What is Executive Coaching

Let's start with what it's not. Executive coaching is not training or teaching, at least not in the normal understanding of these. Neither is it a remedial measure to address an identified weakness. Coaching starts from the premise that the candidate has proven ability and potential and uses skilful questioning to assist them in working out their own development strategies. 

It is most commonly implemented during times of change in a candidate's career, but can add genuine value at any time by helping the candidate to gain a much deeper sense of self awareness, leading to clearer thinking and more focussed objectives.

 Who will benefit from Coaching?

There are no restrictions as to who can benefit from the process, but it is particularly effective for mid to high level executives who are experiencing a significant change in their role. 

In particular, where a candidate is moving from a functional to a strategic level (i.e. from doing to managing), there are significant challenges related to mindset and behaviours rather than actions. What they did successfully before, they are now possibly responsible for overseeing, or they may now be required to think at a much more strategic level. 

This can be both daunting and frustrating. The coaching process will enable them to qualify their previous experiences and apply them to their new role.

The coach's role however is to unlock potential and assist the candidate to find their own clarity of thinking and prioritisation so the most important pre-requisite is that the candidate is open to the process. No coach can help a candidate who is resistant.

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us 

Tae see ourselves as ithers see us!

It would fae mony a blunder free us

An' foolish notion

What airs in dress and gait wid le'e us

And e'en devotion

Robert Burns, Tae a Louse

  The Process 

Coaches do not lecture or teach. Their role is to question and challenge. Through a process of skilful questioning, they will focus the candidate on what they need to address and help them to understand how to best apply their skills. This will involve looking at:


  • Where they have succeeded previously and why
  • Where they have failed previously and why
  • The value of failure
  • Change and challenges
  • Self Awareness; Impact on the business and impact on others in the business
  • Awareness of the environment and changes within
  • The work/life balance

For more details of ISR's approach to Executive Coaching, you can download our Employee Development sheet by clicking here 

e-mail us at contact@isrconsulting.co.uk or call on T: 01494 445084, M: 07525 911894