What is Executive Coaching?

When are Executive and Business Coaching used?

What is the Executive Coaching Process?

What is the Role of Coach, Client and Sponsoring Company?

What are some of the benefits of Executive Coaching?

Am I ready to work with an executive coach?


FAQs Quote Scroller

What is Executive Coaching?

Executive Coaching is a confidential, collaborative, intimate, highly individualized, non-linear process of exploration, inquiry, growth, learning, and development.

With Executive Coaching, Clients identify and understand those behaviors which contribute to their increased effectiveness, growth and performance, as well as those that detract from them. Change occurs in a Client’s thoughts and behaviors; new perspectives and operating frameworks are created. Clients develop the skills, perspectives, and insights necessary to effectively deal with current and future professional and personal change, and to make better decisions.

Executive Coaching helps create: greater self-efficacy, authenticity, long term excellent performance, self-correction, increased capacity, and greater competency. It is driven by the energy, goals, and willingness of an individual or team that desires to learn new skills and methods of operating.

Executive Coaching is not therapy or counseling, nor is it consulting, or a best friend. It is not, and does not, confer legal or financial advice.

Executive coaches focus on developing strategic thinking skills, broadening emotional competencies, expanding coalitions and networks, and building organizational culture through living the corporate values.  An executive gains the greatest benefit from an executive coach if that executive becomes self-aware.  Self-awareness suggests the executive’s willingness and ability to look at his or her strengths and liabilities and to seek help where there is need to compensate for what is lacking.  During the process of executive coaching, the executive comes to understand what they do best and also where they might benefit from coaching.

| top|

When are Executive and Business Coaching used?

Business Coaching is used when the CEO, or a Board of Directors, needs to create a new, or re-energize, an existing organization as a whole within its industry and marketplace so better strategic decisions and execution occur; production, behavioral and financial accountabilities and success indicators are created; profitability increases; vision and mission are clarified; barriers to the business's current and future success are identified; and are its opportunities for growth are explored.

Executive and business coaching helps improve effectiveness in the following ways:
It develops more self-control and contextual-awareness in the workplace. The individual gains greater insight into how s/he functions as a leader and manager.

The individual using executive coaching will get greater understanding of other people, how they operate, their intentions, and how they think. This will help the individual to assist them to focus and align their intentions and actions with the organization’s agenda.

Communication skills will improve so the individual can better express her/his ideas so s/he can better influence and persuade others.
Recipients of executive coaching are increasingly able to better coach peers and subordinates. Greater attention to leveraging coaching opportunities will present themselves so the individual grows and develops as a leader.

Executive Coaching is used when there is interest by a CEO, or a highly valued executive, or group/team to:

  • develop full potential
  • improve performance
  • become more effective
  • enhance or create leadership
  • get “unstuck”
  • become more creative and innovative
  • be more able to lead and manage within the polarities and paradoxes of today’s business environment
  • learn and incorporate new skills, behaviors, and methods for operating
  • create, manage, and improve relationships
  • plan and manage succession and careers

Coaching Indicators

Coaching is used to develop leadership and executive effectiveness. Some indications that leadership is lacking and/or an executive is not effective are:

  • an executive, or leadership group is not able to develop nor execute the business’ strategic and tactical plans
  • follower-ship is lacking or missing
  • required teams are missing or ineffective
  • necessary competencies are missing and need to be acquired or developed
  • follow-through is lacking
  • desired behaviors and values are not modeled
  • required results are not being produced

Problems also arise from an executive’s inability to develop successful interpersonal relationships. Examples often appear as:

  • a tendency of the executive to over or under control
  • little or no sensitivity to inter-departmental relationships
  • promises are broken
  • personal communication style creates conflict, uneasiness, and performance issues with peers, subordinates, or superiors

Other indicators for executive coaching are a lack of motivation or performance because of the inability to effectively manage change. This is often seen as:

  • failure to embrace new approaches
  • inability to adapt to a new management or leadership style
  • failure to assimilate into a new corporate culture
  • poor energy and time management
  • inability to delegate work effectively
  • being stuck in old patterns of thought and behavior

| top|

What is the Coaching Process?

The Executive Coaching process customarily consists of four phases:

Phase 1. Pre-assessment and Contracting

The Sponsor of the Executive Coaching (Corporate Board of Directors, CEO, or the designated Senior Executive) meets with the Executive Coach and the individual executive or team (Client), identified as the coaching candidate. Topics discussed include:

  • executive coaching process itself
  • reasons and purpose of the coaching engagement
  • time frames
  • goals and outcomes
  • reporting schedules and relationships
  • commitments for participation in various assessments and other data gathering methods, including confidential multi-rater (360°) interviews
  • confidence in the process

Phase 2. Assessment

The Client may participate in various behavioral and personal assessments and inventories as determined by the Coach. Also, the Client may be observed in action by the Coach.

Phase 3. Action Planning and Implementation

After the completion of any assessments, data is shared with the Client. The Coach and Client establish an action plan to achieve the goals determined in Phase 1. A progress reporting schedule is developed, accountabilities and measures are discussed, and the meeting schedule between Coach and Client is created.

Phase 4. Closure and Follow-up

The Coach provides a summary of the accomplishments, an evaluation of the process, and will identify and discuss the Client’s remaining developmental needs.

| top|

What is the Role of Coach, Client, and Sponsoring Company?

The role of the Coach is to:

  • impose no judgments, systems, solutions, or otherwise control the outcomes that impact the Client
  • actively listen with intensity and focus
  • challenge assumptions
  • ask focused probing questions
  • provide insights and alternate perspectives
  • give the Client clear and unambiguous feedback
  • keep the Client’s focus on the desired outcome/growth
  • help Client discern the important from the urgent
  • support the Client’s accountability
  • keep Client moving forward and in an action mode


The role of the Client is to:

  • be committed
  • honestly and frankly identify and discuss professional and personal issues, desires, aspirations, barriers, conflicts, and perspectives that prevent goal achievement
  • prepare for coaching meetings in order to achieve maximum benefits
  • prioritize the successes and issues to be addressed in the meetings
  • provide the Coach with a copy of any written assignments
  • regularly give the Coach feedback and an evaluation of the process so Client and Coach can track progress
  • maintain the power in the coaching relationship


The role of the Sponsoring Company is to:

  • be clear about its intention for the Executive Client
  • be unequivocal in its sponsorship of Executive Coaching
  • be committed to the Executive Coaching process and be part of it
  • support the Client's development and accept change
  • develop skills for giving and getting feedback to/from the Client

| top|

What are some of the benefits of Executive Coaching?

Some of the benefits of coaching that researchers and company executives have regularly identified as substantially relevant to improved business strategy development and implementation include:

  1. A greater sense of confidence in both facilitating the decision process and effectively getting the tough decisions made
  2. The ability to motivate people to exceed expectations
  3. A better understanding of teamwork and shared accountability
  4. A clear focus on what's needed for success
  5. Realistic and understandable implementation and contingency planning
  6. Development of appropriate competencies needed for success and greater competitive advantage
  7. Less wasted time and fewer delays for competing in a tough market place
  8. A shortened time horizon between planning and results 

A heightened awareness and greater understanding of how you and other people operate, determine and carry out activities to fulfill your and their intentions, and how you and they think.

| top |

Am I ready to work with an executive coach?

Executive Coaching isn’t for everyone. To participate in executive coaching the individual must possess and demonstrate integrity and courage and be ready to engage in the process. If you answer in the affirmative to the following statements, consider working with an executive coach from zuback·crc.

  1. There are areas where I can improve my effectiveness.
  2. I’m looking forward to partnering with an executive coach.
  3. I accept change and growth in me, and others, is possible and will look for opportunities to develop my self and others.
  4. I’ll be at my best for coaching meetings and will do the work I need to do.
  5. I know executive coaching is a custom non-linear process of self-development and learning.
  6. I’ll schedule and treat coaching meetings as a high priority.
  7. I believe this a good or appropriate time to invest in my professional and personal growth and development.
  8. My organization will sufficiently support my working with an executive coach.
  9. I will dedicate the energy needed to maintain power in the coaching relationship and process.


| top |



home | who is steven zuback | values and principles of zubackcrc | origin and philosophy |
coaching services | types of coaching | coaching methods | time commitment / fees |
confidentially / collaboration | recommended reading | view testimonials | view our clients |
view frequently asked questions | contact information | site map


steven zuback - phone: 661·253·0286  fax: 661-554-0288 email: steve@zubackcrc.com   © zuback•crc 2005