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In this short essay, I will try to answer some basic questions about what is becoming a crucial topic for many organizations and managers: executive coaching.

What are the results of executive coaching?

Two important questions to ask when focusing on executive coaching: 1) does coaching focus primarily on changing behaviors or on achieving results? and 2) does coaching focus more on the individual or on the organization?

Often, when we meet with individuals, managers and HRDs looking to hire a coach, we are given rambling goals such as, but not limited to, developing leadership, improving the company's bottom line, creating a better team, optimizing employee engagement, increasing self-awareness, shaping strategy, etc.

These are well-defined goals, but they lack the cohesion and connectivity to make coaching effective and sustainable. The results of coaching are presented as a two-dimensional relational matrix, keeping in mind individual behaviors and organizational goals.

What are the requirements of a coachee?

First, let's give some examples of people who can benefit from coaching:

  • Business leaders undertaking an unexpected change process.
  • Leaders or managers who need to develop new behaviors
    (comme la conscience de soi ou l’influence).
  • (such as self-awareness or influence)
    Professionals who need emotional and social skills to succeed in their career.
  • High potential employees who are being prepared for promotions.

Coaching sessions are then tailored to each of these target groups based on the results listed in the coaching matrix.
énumérés dans la matrice de coaching.

There are conditions to be met in order to benefit from coaching. As a coach, during your first interview, look for signs that
interview, look for signs that the candidate is :

  • Open to change
  • Willing to experiment with ideas
  • Able to reflect and admit mistakes
  • Willing to listen to what others say with humility
  • Open to learning
  • Future-oriented
  • Able to adapt a style to the demands of the situation
  • Driven by a sense of personal mission and passion

In my many years of working with high-level executives, I have given up coaching candidates because one or more of these conditions were not met.

What are the skills of an executive coach?

There are many types of coaches. If you are a business leader, HR professional, social worker, peer or outside expert, you can be a coach. The style of coaching is not as important as following certain guidelines for the content and process of coaching.

CONTENT means that the coach has an understanding of leadership related to the strategy, context and team of the organization in question. It also means that the coach has a mental model of what it means to be an effective leader.

PROCESS refers to the engagement between the coach and the coachee. Here are some ideas to help you manage the process:

  • Focus on the future, not the past (feed-forward)
  • Establish a relationship of trust
  • Listen to understand
  • Probe the candidate to uncover deeper issues.
  • Be honest without being punitive

Until now, coaching has been a fad and has not yet been professionalized. I believe that executive coaching is a trend that meets many of the needs of changing organizations. It addresses the specific needs of aspiring managers and business leaders who are dealing with volatility and uncertainty.

Interview your coach like you interview your future star employees.

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