The Difference Between Executive and Leadership Coaching: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to professional development, there are many different approaches that can be taken. One of the most popular is executive coaching, which focuses on helping individuals become better leaders. But what is the difference between executive coaching and leadership coaching? Executive coaching is a learning approach that helps create self-awareness, drives transformational change, and provides critical challenges and support. It focuses more on “aspects of management”, such as improving teamwork and communication with staff.

Leadership coaching, on the other hand, relates more to the “personal” aspect of a leader's responsibilities, including cultural and business transformation. It is sometimes referred to as a subset of executive coaching. The goal of a leadership coach is to help their client become aware of how to become a more inspiring and impactful leader with strong communication skills. Through executive coaching experiences, leaders can gain greater self-awareness, feel driven by transformative change, and have a renewed sense of opportunity.

Coaching can help middle- to senior-level leaders to be more effective by helping them learn new skills, reinforce new behaviors, and develop their mentality. Differentiating the use of coaching for development from coaching for change is essential. Coaching can improve performance in key ways, such as providing a greater understanding of oneself, others, and the organizational context in general; and a greater capacity to communicate effectively and empower others. It can also help an executive to innovate efficiently and adapt their leadership style to deal with major organizational changes.

If the person leads a team or department or will soon become a leader of people, they can benefit from the services of a leadership coach. While coaches sometimes act as a kind of counselor, executive and leadership coaching functions require more training in leadership skills and training than counseling training. The coach will then establish a comfortable and confidential relationship with their leaders to create a safe and confidential space that encourages focus, clarity and purpose. With a specialization in professional and executive coaching, students can prepare for the board-certified coach certification, as well as to obtain their international coaching credential.

By participating in executive coaching experiences, your leaders will gain greater self-awareness, feel driven by transformative change, and have a renewed sense of opportunity.