What makes an Executive Coach successful? Here are the top 3 factors

What makes an Executive Coach successful? Here are the top 3 factors

Through the means of my profession as an Executive Coach working with leaders within large organizations, meeting with other brilliant executive coaches, and through extensive literature reviews on the subject of coaching itself, I have come across some common factors that deem certain Executive Coach’s more successful than others.

Now, sure, “successful” is a pretty subjective word – but I’m not defining success here as financial success – but the ability to make a measurable and meaningful impacts through the coaching engagement (and yes these two can very well be related!)

Successful executive coaches should be able to understand human drives and motivations, the latest organizational issues and complexities, and the marked effects of emotions and interpersonal styles on executive leadership. It is not sufficient to view leadership and management issues within organizations through a single lens but from a multisystem viewpoint – this is done by looking beyond the organization and into the competitive economic and political realities of the organization itself.

Self-awareness, high-level coaching knowledge, combined with the ability to take confidentiality extremely serious and understanding the roles of the coachee and the sponsors involved in the coaching engagement is crucial. So, what are the top 3 factors?

1. The first key role that successful Executive Coaches play is that of a facilitator in professional development. This role allows executive coaches to act as facilitators of change, to manage change, and most importantly assist executives and leaders to organize their thinking, manage objectivity and drive change. Executives should be equipped with the skills and mind-set to solve problems using successful models that the Executive Coach will assist with.

2. Another factor that successful Executive Coaches possess is the will and determination to really want their clients to succeed no matter what. These coaches are doing what they do because they are a hundred percent committed to bringing in the results for their clients. They are extremely passionate and invested in the coaching engagement. They have the ability to motivate and assist their clients with feedback and discipline. These coaches also have the savvy nature of understanding issues from a broad perspective of the organization and its leadership, with high levels of flexibility and creativity.

3. Lastly, successful coaches are compassionate, friendly, easy to talk to and can easily relate with others. Through their process of building rapport, they are equipped with the ability to ask meaningful, powerful and clarifying questions. Their active listening skill is tremendous, and they have the ability to reflect heavily on what is being discussed throughout the coaching engagements. Adherence to the highest standards of professional conduct combined with personality traits such as integrity, trust and honesty are deeply embedded within their coaching DNA!


What is your definition of “success” in coaching? What other factors do you think deem an Executive Coach successful?



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