The executive coaching process

 The executive coaching process

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind."
William James

yachtsGetting the chemistry right

Any successful coaching relationship is based on good interpersonal chemistry. It’s a quality that’s hard to define, but we all know it when we find it. That’s why I suggest a free initial consultation over the phone or face-to-face so we can get a feel for what it’ll be like to work together and for whether coaching will help.

Starting with the end in mind

We usually start with work to pinpoint where clients are now – at work and in the rest of life. I then help them discover and articulate their own unique vision, values and goals that together paint a compelling picture of the future they want to create. This in itself can be enormously energising.

Once clients know where they are heading, we identify the milestones that will provide short-term successes against which to track progress.

Challenge and change

We then move onto focused work to develop the know-how, tactics and inner resources to make change happen.

Here I become a critical friend, challenging engrained habits and limiting beliefs while helping people develop empowering attitudes and skilful approaches. But I never just tell a client what to do – people only make real progress when they are thinking and acting for themselves.

This phase of our work is often highly pragmatic. We are working on live priorities and opportunities and responding to the results clients are getting from the changes they are trying out.

Coaching ideas, techniques and tools

I’m an integrative coach, which means I call on a range of psychological theories as well as multiple techniques and tools for personal development, performance and communication. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.

My coaching is based on a positive psychology perspective, which looks to identify and build on the things we do well rather than focusing on what is going wrong.

Duration, frequency and format of coaching

The duration and frequency of the coaching I provide varies enormously. With some clients, we meet weekly over three to four months as they negotiate important transitions and challenges. With others, I provide less frequent coaching that can continue over a year or more. And with some, we might work intensively on a particular issue for just one or two sessions.

Most meetings are face to face, supplemented by contact on the phone, email and video calling.

For some clients, I’ll also observe them as they go about their work, including in key meetings and other interactions. This can provide valuable material. I might also ask a client to complete a psychometric test or seek 360-degree feedback from colleagues.


I keep the content of our work together confidential at all times. If clients want to share with others what we are working on, of course that’s fine – but that’s their decision not mine.

Executive coaching case studies