Home Tools and Applications Executive Coaching Executive Coaches Share Openly and Unselfishly: Dynamic Panel Discussion at ICF Annual Conference 2003

Executive Coaches Share Openly and Unselfishly: Dynamic Panel Discussion at ICF Annual Conference 2003

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In Germany, face-to-face coaching was the norm in 2003. This has completely changed; face-to-face and telephone coaching are both well accepted by now.

What needs to change in the field? In my experience, executive coaching today also focuses on very personal issues that used to be handled by life coaches. I really think that this differentiation is obsolete, since we need to look not only at the role and function an executive has, but more and more if her/his life is congruent with her/his understanding of the inhabited role and the values.

I really think that we as executive coaches need a deep and thorough understanding of the organization. If we keep talking only to the C-suite we miss the groundwork.

Jeannine Sandstrom
1. Since we did this panel discussion the coaching industry has exploded.  Most businesses have certainly heard of coaching even if they haven’t actively used the service.  The good news is we no longer have to explain we’re not athletic “trainers”!  Bad news is we are sometimes viewed as a plug and play commodity and one size fits all.  What this means for those of us focusing on executive coaching is that we still get to “describe” what we do and it value proposition for the exec and organization.

This is not a bad thing in my viewpoint.  As a business owner I expect a consultant to be able to clearly state how their product/service will better my staff and business.  I need to know the return on my investment and have clear expectations for delivery success.

And as a provider this keeps me fresh, really current in being able to clearly state the value of an executive coaching engagement both for the leader being coached and for their organization. And it helps distinguish an experienced executive coach from someone newer in the field.

2. Our current challenges/opportunities can stem from the above.  So many schools, academic institutions, private certification organizations, etc. now produce coaches that we sometimes find ourselves viewed as an industry with little distinguishing one graduate from another.  This provides for a coach to specialize in an industry, level of client, type of client, etc. etc.  However, it may also make it more difficult for that coach to identify an effective sustainable marketing platform.  An interesting dilemma – too general and you’re like everyone else.  Too specialized and your opportunities could become more difficult to identify.

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