If you coach leaders and CXOs professionally, you know that the right executive coaching apps can be game-changing.
Your job is to deliver in an increasingly fast-paced, innovative, and agile industry, and to do that, you need the tools to match. Read on for the best leadership coaching tools and our top tips on making them work for you.
How To Grow Your Practice With Executive Coaching Tools
First, let’s look at what executive or leadership coaching aims to do. Picking the right weapon for your arsenal is about starting with your goals and working backward, so it’s good to have the end in mind!
Executive coaching is coaching with a focus on developing the potential and abilities of people in leadership positions, particularly those in C-suite and director positions. It is generally undertaken within the context of a leader’s role in their organization, helping them further develop their knowledge and skills to better perform the functions of their position.
Executive coaching can help people reach the next level, assist leaders in addressing their weaknesses and those who are brand new in their leadership roles.
The process may vary by coach, but the gist is generally the same: it’s a client-centered process that helps the executive enhance their self-awareness, identify and clarify their goals, and define and embark upon a path towards achieving those goals.
According to the experts at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, executive coaching often involves leadership coaching techniques and exercises like:
- Gathering and giving feedback
- Identifying development opportunities
- Building awareness
- Facilitating solutions by asking powerful questions
- Setting goals and creating action plans
- Facilitating online learning
- Supporting and encouraging over the long term
- Monitoring progress and holding others accountable
Executive coaching relationships are usually organized into four phases:
- Intake and assessment of executive’s knowledge, skills, abilities, etc.
- Goal setting and clarification (identifying and defining the executive’s goals)
- Ongoing coaching and skill development (where most of the real coaching work happens)
- Measurement of results (determining whether goals have been met)
However, phase 3 and phase 4 often overlap to some degree, as the coach and executive often measure progress as they go and make adjustments or add new goals as necessary.
How Apps Can Help You
With these goals in mind, picking the right executive coaching app involves first making some distinctions.
Take one technique, break it down into the steps involved, and ask yourself the following:
- Which tasks involve your specialist skillset, experience, and knowledge?
- Which take up a lot of your time, but could easily be outsourced to technology?
Monitoring progress and building accountability, for example, might involve planning when you plan to follow up with clients.
Developing a timeframe for this falls into the first (‘specialist’) category while sending emails and instant messages can easily be automated with executive coaching tools.
Now let’s look at how that translates directly into more value for you and your clients!
13 Benefits of Leadership Coaching Apps
The right coaching apps can benefit your practice in a number of ways:
- Keep in touch with your clients and bring in potential clients via automated emails
- Communicate more quickly and easily with your current clients with instant messaging
- Share resources, education, and activities securely with a file-sharing service
- Take, organize, and retrieve notes more effectively using note-taking tools
- Charge and accept payment for your online services using invoicing and billing features
- Schedule client appointments conveniently using appointment-setting tools
- Video and/or voice chat with your clients through videoconferencing software
- Manage all of your projects and clients from a Dashboard and organized client profiles
- Deliver coaching pathways (i.e., structured set of resources, activities, exercises, assessments, etc.) on a schedule.
Of course, if you want to define and own your niche as an executive coach, you’ll also want to make sure you have professional leadership software that helps you:
- Educate clients by easily designing personalized digital Activities
- Engage them in between sessions by sharing your course materials, homework activities, and reflections on autopilot
- Manage progress and send reminders at custom intervals to keep commitment high
- Automate key admin processes like onboarding, pre-screening, and feedback forms
5 Best Coaching Apps & Software Systems For Executives
The best executive coaching platform would provide each of the benefits listed above, and allow you to design, customize, and disseminate your own content.
No platform exists that will check all of your boxes, but there are several good options available. See a few of the best below.
|Quenza is a powerful yet easy-to-use app for executives coaches of any size who want to grow their practice. As well as helping you streamline your practice management, this platform helps you design and deliver engaging solutions at scale so you can expand your client list with the same high-caliber approach.|
|Good for||Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Goal Setting, Progress Monitoring, Reporting, Client Engagement, Online Coaching, E-therapy|
|Nudge Coach is a mobile app that can easily be used with leaders in organizational contexts. With client tracking features and group coaching tools, this app is good for both new and established professionals.|
|Good for||Executive Coaching, Business Coaching, Goal Setting, Progress Monitoring, Reporting, Client Engagement, Online Coaching|
|More info||Nudge Coach App|
|Vcita is a lightweight app with mostly practice management features, but executive coaches may find it a useful way to streamline their appointment scheduling and client management.|
|Good for||Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Goal Setting, Progress Monitoring, Online Coaching|
|10 to 8 is great if you’re a coach hoping to simplify client management, appointment scheduling, and reporting, but falls a little short of the specialized coaching tools that some of the other apps offer.|
|Name||10 to 8|
|Good for||Executive Coaching, Business Coaching, Goal Setting, Marketing|
|More info||10 to 8|
|Simple Practice offers plenty of functionality solo coaches and smaller practices that want to improve their efficiency and cross-functional alignment. With a simple, clean interface and useful client portal, it’s very client-friendly.|
|Good for||Executive Coaching, Fitness Coaching, Business Coaching, Goal Setting, Marketing|
|More info||Simple Practice|
Useful Leadership Techniques For Your Sessions
If you’re interested in providing such services or running your own executive coaching business, there are a few key skills and techniques that it’s important to familiarize yourself with.
While there are tons of useful techniques for leadership coaching, it’s important to master the basics first. The basics include:
- Assessment of the client (getting to know the client, their strengths/weaknesses, etc.)
- Goal clarification (helping the client identify and clarify their goals)
- Action/goal tracking (tracking the client’s progress towards their goals)
- Effective communication (including active listening)
These are four vital components of any coaching relationship.
You need to understand the client and figure out where they want to get, aid them in clarifying and setting their own goals, help them move towards their goal and track their progress, and be able to communicate with them throughout the whole process effectively.
In the next section, we’ve included a range of exercises that correspond with these executive coaching techniques.
17 Professional Coaching Exercises To Engage Clients
Here are 14 effective tools for any coaching engagement:
- The 5-minute pre-session check-in
- The SMART goal-setting technique
- Noting the “gold nuggets” after each session (e.g., the “most valuable takeaway”)
- Asking open-ended questions
- Writing down goals and action plans (preferably physically writing them out)
- Be fully present and focused on the session (i.e., be mindful)
- Follow up with the client and use ongoing feedback
- Coaching journal (have the client write in the journal between sessions and address it during sessions)
- “Homework assignments” to boost accountability
- The “GROW” model for goal setting and problem-solving (Goal, Reality, Obstacles, and Options, Way Forward)
- A shared to-do list to use together
- The “my goal is achieved” technique (asking a client to describe their perfect day once their goal is achieved)
- Treat every session as a chance to improve your own coaching skills
- Powerful coaching software
The professionals at Forbes’ Coaching Council have a few more recommendations of techniques that executive coaches can use with their clients.
These recommendations include:
- The “3Cs Method” (offering each client the chance to Communicate with others, Collaborate together on a project, and Create something new)
- Creating a prioritization strategy (reframing projects and goals based on what matters most to the client (motivation) vs. what matters most to others (pressure/stress))
- Focusing on core values as an anchor (identifying and working from the client’s core values)
Useful Quenza Activities
You will likely want to come up with your own unique, personalized tools for your coaching engagements, but there are some resources available to help you get ideas or to provide templates for your own content.
The table below offers a look at a few of these tools or Expansions, all of which you can edit and share with your clients directly within Quenza’s platform.
|Tool||Type||Why It’s Awesome|
|Pre-Coaching Questionnaire||Assessment||You can use this Quenza Expansion (pictured above) to get to know a client and understand their goals, strengths, and issues before you get started.|
|Realizing Long-Lasting Change By Setting Process Goals||Worksheet||This Quenza Expansion (pictured below) aids your client in creating a habit plan that will support their goal-directed efforts in coaching.|
|Strengths Interview||Reflection||Your client can take the Strengths Interview to identify their top strengths.|
|Finding Your Ikigai||Exercise||This exercise helps clients find purpose and meaning in their life by engaging in the Japanese practice of ikigai.|
|Goal Visualization||Visualization||This exercise mental imagery to help your clients achieve their goals by enhancing their motivation and initiating planning and problem-solving actions.|
Executive coaching is a big business, and one that can do a lot of good. Trickle-down economics may be unproven, but trickle-down improvement is not; when executives make positive changes to themselves and their work environment, the benefits will seep down into the ranks and spread throughout the organization.
Hopefully, you can use the tools and techniques in this piece to make your coaching process even more effective and efficient. To put what you’ve learned into practice, take your coaching practice online by test-driving Quenza for $1.
Quenza is designed by coaches for coaches and contains everything you need to set goals, build activities, and structure your client’s coaching journeys from start to result so that you can motivate and engage patients for maximum goal achievement.
- ^ Stanford Graduate School of Business. (n.d.). Executive coaching. Retrieved from https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/alumni/volunteering/act/service-areas/executive-coaching/
- ^ Schuy, M. (2019). 14 effective coaching techniques and tools every coach should know. Clever Memo. Retrieved from https://clevermemo.com/blog/en/effective-coaching-techniques/
- ^ Forbes Coaches Council. (2017). 12 innovative tools and techniques every coach can benefit from. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/05/11/12-innovative-tools-and-techniques-every-coach-should-use/