What is Executive Coaching?

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What Is Executive Coaching?

The primary component of successful coaching is based in the art of inquiry. Experiencing powerful inquiry enables the participant to focus on the positive aspects of what is happening, and shifts their attention to “what is possible”, rather than “what is wrong, and who is to blame”.

Recent studies indicate that executive coaching receives strong endorsement from both the organizations who offer the service, either internally or externally, as well as from the executives who receive the coaching. In the early days it was targeted to resolve a problem and “fixing it” for an individual. Currently it is employed as a “develop it” strategy, and is considered a necessary component of any leadership development program within HR. It is also considered a critical component of support for creating a “learning culture or organization”.

In his classic book, “The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of Learning Organizations” Senge notes that,

“Coaching is the most explicit and personal vehicle for encouraging and training individuals in transforming themselves into intentional, innovative, and productive learners.”


  • 43% of CEOs have worked with a coach
  • 71% of senior executives have worked with a coach
  • 92% of leaders being coached plan to use a coach again
  • 63% of organizations say they will increase coaching

Coaching is a proactive, optimistic approach that draws upon a person’s inherent strengths.

Coaching is the act of partnering with an individual or team in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.


What is an Executive Coach?

A coach is a credentialed experienced professional who partners with the executive in a thought provoking and creative process that inspires the executive to maximize their personal and professional potential through assessment, conversation, objectives identification, learning opportunities, and action planning.

Credentialed Coaches are trained

  • To listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual coachee needs.
  • As experts at inquiry, knowing what questions to ask to enable the coachee to discover their own answers.
  • To support the coachee to design their plan of action authentically.
  • To believe the coachee is naturally creative and resourceful.
  • To hold the coachee accountable, and celebrate their success.

“An effective coach helps a coachee achieve agreed-upon goals, while also transferring the knowledge and skills needed to sustain ongoing development. Like good parents, good coaches foster independence.

Great coaches sniff out hidden truths. They tend to be curious and ask penetrating questions. The ability to turn over rocks and discover what lies beneath is critical because business conversations-including briefings to coaches – often omit essential issues that later…”( have profound effects if not discerned.) “The Wild West of Executive Coaching”

~ Stratford Sherman and Alyssa Freas, Harvard Business Review, 2004

Most executives in Fortune 500 companies have a coach to provide a sounding board, clarify strategic intentions, assure all elements and resources are aligned to support the successful implementation of those intentions and initiatives, as well supporting decisions and planning for the “people ” aspect of any new initiative or change.

Coaches act as a leadership catalyst, as an objective sounding board, as a cheerleader for the leader’s highest intentions for success. They support the leader to envision possibilities that he/she might be missing due to the day to day operational responsibilities. A coach can quickly help you sort out fact from fiction around problems that exist, or around changes you intend to make and can streamline your planning process.

“Coaching translates into doing; doing translates into impacting the business; the impact can be quantified and maximized, and measured”

What are The Results?

Executives and business owners alike report that working with a coach:

  • Improves their confidence in decision making
  • Increases their effectiveness as a leader of others
  • Increases the time they have available to actually do what is necessary for success
  • Improves the bottom line because the resources are appropriately proportioned and directly aligned
  • Enhances their strategic thinking and problem solving ability
  • Improves their relationships with employees, there by improving employee engagement

Who Might benefit from Executive Coaching?

Primary Intentions for working with an executive coach fall generally into two categories:

  • change-oriented, with emphasis on supplementing and refocusing the leader’s competencies;
  • growth-oriented with emphasis on accelerating the learning curve for a new or transitioned leader.

Common Objectives:

  • Executive presence, demeanor
  • Interpersonal, Emotional Intelligence
  • Transition to new role, Stretch assignment
  • Strategic thinking
  • Embracing & leading change effectively
  • Embracing reorganization
  • Partnership & collaboration

When is it appropriate?

1. Leaders in transition

  • New to Strategic leader role
  • New to your company
  • Transitioning Strategic leader into new responsibilities; stretch role

2. To support an individual leader to develop additional personal and professional skills to enhance their effectiveness as a leader in stretch role or new area of responsibility

3. Leaders who have demonstrated a need to improve leaders’ self-awareness, executive presence, professional demeanor to increase their effectiveness as a leader and team member


How to Choose an Executive Coach?

If you are considering a coach, seek one who is certified by the ICF and has been successfully coaching leaders for at least 3 or 4 years.

One caveat, many consultants promote themselves as coaches, when truly they are not trained as coaches. They may be very beneficial as a consultant to target specific business problems, and will offer advice and solutions to address the particular concern. A coach is skilled in helping you to discover your own answers and solutions, and to partner with you to plan how you implement and execute your strategy.

To determine which kind of support you desire, answer the following questions:

  1. Do you want someone to listen to your problem and design a solution for you to implement?
  2. Would you prefer to have someone specifically experienced in your industry?
  3. Would you prefer to have a number of different professionals advising you on specific areas of need?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions you most likely will work best with a consultant rather than a coach.

On the other hand, if you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, you probably will work better with a coach.

  1. Would you prefer to explore your own thoughts and ideas to discover the best approach to a particular situation?
  2. Would you prefer to establish a relationship in which you are able to explore issues, opportunities, and potential scenarios in general across your enterprise?
  3. Are you interested in learning a new approach to problem solving by increasing your awareness of self and your awareness of possible new ways to see might be possible?

There is a clear difference between how coaches and consultants are trained as well as what they offer as a service to you.

  • Consultants offer to solve problems and provide expertise, information, direction, and advice.
  • Coaches utilize the art of inquiry, as well as other techniques, to help clients tap into their own experience, knowledge, and wisdom for answers. They support clients to discern the facts about a situation to enable their making rational choices, rather than emotional ones. Coaches partner with their clients to design effective action plans, and support the achievement of their best results

In many cases, you can find a coach who is specialized by industry or business type. If you are considering a coach or consultant to support your business improvements, contact Coach Dianne for a complimentary conversation to help you decide.

Call her at 727-481-1646

Why is Credentialing Important?

  • Personal transformative process, similar to therapist experience
  • Adherence to Code of Ethics and Confidentiality requirements
  • Professional responsibility for continuous learning CEU

When to invest in a Business Coach?

As a leader, are you finding there are times when you feel unsure or unclear about the next best steps to take to improve your bottom line or to increase market share or determine hiring requirements, etc.?

Leaders are often spending their time on day to day operations without breathing room or space to think about the future in a planful and systematic way. While strategic planning and budgeting might be routine annual events, there is rarely time to explore multiple ideas or approaches.

Often an executive coach can speed the process of exploring the options, designing a SMART plan, and taking action to accomplish your goals.

What would you experience if you knew you had an objective highly skilled and credentialed professional supporting you to make clear, factual, expedient decisions in a timely and painless fashion?

If you are considering a business consultant or a coach, call Coach Dianne for a complimentary conversation to help you decide which service will be best for your desired outcomes. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and no obligation at all.

Dianne Kipp is founder and owner of Follow Your Heart Journeys, LLC and Dianne M. Kipp & Associates, LLC. She is a certified life and business coach as well as a certified culture consultant. She and her associates exist to support individuals and business leaders to clarify and accomplish their most important life and business intentions with ease. She was nominated and in the top 3 candidates for Entrepreneur Woman of the Year, 2012, in St Petersburg, FL.

Contact her at 727.481.1646
Moving good leaders to greatness with Ease!

Best Life Coaches in Tampa – 2016


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