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Executive Coaching

Organizations invest in coaching to support an individual's optimal performance.

What is coaching?

  • Coaching supports individual performance in a business context, and focuses on the future.

  • It helps executives and high-potential individuals to discover their own path through self-awareness, support, and tailored guidance.


Executive coaching has evolved.

  • In past decades, coaching was considered remedial, with most organizations hiring a coach to “fix” an individual’s behaviour issues. There was significant stigma attached to receiving coaching.

  • Today, coaching has a much different, more positive focus. It is now a badge of honour; individuals being coached are considered top talent.

  • Organizations view coaching as an investment to support executives in their roles (to act as a sounding-board for organizational dynamics and strategic matters), and to develop the capabilities of high-potential employees.

  • The need for coaching is increasing, as the internal and external business environments become more complex.



Who can benefit from coaching?

Frequently, it is the coachees (the individuals) themselves who initiate the coaching relationship.

Examples of situations where coaching may be helpful:

  • An executive leader transitioning to a new role wants a sounding-board.

  • A high-potential employee wants to polish his interpersonal skill-set.

  • An individual becomes the new leader of an existing team.

  • An executive leader wants to transform her business unit and initiate a change management program.

  • A mid-career recruit from outside the organization or another functional area transitions into a new strategy-development role.

  • A senior executive wishes to hone his strategic planning skills.



How does coaching support optimal performance?

Awareness and responsibility are two qualities that are crucial to optimal performance.

  • Awareness involves gathering and clearly perceiving facts and information, and the ability to determine what is relevant. This ability will include an understanding of systems, dynamics, relationships between things and people, and self-awareness. Self-awareness encompasses the ability to recognize when and how emotions or desires distort one’s own perception.

  • Responsibility is the ability to accept, choose and take ownership for our thoughts and our actions. As a result, our commitment to our thoughts and actions rises and so does our performance.


Self-belief, self-motivation, awareness and self-awareness, choice, clarity, commitment, responsibility, and action are the products of coaching.



When is coaching not appropriate?

  • Do not engage a coach to fix behaviourial problems.

  • Do not engage a coach if the real agenda is to push the executive out or to fix a systemic issue beyond the control of the coached individual.

  • Coaching is not therapy. Coaching is not the appropriate tool to treat mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety.



What is the difference between coaching versus mentoring?

While the two terms are frequently used interchangeably, each uses a different approach.


  • Mentoring

    • In this instance, the mentor is the expert – this individual has more knowledge, experience, and wisdom than the person being mentored.

    • A mentor tells and shows a person how to do things and provides insights, answers and direction.


  • Coaching

    • In this case, it is assumed that the individuals being coached have many of the answers within themselves, and that they can contribute to the discussion and the solution.

    • A coach helps the individual think out loud and consider options.

    • A coach is highly supportive and responsive but much less directive than a mentor.



At Sutherland & Associates, we offer a 6-step, 12-session coaching program tailored to individual needs.

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