Six Principles of Successful Executive Coaching

Ashka Wirk

In previous blog posts, I have written about the characteristics (Seven Characteristics of an Effective Executive Coach)and skills(How Competent Does Your Executive Coach Need to Be?)that executive coaches should have to enhance coaching engagements for the benefit of their clients. 

If you are considering hiring an executive coach, it is a good idea to ask about his or her coaching principles or philosophy. The following six core principles should guide the coaching process and will promote a successful coaching engagement:

1. A systems perspective – An understanding of complex organizational dynamics form the context for executive coaching.  With this in mind, an executive coach must have awareness of the system in which the client is operating.

2. Holistic business focus – Successful executive coaching links a business focus with human processes by closely aligning the leader’s development with the organization’s strategic and organizational goals.

3. Results orientation – There must be a set of clear, specific desired results expected from the coaching engagement. This should be documented in a coaching plan that outlines expected deadlines for accomplishing each goal, feedback mechanisms and timing, and coaching session activities that focus on achieving the agreed-upon goals. 

4. Partnership approach – The three partners in an executive coaching engagement (the leader, the coach, and the organization’s representative) must see themselves as partners in the coaching process for the outcome to be of the greatest benefit for the leader and the organization as a whole.

5. Personal integrity – The relationship between the coach and the client is sensitive and private. To maintain this relationship, all parties must be clear about the ground rules for confidentiality, guidelines, and the rules of engagement.

6. Sound judgement – Successful executive coaching requires a delicate mixture of science, art, and expert improvisation. This takes place while applying good judgement for well-balanced decisions, and within a dynamic learning environment. 

Reach out to us if you’d like to explore executive coaching with one of our certified Executive Coaches.

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