How Executive Coaching Works

The generic process for executive coaching is similar to the visioning process for an organisation. In this context, the process involves an individual answering some exploratory yet deliberate questions. Through these questions and with no consultative advice, the coach facilitates the individual to challenge both their own thinking and their perceived limitations. The techniques, whilst surprisingly basic, are very effective and part of a coach’s role is to help a client understand how they might apply them independently in both personal and work contexts.

Executive Coaching Process

1. The Contract – Defining what you want

Executive coaching process - Step 1

During each session, the executive will identify an area they would like to focus on. This may be an ad-hoc process or one that is pre-defined as part of the overall agreement. Once a concrete goal for the session, also known as a contract is established, the coach asks facilitative, open-ended questions to support the executive to deliver against that contract. It is a strictly non-advisory process and the focus is on the executive getting the maximum possible value out of that session.

Result: An articulated goal with clarity around how you will know that you’ve achieved it.

2. Solution-focus – Determining the best way to achieve your goal

Executive coaching process - Step 2

The role of the coach is to pay close attention to what the client is saying and not saying. While the executive retains full control of the process, the goal of the coach is to maintain the position of an objective, non-judgmental sounding board. Based on the answers provided, an effective coach asks relevant questions that support an individual to challenge themselves and uncover and explore additional possibilities. Additionally, the coach employs a number of tools that enable the individual to access their more subconscious, intuitive knowledge that could otherwise be difficult to articulate and process.

Result: Realistic, practical action steps toward achieving your goal. These steps necessarily need to account for matters inside and outside your control. For complex problems, the result may be a tangible, achievable next step.

3. Commitment – Building and sustaining motivation

Executive coaching process - Step 3

Very often, even knowing a goal, agreeing to its importance and knowing what you need to achieve it is not enough. Circumstances, be they personal or job-related or even market-related, play an enormous influence on an individual’s ability to sustain their motivation. An important part of the coaching process is to support an individual to maintain perspective and constantly link the overall importance of what it is they are trying to achieve to the actual actions required to do it. Confidence, esteem, determination and effective prioritisation are some of the frequently addressed issues in this area.

Result: An established link between goals and why they are important Additionally, there may be practical action steps to help both build and sustain motivation.

4. Tracking – Measuring your progress

Executive coaching process - Step 4

Establishing meaningful milestones that can be used to helped track progress is critical for both sustaining commitment and acknowledging progress. Regardless of whether these measures are external, internal or a combination of both, they need to be clearly defined. An individual’s definition of success and how they know they’ve achieved it is one of the key factors in driving their level of satisfaction and happiness in life.

Result: Clearly defined milestones. This step also results in the identification and overcoming of hurdles.

5. Acknowledgement – Celebrating success

Executive coaching process - Step 5

Finally, if you are honestly challenging yourself to achieve your full potential then there will be times when you fail to achieve the goals you define. Not acknowledging the success that you have had however is often an unfortunate disservice many individuals fall victim to. An effective coach allows an individual to fully appreciate their own journey and progress, regardless of any outcome.

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As an executive, you may already have a particular challenge in mind you’d like to address or know of a way an experienced facilitator of the above process can support you. Even if you’re just generally feeling stuck or are currently overwhelmed with your circumstances, take the first step of getting in touch now to discuss an appropriate coaching solution.

If you have further questions about the process, please consult our Coaching FAQs page. Alternatively, please Contact Us to find out more.

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