An executive coach is explaining a concept to another executive.

There has been an increasing buzz around the practice of executive coaching as both a management tool, and a tool for personal growth. At Brighter Strategies, we have a skilled lineup of Executive Coaches who frequently partner with clients.

What Is Executive Coaching?

Coaching is a personalized process that provides clarity on what success looks like and understanding the obstacles and barriers that get in the way of achieving success for each person. By providing support and strategies for thriving under today’s difficult circumstances, coaching helps both managers and employees. Coaching generally takes place through a series of conversations (live or virtual) in which active listening and powerful questioning, help the client see obstacles and plans.

Topics for Executive Coaching Sessions

People often associate coaching with solving a specific problem or addressing negative performance. While coaches can help with problem solving, there are a wide arrange of other positive ways  in which coaches can support you. For example,

  • Setting or Achieving a New Goal
  • Navigating Uncertainty (particularly important this year…)
  • Clarifying Values
  • Improving Relationships
  • Developing an Idea
  • Holding Yourself Accountable.

The Coaching Conversation

At its core, coaching is a self-driven process  focused on your  growth as  the coaching-client. During a coaching session, space is created in which you can discuss certain topics, whether that be goals you want to achieve, obstacles that you have encountered, or situations that have arisen for you. Together, you and the coach navigate the topics through the use of questions and self-reflection. The coach supports your self-exploration and development of new ways to view situations and planning actions to reach success. This discovery involves curiosity and drive on your part as a coaching-client.

Throughout this process, the role of the coach isn’t to offer “solutions” to your topic, but rather to support you as you find new resources and perspectives to resolve your own situations. As the coaching-client, you are always in the “driver’s seat,” so to speak, for what you want to accomplish from the session.

How to Find the Right Coach for You

The first thing to look for in an executive coach is their experience and training, which includes their coaching credentials. The ICF (short for International Coaching Federation) is widely considered to be the gold-standard for well-trained and certified coaches. As such, a coach who holds a level of ICF accreditation is a good place to start your search.

At the end of the day, however, the most important quality of the right coach is whether or not you  connect with them on a personal level. The best way to learn this is to meet for an initial consultation. During the meeting, pay attention to the level of confidence or safety that you feel when talking with them. Do they seem like someone who is a strong listener? Do they seem like someone you could open up to? Did you get a good “gut-feeling” by the end of the meeting? This feeling, combined with an ICF credential, will help set you on the right path for a good coaching experience.

Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Executive Coach

Professional coaching can be a meaningful tool for professional and executive development. But in order to benefit from a coaching experience you want to make sure that you are ready for coaching, and that you choose the correct coach. We’ve developed 10 questions to help you assess your own readiness, and the fit of a coach.

cover of book with question mark