What is Executive Coaching?
Executive coaching is one of the most potent approaches to leadership and organisational performance improvement.
Leaders can transform their performance through working one-two-one with a professionally qualified coach on their goals and challenges. A coach will offer both support and enquiry within a safe, confidential, and constructive space.
Executive coaching assumes that leaders have the resources themselves to begin their development journey.
While my approach to coaching is person-centred and less directive, that does not mean there is no challenge—quite the opposite. Executive coaching aims to help individuals build the best, most authentic version of themselves, which takes a lot of work.
“We must see people in terms of their future potential, not their past performance”. Sir John Whitmore
How does Executive Coaching help?
Coaching works to develop your potential based on your internal strengths. Areas of development might include:
- Personal Leadership Style
- Setting Better Goals
- Achieving Goals Faster
- Better Decision Making
- Building Positive Relationships
The subsequent positive change in the way you behave will positively affect the rest of the organisation. Mahatma Gandi’s words about being the change you want to see in others might seem like a cliché, but they are robust and accurate.
Who Is Executive Coaching For?
Executive Coaching can be used at any stage of a leader’s career from the very outset to the most senior levels of the organisation.
An example of early-stage careerists taking part in coaching is the UK 101 Leadership programme. This collaboration between Common Purpose, the International Coaching Federation and 'Know You More' digital coaching. We worked with 18- to 25-year-olds to refine personal leadership skills, including handling difficult situations, influencing others, and building relationships.
Executive Coaching can also support the development of mid-level managers in making the next step into a more senior role. Coaching could also help managers initiate and implement organisation-wide transformation or improve their performance in their current role.
The link below is to the Emerging Leaders programme set up by the College Development Network.
Finally, there are the existing members of the senior leadership team, executive and non-executive board members. Executive coaching seeks to maximise their impact and performance. This might be in times of personal change or organisation-wide transformation.
In Touch Networks supports independent and non-executive board leaders. They are also a training centre for the Institute of Leadership and Management level 7 executive Coaching and Mentoring / Corporate Coaching International programme.
"Andrew and I have been meeting for just under a year as part of my employer's executive coaching programme. He has guided me through the leadership objectives I set and given me the space to explore my professional attributes and the things I wished to improve upon.
Andrew is person centred, a great listener and really understands where you are coming from.
I felt very understood during our coaching and through Andrew's guidance, I was able to fully comprehend the things I do and why, to grow the positive and investigate the difficulties in order to improve.
The time he has given me, including the pondering questions he presented have allowed me to go on a very exciting journey investigating my own leadership style to become a more effective leader.
Andrew has been pivotal in helping me to find myself within my professional life and reframe some of the difficulties I had during the pandemic, especially in leading through significant change and reverting to type.
I would highly recommend Andrew for any coaching requirement. I have gained a lot from our time together and feel that I am a more thoughtful leader who builds more effective teams and understands my own qualities. As leaders we never talk much about confidence or show vulnerability, I loved the space to do so and feel it has enabled me to grow. The coaching has left me in a better position professionally but also has allowed me to learn and develop outside of the nitty gritty of the everyday and bring my true self to work."
Head of Corporate Services, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens could change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has". (Attributed to Margaret Mead)
Leadership Team Coaching is working with a group to agree on mutually acceptable goals and work collectively to achieve more extraordinary performance than an individual alone ever could. The coach works with the team to combine their diverse talents into a high performing collective.
Leadership development is working with management to locate their leadership style based on the core qualities they already possess. Leadership is the art of moving yourself and your team towards a commonly agreed, shared goal. Leadership coaching is about honing your skills and behaviours to achieve those goals.
What are some of the benefits of Business Coaching and Mentoring?
- Builds confidence
- Allows clients to develop personal insight and learning
- Supports clients through transformation and growth
- Improves Individual and Organisational Performance and Productivity
Know You More and the University of Edinburgh
It is an exciting journey to be part of the coaching cohort supporting Know You More and Edinburgh University during this time of challenge.
The University of Edinburgh has partnered with Know You More to support the professional development of their leadership population.
Their development will consist of a coaching programme delivered digitally and aimed to support the following:
Know yourself: understanding self as a leader, individual styles and strengths. Sharpened personal and people leadership skills and improved confidence and wellbeing.
Know your context: discussion and challenge to their current situation and a greater understanding of their role within that situation. A greater sense of clarity and direction
Know your goals: bringing together strengths and context, identifying a focus for development and forming steps toward achieving their goals. Better and consistent performance.
Lara De Mets
Postgraduate Law student at the University of Edinburgh
“Andrew was my leadership coach for three sessions. He was a great coach, who helped me identify my strengths and how I can use them in my future career. He was very attuned to my needs and was always flexible in making sure that our sessions focused on the areas that I wanted to work on, but he also brought valuable new perspectives to each of our sessions. I would highly recommend his coaching.”
Head Of Financial Control at Ocado Group
“I recently started working Andrew as my coach. Andrew is thoughtful, challenging and I particularly valued the questions he asked that helped me to see for myself that I needed to look at a certain situation from a different perspective ... letting me work out the solution for myself rather than telling me what he thinks I should do.
I always look forward to our sessions together and have seen a change in my confidence, vision and energy over the time we have been working together”
Chief Executive Officer – Ethical Healthcare Consulting CIC
“Andrew is a superlative coach. The combination of his own experience and expertise, coupled with being a sincere and genuinely kind and lovely person, means not only do you instantly build a rapport with him, but his guidance is also consistently valuable and relevant. Not only would I highly recommend Andrew, I would also count him as a friend and mentor now.”
Sir Henry Dale fellow, Chancellor's fellow at The University of Edinburgh
Great coach! Our 5 sessions helped me clarify my objectives for the coming years and define strategies to reach my goals. Highly recommended!
Non-Executive Director at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Working with Andrew gave me the time and space to focus on making decisions about what I actually wanted and what steps I needed to take to get where I wanted to go. His gentle focussed questions made me step back and think differently and as a result I am looking at a new future.
It’s also interesting working with a coach who has a different background. I enjoyed that aspect very much, so don't narrow your options to your own sector!
Jon Proctor & Andrea Nicholas
CEO & MD | Green Tourism
"I Was A Little Apprehensive Prior To Engaging Woodward Consulting Because We Are A Small Service-Based Business Rather Than A Large Oil And Gas Related Manufacturer. However I Was Reassured On Meeting Andrew, Who Has A Wide Range Of Experience And Within A Short Period Fully Understood Our Current Business Process And Some Of The Improvements We Could Make"
Managing Director - Rockwell Solutions Limited
“Without The Support Of Andrew, We Would Have Been Unable To Deliver This Complex Programme Of Work. We Would Have Delayed Recovering Our Investment In Capital Equipment And Perhaps Not Achieved Our Target Benefits At All”
Operations Director at Pelikan Hardcopy Limited
"Working With Andrew To Improve Our Overall Productivity Has Proven To Be A Very Useful Exercise, Opening Us Up To Alternative & Quite Straight Forward Techniques To Reduce Non Productive Time On Our Main Coating Line By A Significant Amount. In Addition To The Highlighted Savings Gained On This Line We Are Continuing With The Methods Learned To Make Other Improvements To Our Productivity In The Factory"
Project Manager for the NHS / Westminster Digital CAF Demonstrator Project
"Andrew helped us design, run and review a ‘World Cafe’ event for the Westminster CAF Demonstrator Project. The concept was a new one for us but Andrew explained it well and did a great job in ensuring that the event was effective for our purposes and also did a fantastic job of facilitating the event on the day. Feedback from the day was very positive and we’re looking forward to inviting Andrew back to help us with a similar event in the near future"
Senior Manager at NHS Digital
"Very efficient, worked to the task, worked within budget, was receptive and adapatable to change during the task. Was humorous but professional at all times. Had prepared and planned for the task. Kept the audience engaged and focussed at all times."
Programme Director CSED Department of Health
“Andrew and I were colleagues for two years running the key Efficiency Programme within the Department of Health. Andrew was a most experienced, reliable and effective consultant, focused on delivery and could operate at all levels and across all structures. His depth of expertise and experience was a major asset to both me and the Department and wherever he operated brought praise and admiration from those he supported.”
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