What is Executive Coaching Anyway?

August 20, 2018
Executive Coaching

Lately, we’ve had a few Innovation Boulevard clients ask us about executive coaching. They are working quite successfully with their EIR on their growth-oriented businesses, but want something different to develop their own skills and leadership approach.

So, what is executive coaching anyway?

Executive coaching is a collaborative dialog between a coach and a client aimed at solving problems and improving performance in a business or professional setting.

The coach creates a safe environment for the client to talk, share ideas, explore concerns, and consider new options and perspectives. Client confidentiality is critical.

The executive coach leads the client through a purposeful questioning process to:

  • Identify and understand the client’s priorities and challenges
  • Explore places the client may be “stuck”
  • Help the client find new perspectives
  • Establish tangible action plans to move forward
  • Support the client in testing, adopting, and reinforcing new work habits
  • Hold the client accountable for execution of these action plans.

Only the client holds the keys to making a change in his or her personal behavior or leadership role. The coach helps the client to explore his or her priorities, values, and concerns and to identify an acceptable and desirable course of action. The coach’s questioning uncovers novel insights and perspectives to make change attainable and appealing. The coaching process enables the client to understand, own, and act upon resolving the issue.

The executive coach uses the depth and relevance of his or her own experience to challenge the client, to question his or her assumptions and conclusions and to ensure that the client’s attention is focused on relevant and effective areas to make changes and resolve leadership challenges.

What is unique about executive coaching?

The coaching process is quite different from most business transactions, interactions, and meetings.  Ind day to day business, there is pressure for executives to move forward all the time, almost regardless of the direction they choose. Coaching provides a brief but valuable pause: an opportunity to step back and take stock. Coaching allows an executive to re-engage in business with greater certainty, confidence, and purpose.

The Benefits

Executive coaching adds value because it provides:

  1. Time to focus on a particular issue
  2. A safe environment to explore issues in confidence
  3. Challenging and thought-provoking questions
  4. A sounding board for ideas
  5. An opportunity to prioritize issues and create a plan of action
  6. A forum to articulate assumptions and expectations about a project
  7. A dialog where concerns and hopes can be identified and addressed
  8. Valuable “white space” to consider options and make decisions
  9. An opportunity to understand and manage business complexity
  10. A forum to explore change and introduce new habits.

Do You Need Executive Coaching?

Does your team need to change to stay competitive? Do you know what you need to do, but can’t get started?  Have you just been promoted?  Do you need help to excel in your new job? Perhaps you’re facing a decision and you’re not sure which option to take? Perhaps you’re trying to close a financing round?  You want to strike a fair deal but there are so many people to consider and you need help managing the pressure?

Executive coaching can help you to communicate well, lead teams, manage change, and improve performance.


Louise Turner is the CEO at Innovation Boulevard and is a Certified Executive Coach.
hile she doesn’t coach clients anymore, she can refer you to some great coaches if you
would like to explore how this could benefit you.


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