The Difference Between Executive Coaching and Business Coaching

When it comes to improving organizational performance and business results, there are two types of coaching that can be used to achieve these objectives: executive coaching and business coaching. Although both aim to help organizations reach their goals, they do so in different ways. Executive coaching focuses on the individual, while business coaching focuses on strategy. Leadership coaching is often referred to as a subset of executive coaching, as it has a similar approach.

The goal of a leadership coach is to support a client in becoming a more inspiring and impactful leader with strong communication skills. Through this process, the client learns how to improve teamwork and communication with staff. A common question that arises is “what is the difference between executive coaching and life coaching?” Now that we know what coaching does, executive coaching is about the client focusing on the external outcome, usually of a professional nature, rather than internal change. The coach's job is to empower the client to use existing skills and close the gap in what is left to achieve the desired external result. Through this process, the individual needs to perform an internal reality check of their tangible and intangible assets, as well as their weaknesses. This becomes necessary and a preliminary step to establish an action plan on how to overcome internal and external factors in order to achieve the desired result.

The focus remains on what the individual can DO to obtain the external result. On the other hand, if executive coaching is about solving the problems of an external manifestation, then life coaching focuses on examining inward. The individual sees himself as part of the problem or as a factor that hinders his or her own definite successes. To better explain this difference, let's look at a person who missed a promotion. How would the angle and approach differ between executive coaching and life coaching? Now that you have a better understanding of the nuances between executive coaching and life coaching, how can you know which one works for you? In the modern workplace, an executive must be able to balance company and people priorities, must develop a macro perspective to lead in a complex environment. An executive coach can help leaders improve performance by developing skills, increasing confidence and concentration.

Also, forge productive relationships to guide your teams to successfully achieve their goals and exceed individual and corporate expectations. An executive coach can accompany and encourage the leader to greater motivation, increasing his momentum as he continues to inspire the people in his organization to achieve success. Often, executive coaching professionals work with high-level executives or vice presidents, helping them make decisions in a fast-paced business world. An executive coach is a great resource for senior leaders because it serves as a thinking partner and a safe place for them to “think out loud” and share their ideas before launching them across the organization. Within your current role, a coach could help you improve your professional progress within your current organization or find a better balance between your home and work life. This is a personal process and understanding what each type of coach would cover is key, as a different type of coach may be more beneficial, such as a life coach.

Ideally for the organization, the coach will work with the overall team, as well as with each individual. Both types of coaching involve working with individuals to improve certain aspects of their work performance.Executive coaching services are intended to benefit an entire organization while professional coaching is geared towards benefiting an individual in terms of their personal career path. If you offer professional training and subject matter experience, you are offering coaching and consulting services. While both executive and leadership coaches have the potential to bring value to their clients, it is important that clients clearly understand the skills they would like to see developed within themselves. In addition, coaching is useful for managers and executives to solve everyday interpersonal problems, move to new departments, expand their responsibilities or seek to streamline the management of their team.

When I was first introduced to the coaching world, these terms seemed confusing until I understood the differences and similarities. A coach could help overcome the feeling of being “stuck” in your career or returning to work after extended leave or illness. It's understandable to feel anxious in these situations, and moments of panic can be quite unsettling if they appear during the workday. A coach will give you some great techniques to use. It's important to keep in mind that executive or leadership coaching is geared towards helping clients find their own solutions.

Glenda Lokhmator
Glenda Lokhmator

Infuriatingly humble social media trailblazer. Total troublemaker. Wannabe zombie aficionado. Avid social media advocate. Unapologetic pop culture practitioner. Wannabe web advocate.