What is Executive Coaching?

Executive coaching is a one to one process between an executive and a mentor, the coach. This confidential relationship is designed to provide insight and guidance to an executive from a seasoned business professional. While the nature of the conversations could be wide in scope, common discussion points include organizational culture, employee issues, strategic planning and goal setting, ideation, growth, marketing, sales and succession planning. Executive coaches provide guidance for the executive often playing the devil’s advocate, pointing out potential risk areas, and advising on strategy. Owners and executives have big decisions to make, executive coaches can ease that burden in many circumstances. Executive coaching is holistic in nature touching on both the professional and personal aspects of the executive, however professional guidance is usually the primary emphasis.

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A formal definition of Executive Coaching follows:

“Executive Coaching is a facilitative one-to-one, mutually designed relationship between a professional coach and a key contributor who has a powerful position in the organization…The coaching is contracted for the benefit of a client who is accountable for highly complex decisions with wide scope of impact on the organization and industry as a whole. The focus of the coaching is usually on organizational performance or development, but it may also serve a personal component as well.”

Summary findings from the International Executive Coaching Summit, October 1999, compiled by Lee Smith and Jeannine Sandstrom, and including information produced by 36 coaches as displayed on executivecoachacademy.com

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