Strategic coaching is structured professional guidance that is typically sought by executives or other kinds of leaders who wish to better gear their actions towards the goals of their organization. Rather than give advice like a consultant, the goal of the coach is to help the client to think through problems. The service is typically offered by individuals who have had similar leadership experience. A typical coach will provide motivation, while working with the individual or team to strategize, make goals, and stay on task.
The process of strategic coaching can address immediate concerns or provide long-term guidance. Learning each other’s style in order to achieve ideal communication and productivity can be time-consuming. It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months for the coach to help an organization reach its goals. The practice is similar to executive coaching, except that it involves making specific goals and planning how to achieve them. This kind of coach guides clients through the process of strategizing.
There are several reasons an organization may take an interest in strategic coaching. A coach can help to specific address problems, improve overall leadership skills, or otherwise bolster the performance of the company’s most important resources. Some coaches will commit to being on-call for their clients if they have been hired to assist for particularly intense, short-term situations.
Many companies use external sources such as strategic coaching in order to get an objective opinion about the organization. With their outsider status, coaches are often able to help make sense of a complex situation and organize a plan for action. In addition to providing an honest perspective, a coach can help to hold executives accountable for their goals.
A strategic coach can also be looked upon as an ally or sounding board. Some executives need a trusted second opinion when making big decisions. A good coach can provide honest, informed feedback that can take some of the stress out of making major decisions
The process of strategic coaching is usually performed over the course of several conversations. There may be one or more meetings in person, but typically the bulk of the contact will consist of phone conversations. The coach will either be contacted when needed or according to a predetermined schedule. Depending on the scope of the organization, the coach can be hired a single time or become a regular part of a company’s efforts to maximize its resources.