Two Most Well-Known Executive Coaching Models Explained

Executive coaching models enable executive coaches to transform individuals or groups seeking assistance. By selecting the right model, executive coaches can achieve results with precision and perfection. In this post, we will discuss two of the most popular executive coaching models – the Strategic Executive Coaching Model and the GROW model. But first let’s refresh our memory of what an executive coach is.

What is executive coaching?

Executive coaching is a formal and ongoing relationship between an individual or a group with an executive or managerial role in an organization and an executive coach who possesses thorough knowledge of behavioral change and organizational functioning. The goal of the relationship is to cultivate behavioral changes in an individual or a group. Consequently, those changes bring increased performance at both levels, individual and organizational.

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Two most popular executive coaching models

Various executive coaching models exist in the coaching industry. However, there are two models that are widely popular. 

The Strategic Executive Coaching Model

This executive coaching model consists of five steps. The following is a short summary of each of these steps. 

  1. Careful contracting

It is imperative to define expectations before the coaching process begins. This step revolves around forging a trusting relationship. Only a trusting environment can set the stage for open dialogues between the coach and the coachee to highlight the underlying issues. Executive coaches should include the following in the contracting dialogue stage:

  • Identified success factors for the current and potential role of a specific executive
  • Agreement on the confidentiality limits
  • Identify specific expected business results
  • Confirm that everything is alright to build trust and rapport 
  1. Comprehensive assessment

The second step involves the assessment of each individual executive to identify the gaps between the current and expected performance. Executive coaches can assess the coachees through interviews and other formal assessment tools.

  1. Feedback dialogue and action planning

Feedback dialogue involves preparing for an effective feedback session and also properly preparing executives for feedback. Executive coaches can take a few crucial steps to ensure the effectiveness of a feedback dialogue. For example, they can conduct sessions outside the normal office environment to provide a more relaxed environment. The coach must also facilitate the feedback process.

Action planning focuses on behaviors contributing to specific business results. A typical action plan consists of the following:

  • Strengths and why they are important in the current role of the executive
  • Developmental aspects
  • Actions required for improvement in areas requiring improvements
  • Suitable coaching style
  • Learning suggestions
  • Ways in which other stakeholders can help
  • A follow-up process with stakeholders
  • Key milestones
  1. Active learning

Once the key stakeholders agree to the action plan, an executive coach needs to implement development strategies. Coaches guide and reinforce development strategies like active learning, case studies, and so on.

  1. Reviewing and sustaining success

The final step is to review the overall process, give credit for progress, and address areas that still require improvements. Executive coaches should also share assessments with the key stakeholders to further the developments of executives and ensure alignment to the organization’s goals. 

The GROW Model

The GROW executive coaching model provides a simple four-step plan for a coaching session. 

  1. Goal

The executive coach and an individual or a group agree on a few clear and achievable outcomes. Thus, the desired results are to be achieved within the limits of the agreement. This first step gives coaches to think about a specific forward-moving plan. On the other hand, it gives clients an understanding of what they are working to achieve. 

  1. Reality

The second step involves getting the clearest picture of the current situation. This step provides clients with a starting point for moving forward to achieve goals. Moreover, it also enables clients to realize their strengths and empowers them to challenge limiting feelings and beliefs. 

  1. Options

The third step involves giving suggestions to clients about the things clients can do. The coach may also elicit suggestions from clients as well and guide them towards making the right choices. Thus, this stage gives clients support and time to think differently and creatively about achieving the desired outcomes. 

  1. Wrap-up

The final step involves gaining commitment from clients to action. Furthermore, coaches and clients can agree on the most suitable options, commit to action, set the plan of action, the timeframe for achieving goals, and identify how to overcome obstacles.

As you explore these two executive coaching models, take note of how they are similar and how they are different; then, decide which stages are most relevant to the specific goals of your client’s organization, as well as its overall culture. Also, monitor and evaluate them if you want your executive coaching programs to be successful. Otherwise, you will never truly know if your programs are benefiting your client’s organization or its employees.

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