Nov 212014

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

Every executive in today’s business world wants to improve on his or her management skills. However, most of these executives do not know where to turn or how to begin. For these executives the benefits of hiring a personal executive coach can literally be the answer to their prayers. Most managing executives have difficulty in learning how to be more effective managers but it is doesn’t really have anything to do with ‘management’ per se, but the way that opportunities to learn are presented to them – and the different ways in which these executives prefer to learn. This where a personal executive coach comes in. They are be able manage.

Each individual executive actually learns in a different way. Some prefer to learn through seeing, or they like to learn through listening, or even learning through moving, doing and touching. Researchers Peter Honey and Alan Mumford have identified four main learning style preferences. An executive coach will guide an client in determining which of these four categories they fit into.

Activists: These executives thrive on new experiences. They are open minded and enthusiastic about new ideas but often get bored with implementation. They enjoy doing things and tend to act first and consider the implications later. They like working with others but tend to dominate the limelight.

A coach will assist the activist executive by suggesting business games and team projects that they can become involved in. However, activists should rather volunteer for the brainstorming sessions than for implementation activities. A good coach will help them see that planning without implementation has much less value and that effective implementation is the key to any activity.

Reflectors: These types of executives prefer to stand back and view a situation from all different possible perspectives. They collect data and analyze it very carefully before coming to any conclusions. They enjoy observing others and tend to listen to others before offering their own view.

For these executives, a personal executive coach would advise them to keep a log of the management activities that they pursue during a period of a week or so. These activities should be classified as either ‘leading’ (setting the direction, giving the big picture to your people) ‘managing’ (setting performance objectives for people, following up on performance issues, and implementing development initiatives for your team) and ‘operating’ (doing the administrative tasks such as budgeting, reporting). At the end of this period, the executive and the coach should spend a few hours reviewing the log together and then deciding where and how the executive needs to change their emphasis to improve their management skills.

Theorists: These executives adapt and integrate observations into complex and logically sound theories. They always think problems through in a through process all of their own. They are the company’s perfectionists who like to fit things into a rational scheme and tend to be detached and analytical rather than subjective or emotive in their thinking.

A personal executive coach will always make sure that coaching is based on sound logic and reasoning and contains interesting concepts, and also encourage the executive to look to be involved in projects where the issues are complex.

Pragmatists: Pragmatists are the ones who are enthusiastic to try new things. They prefer ideas that can be put into action in their jobs. However, they do get impatient with long, drawn-out, discussions.

These executives will benefit from the different types of management techniques that a personal executive coach can provide. These techniques are designed to save the executive both time and effort. A good coach would sit in on a few of the executive’s management meetings so that he may be able to provide feedback to the executive on their personal effectiveness as a manager.

Management training does not have to be painstaking or laborious. Personal executive coaches provide management training skills and models that are easy to grasp for any type of executive. Management training should be interesting, fun and exciting and it can only be that way under the proper guidance of a personal executive coach and their executive coaching services.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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