It can be said that executive coaching is a form of organisational learning through one-to-one conversations that facilitates development for a leader
. It can be used in a variety of ways, for example, getting past an impasse, removing a stumbling block or drawing out and building on strengths. Undoubtedly, there has been a flurry of activity around coaching, and people are asking why. Why are there so many books, so many courses, even master’s programmes, on executive coaching? Why are so many consultants and therapists interested in becoming coaches? Why do you see professional coaching accreditation, international foundations and conferences? The first reason is probably the most influential. Over the last 15 years or so there’s been a profound change in how coaching is viewed. In the past it was seen as remedial: if you heard the word coaching you’d assume there was a problem. Now coaching has progressed from having a stigma attached to it to affording status: coaching has become an indication that one’s company considers one worth an investment. Moreover, we think this is because something else has happened in many business
cultures – people are more willing to admit to themselves and to others that they need the help of professionals to understand themselves and to grow and develop in their working environment. Senior executives now often acknowledge that they have had coaching and that it has informed them as leaders and influenced their value systems, the way they deal with other people or their approach to their work. This is increasingly seen as something to be proud of, as demonstrating emotional intelligence and insight. The second development is that nowadays coaches are much less interested in making dogmatic statements about one view or another. They want to use whatever works, borrowing ideas from different approaches, like sports coaching for example. They ask themselves what will work for this particular person, at this particular moment, with this particular question.