What's the difference between Executive and Leadership Coaching

The difference between Executive and Leadership Coaching

I am often asked, “What’s the difference between Executive Coaching and Leadership Coaching?” And then come Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Wellness Coaching, and any other “Something” Coaching. Before you know it, you feel dizzy and confused.

What does ‘Coaching’ mean?

Let’s start with the beginning. ICF (International Coach Federation) defines coaching as “partnering with coachee(s) in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential’’.

What are the ICF credentials?

All ICF credential coaches adhere to the elements and principles of ethical conduct  to be competent and integrate ICF Core Competencies effectively in their work. The ICF offers the only globally recognised independent credentialing programme and there are currently over 20,000 ICF credited coaches worldwide in more than 60 countries.

The three credentials are:

Associate Certified Coach (ACC)

Professional Certified Coach (PCC)

Master Certified Coach (MCC)

The Coach Knowledge Assessment (CKA) is the same for all three credentials and is a three-hour online examination with scenarios using multiple choices. Coaches then decide to specialise in their niche depending on their qualification, background, experience, training. If you want heart surgery, you go to a specialist. It is the same for coaching.

What’s my story?

I am ACC and on my way to be PCC by the end of 2019. I have 20+ years experience in the public sector. I have been a secondary Headteacher twice, managing £20-million budget. I am bilingual (French/English).

I have coached teams in all the schools where I have worked (as an educator around the world) and I have also coached students, so this equates to about 25,000 students and 5,000 educators (teachers and non teachers). I have led several workshops in the UK and around the world where I have influenced another 1000 educators.

In 2017, I qualified as an Associate CIPD in HR, specialising in talent management, retention, staff engagement and the impact of coaching on the organisational performance. I have used the skills and knowledge I acquired to now work with teams in the public sector and in financial services as an Executive and Leadership Coach. Coaching has been a core part of how I led my teams for 20 years.

I have published over 50 blogs/vlogs online, all practical and ‘how to’ advice that relate to my clients’ questions. How do I know what they are thinking? Well, I have been there myself by experiencing the same fears, issues, concerns or worries and I am listening to my current clients. I am still a teacher (and forever will be) so I educate my readers as well; I help them solve their problems. I have posted high quality content on Twitter and on Linkedin and have daily conversations with my followers. My latest blog ‘How to have a difficult conversation’ has ranked fifth in Google Search.

In 2018, I hosted a Twitter Chat #ManagingTeams to offer Leaders another layer of support with a conversation made of 7 questions and where people from all over the world contributed. l also did my first online webinar on ‘How to have a difficult conversation’.

Behind someone’s name, behind their title and behind the acronyms that follow their name, there is a story. I am sharing my story because people might think that it is an overnight success. The truth is that most ‘overnight successes’ are years in the making. The secret behind my success has been my determination to make a difference no matter what has been in my way. It has been my ambition and my resilience. I have always felt a sense of responsibility and a need to leave a legacy.

I am good at what I do and I love what I do. I totally accept that some clients might not want to work with me because I do not quite match what they are looking for. There are many other coaches out there with equally exciting and impressive stories, and I invite you to look them up too or I am happy to advise. Just to name a few:

Let’s have a discovery call

This is why a chemistry conversation is key between a future coachee (yourself) and a coach so that you can agree that you can work together.

Each coaching engagement begins with a ‘discovery call’. This is the time where the potential client and coach have a conversation to determine and discuss around questions like:

  • What the client is looking for in the coaching relationship
  • What the coaching relationship is and isn’t
  • The style of the coach and how that resonates with the client
  • Rules of engagement and protocol (Coaching is confidential and the priority is the client, no one else!)
  • The coach’s credentials relative to the client’s needs
  • Timing and logistics of the coaching
  • How success for coaching will be measured
  • Agreement to move forward

Different coaches have different stories and one might appeal to you more than the other ones. Ultimately, my clients are paying for a specific outcome and for my experience and it would be the same if they chose a different coach. If I find that a client is not a good match for my skills, then I will always be honest and refer them to another coach.

What does research show?

Generational Similarities and Differences in Workplace Preferences

Source: BUILDING A COACHING CULTURE WITH MILLENNIAL LEADERS (HCI, 2017)

What were the top three goals of your most recent coaching engagement?

Source: BUILDING A COACHING CULTURE WITH MILLENNIAL LEADERS (HCJ, 2017)

So what is an Executive Coach?

Executives are CEOs and CFOs who interact in a demanding environment leading people in today’s complex, competitive global marketplace. Being offered an Executive Coach is often seen as a perk in most jobs; it’s a sign that an organization is investing in a leaders’ success.

What is a Leadership Coach?

Managers and team leaders belong to the ‘leadership’ level of the organization so tend to be coached by a Leadership Coach.

Why do Executives need Executive Coaching?

  • They have to sustain performance in a VUCA world.
  • Being an Executive is a lonely place so they need support and motivation.
  • They need challenge to support momentum.
  • They might be ‘stuck’ and can’t think of what else to do in order to move the organization forward.
  • They are ready to do something different but are not sure what that ‘something’ is.

Marshall Goldsmith, perhaps the best-known Executive Coach in the USA, wrote a book called What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. I encourage you to read it as it talks about negative perceptions that can hold any Executive back. One should never make any assumptions about promotion and therefore a Leadership or Executive Coach can make all the difference for you.

My next Masterclass ‘Coaching for Managing Difficult Conversations’ is on 15thMay 2019

Click here to BOOK your place.

Want to join us? DM me if you’ve got any questions or email me.

Any questions? Let’s talk. Book a slot on my online calendar.

What people say about me

Nadine played an important role in helping me gain promotion, most recently at 10 Downing Street 

Nadine coached me as part of my two year leadership course with the UK Government Communication Service. I found her coaching techniques both innovative and effective in helping me understand the areas I needed to improve to become a better leader. Her assessments are always honest and frank, and her feedback is constructive and remarkably prophetic. She has played an important role in helping me gain promotions and new roles – most recently at 10 Downing Street – and I would recommend her coaching services to anyone looking to progress within a public or private sector environment.

Thomas Hewett, Chief Press Officer, Downing Street

I have grown in confidence, have a more positive outlook, and am having a greater impact in the workplace

Nadine provided executive coaching to me as part of the UK Government Commercial Organisation (GCO) Development Programme. I really didn’t know what to expect or what I would gain from coaching but Nadine created a safe, non-judgemental environment enabling me to reflect on the areas I wanted to develop. Her careful questioning and listening skills combined with positive challenge, enabled me to identify my own self-limiting beliefs and provided a conduit for change. As a result of Nadine’s coaching I have grown in confidence, have a more positive outlook, and am having a greater impact in the workplace. I have also been successful in graining accreditation to the GCO. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Nadine and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her.

Sarah Worthington, Senior Category Manager, Commercial Directorate | Department for Work and Pensions

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