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24, April 2018

Business Coach vs. Executive Coach: Is there a Difference?

For over 15 years I’ve called myself an executive coach because, well, that’s what other executive coaches called our profession. When asked if I was a business coach, I said yes. Because I am. As an executive coach and business consultant, I do what others call business coaching on a daily basis.

But there is a difference.

Executive Coach

Let’s start with what an executive coach does. We work with business people to help them reach their greatest potential. This coaching is typically one-on-one, but there are many times when we work with teams.

Executive coaching is often invested in high potential employees, business owners, executive team members, managers, teams and any other person who has the ability to dramatically impact the success of the organization.

Executive coaching starts by gaining a solid understanding of the coachee. This comes from conversations and assessments. We identify goals and objectives, and then begin working toward them.

There is a common misconception that executive coaching is mostly for executives who have a weakness or behavioral issue that needs to be corrected. More often than not, that isn’t the case. It’s really for business people who want to become better at what they do, learn new ways to be more effective and improve results. Executive coaching is for people who want to increase self-awareness of how they come across and eliminate the things that are holding them back.

In executive coaching relationships, the coach and coachee typically meet regularly for at least six months. In my experience, twice a month is a good interval at the onset. Face-to-face works best, but FaceTime or Skype are good alternatives. The executive coach is also available during non-scheduled times for issues that come up.

Business Coach

The business coaching relationship is similar with one key difference: instead of focusing on the individual, the business coach takes a more holistic view of the entire company. This means that the business coach is working with the owner, president, CEO or another senior executive.

Some conversations still revolve around what behaviors the coachee needs to work toward, but because of their role, they have a greater impact on the entire organization. This means the business coach has to understand the entire business, in addition to the individual. Given this, a business coach should have direct experience in running a company and creating & implementing strategic plans, as well as a thorough understanding of how to read financial statements. In many ways, a business coach is really a combination of executive coach and business consultant.

Krissi Barr of Barr Corporate Success

Whether you call it business coaching or executive coaching, if you would like to learn more, please give Barr Corporate Success a call at 513-470-8980. I’ve coached nearly 500 people in my career, from a wide variety of industries. Some clients are in Cincinnati and the Midwest, others are across America and beyond. The one common thread is I get results, as indicated by my 48 recommendations on LinkedIn (Krissi Barr) and many 5-star ratings on Google. Let’s get to work!

Connect with Krissi Barr on LinkedIn

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