Executive Coaching

Why have executive coaching?

Coaching can be split into a number of categories of delivery, at one level it can be used effectively to help develop skills within the workplace however, most senior managers have plenty of skills, indeed most managers within the UK have been promoted to their senior rank due to excellence in their technical ability.

Executives normally come to coaching to assist their migration journey from technical expert into an executive, leadership role and can benefit from coaching to help in that transition. To a certain extent this is still skill based development but requiring a change in mind set rather than functional skill change.

Behavioural based development.

Those who aspire to leadership generally have a strong drive toward power, achievement and success. Consequently common problems identified are:

  • A need to dominate and control
  • A focus on action, rather than thinking
  • A need to be right
  • Impatience
  • A need to be associated with success and to avoid failure
  • A high need to self determination
  • A need to feel powerful
  • A need to know
  • An exaggerated sense of responsibility
  • Over commitment
  • Struggle to balance work demands with other areas of life.

Coaching can help support the senior executive deal with these issues in an environment of trust, openness and none judgement, providing them with a safe place to self develop.

The behavioural characteristics listed require not education in the traditional collegiate style to change but need to address social and behavioural styles, often developed over many years in order to survive and thrive.

Transformational Learning was developed by Jack Mezirow (1994). It is the social process of construing and appropriating a new or revised interpretation of the meaning of your experience as a guide to action.

Merizow suggests that learners experience personal and intellectual growth when they follow this learning sequence


Utilising coaching methods of enquiry, support investigation, emphatic listening and none judgemental challenge we can help the executive explore areas and then challenge them to take actions for change.

A particular method we use in executive coaching to support the investigations is the Johari Window:

The Johari window created in 1955 by two American psychologists, Joseph Luft (1916–2014) and Harrington Ingham (1914–1995), used to help people better understand their relationship with self and others.

This technique can begin to expand the coaching from skills into supporting actions and behaviour/ motivation and prohibiting factors toward performance improvement.

Timothy Gallwey, 1974; The Inner Game of Work:   Potential – interference= Performance

By building trust and rapport with the coachee the bottom left of the quadrant opens up factors within the coachee that are stopping them being successful…. Interference.

Supporting the coachee in the top right quadrant we can provide feedback that can lead to actions of change.

By pushing the boundaries in a none threatening and supportive environment like coaching, the pressure exerted from the bottom left and top right quadrant naturally then extend the development into the bottom right quadrant where exploration and new experiences are found.

We have used this method on many senior executives to help support their own development needs to become more effective leaders.

Johari window explained