What is Executive Coaching?
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with a coachee in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Executive Coaching is a collaborative, professional relationship, which utilizes the art of two-way conversation to engage a coachee in creating the future that they truly want. The coach actively listens, asks questions, and holds the focus for their coachee and their objectives as they reflect on possibilities, explore opportunities, gain awareness, and set goals.
Coaching encourages high-functioning executives, leaders, managers, and individuals to bridge the gap between their current reality and their desired goal or success. It provides the opportunity to strengthen skills such as strategic thinking, communication, and leadership skills, or to enhance other skills which are of importance or unique to the coachee’s specific situation.
In each coaching session or meeting, the coachee chooses the agenda or the focus of the conversation, while the coach listens and contributes observations and questions. This interaction creates clarity and moves the coachee into action. Coaching accelerates the coachee’s progress by providing greater focus and awareness of choice. Coaching concentrates on where the coachee is now and what they are willing to do to get where they want to be in the future.
In most coaching engagements, the coach starts with the premise that, at some level, the coachee already possesses the answer they are seeking. In other words, the coachee is the expert, and the coach’s role is to illuminate or bring awareness to that expertise to help the coachee grow. Coaching is different from a consulting engagement, in which the consultant is the expert and prescribes a course of action for the client to follow.
What coaching is not is telling people what to do. Instead, it focuses on giving coachee a chance to examine what they are doing in light of their intentions.