Written by Grégoire Depeursinge; EVP EMEA AIMS International, Managing Partner Switzerland

Whether you want to improve your leadership skills, are confronted with a new role or challenge or simply want to decide what is right for you, Executive Coaching could be the answer. But what is Executive Coaching? Definitions and expectations vary, ranging from pure coaching (helping the client find the answers) to business consulting (being a sparring partner for operative decisions and tactics or even suggesting concrete solutions) with, very often, a combination of both, depending on the nature and the degree of urgency of the problem to be solved (As an example, the coachee might have problems expressing himself in public arising from a lack of self-confidence, something which can be worked on in the long term in a coaching process; but if he has to speak before several hundred employees in 48 hours, there is a need for simple ways to mitigate the issue). Similarly, the client might expect his coach to act as a business consultant, drawing for example, on his knowledge of organizational design, something a pure coach might not be qualified to do and that would compromise his role as a coach if he would do it.

It is clear therefore, that the expression “Executive Coaching” covers a vast array of services and needs.

Many executive coaches are individuals relying on their personal experience and training as well as, very often, on a “system” promising quick and exceptional results. As Executive Coaching has many, normally mutually exclusive dimensions, notably coaching and business consulting as well as psychological and technical expertise, there probably isn’t a single individual who can combine all the required dimensions. As a result, Executive Coaching is almost always flawed, sometimes even dangerous. Some of the traps are easy answers (such as “the three golden rules” or “the nine steps to success”), a focus on behavioural change only (not looking for the root of the problem), a lack of expertise with coaches basing their work only on their empirical experience and finally, situations in which the coach gains more and more influence and ends up leading the business himself even though he has not the qualifications to do it.

At AIMS International, we believe that the answer lies in the power of the team. Our Talent management experts bring a wealth of expertise in coaching and can draw on a vast array of methodologies and assessment tools, but besides that, they can also use the experience and knowledge of several hundred seasoned executive search consultants with extensive leadership experience and knowledge gained from exposure to businesses operating in every part of the world and every known industry.

Written by Grégoire Depeursinge; EVP EMEA AIMS International, Managing Partner Switzerland