A guide to executive coaching

Photo copyright Oxford Leadership
  1. What is coaching
    What it is and what it isn’t, the difference between coaching and mentoring, an insight into the weird and wonderful world of “internet coaches”, and more.
  2. How you can benefit from coaching
    I’ll explain the main reasons executives and companies hire coaches, and what the main benefits are.
  3. How to measure the impact of coaching
    It’s difficult to put a monetary value on investment on coaching. Therefore, according to surveys, most companies use qualitative indicators to measure impact. This section will ask a few critical questions and share the most common methods.
  4. Tips for hiring a coach
    These days, everyone seems to be calling themselves a coach, making it rather tricky to pick a good one. This section will walk you through the key selection criteria for hiring a coach.

First, the word coach… What does the word evoke in you?

What is coaching?

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.

What coaching is not

Maybe you need a mentor instead of an executive coach?

Not ready to move forward until you’ve sorted out issues from your childhood?

Just want to get the job done? Hire a consultant.

The weird and wonderful world of “internet coaches”?

How an executive coach can benefit you

  • Difficulty handling change
  • Not working well in a team
  • Poor interpersonal relationships

Measuring the impact of coaching

  • What is the cost of executive burn-out?
  • What is the cost of a dysfunctional management team?
  • What is the cost of lost opportunities because the executive doesn’t take time to reflect, dare to be challenged, nurture talent and look towards the future?

Most companies use soft indicators to measure the impact of coaching

Two tips for hiring a coach

How to evaluate a coach’s experience?

Personal chemistry is critical for a rewarding coaching relationship

  • Experience from coaching in a similar setting
  • Clear methodology

In summary

  • Executive coaching is key to sustainable business performance and personal fulfilment.
  • When looking to hire a coach, make the long-list based on accredited coaches (I recommend ICF), then a shortlist based on experience and methodology, and finally meet a couple of coaches to evaluate personal chemistry.
  • Rather than focusing on ROI, ask yourself what’s the cost of not supporting your executive, and then measure impact with 360 feedback (in my experience the Leadership Circle Profile is by far the best tool for this).


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Ready to become who you could be? I’m an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant writing about Leading Self & Others from a lens of Integral, Jung and Zen.

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Fredrik Lyhagen

Fredrik Lyhagen

Ready to become who you could be? I’m an Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant writing about Leading Self & Others from a lens of Integral, Jung and Zen.

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