» What is executive coaching?

What is executive coaching? Come on – let’s get focused and clear!

I recently attended a presentation entitled Executive Coaching: The client perspective.  Here both coaching clients and their coaches had an opportunity to talk about what the coaching meant to them, and the specific interventions and practices that made a difference in behavior. Although there were some intriguing insights from both the client and coach, such as the clients finally seeing how they are perceived by others, the meeting was frustrating because each coaching situation seemed to have a different (1) approach and methodology, (2) definition of the term coaching, although no one even defined the term and (3) goals were not always stated or clarified. The context in which the coaching took place was also not described adequately and no one really talked about the contracting process, why the coaching was initiated and for how long? I am not sure how much the coaching clients listened and try to do what their coaches suggested and how much actual learning took place, specifically, how the client went about testing their own assumptions, beliefs and thoughts through how these assumptions and beliefs and values affecting their behavior and actions.  Did the coach suggest new challenging situations that stretched the client and gave them opportunities to try out new action? These issues were not discussed. But please folks lets try to be clear about what we are trying to do – it’s a great start for any engagement.