaching? Let’s chat. It’s free, and there’s no obligation. Book a call now by clicking here.

Caroline Kennedy, author of Lead Beyond 2030: The Nine Skills You Need to Intensify Your Leadership Impact, is an accomplished former CEO, Award-Winning Executive Coach and global thought leader on business and leadership. She is a highly sought-after mentor and coach to top global executives. A respected keynote speaker and author, Caroline’s methods are neuroscience-based to achieve rapid development and growth.


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