Executive Coaching is not consulting, counseling, therapy or even mentoring. Clients usually bring on a consultant and not a coach when they need to solve a burning issue and need solutions, advice or suggestions and is often a reactive engagement after the fact. In the contrary, an executive coach is engaged by a client proactively and more often in an ongoing basis for professional development with a focus on present and future goals.
An executive Coach works with his or her clients to unearth their full potential and supports them with tools and resources that will enable them to take the right actions that will lead them to their goals.
Executive Coach gets paid for enabling their clients to solve their own problems. This would be called Coaching good” vs Coaching poorly wherein a coach offers advice and solutions to the client’s issues and spends more time talking than listening.
An Executive Coach need not be an expert in a specific subject, industry or business problem of a client as the role is to help them step back and think differently and enable them to walk a path with clarity towards their goals.
In Executive Coaching, it’s always about client’s agenda and mostly involves listening and the only talking is to ask the right open questions that will help clients to keep clearing their own path. A good analogy would be using a shovel to remove the snow and as you go thru the process, the path keeps opening.
Now, my personal take on Executive Coaching is that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. It starts with a process of getting to know the client, earn the right to advance, pave the path for their client and continue to work towards becoming a Trusted Partner for a long and continuous engagement.