What Makes for an Effective Executive Coach?

Topic(s): coaching
Publication: Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research (2013)
Article: Executive coaching outcome research: The contribution of common factors such as relationship, personality match, and self-efficacy
Authors: Erik de Haan, Anna Duckworth, David Birch, & Claire Jones
Reviewed by: Scott Charles Sitrin

In a study of 156 client-coach pairs (34 coaches and 156 clients), clients completed surveys on their working relationship with their executive coach, their own ability to complete tasks and reach goals, the coach’s techniques and the coach’s effectiveness. Sample items included: “I believe my coach is genuinely concerned for my welfare,” “I am clear as to what my coach wants me to do in these sessions,” and “I can always manage to solve difficult problems if I try hard enough.”

Clients also responded to questions about what coaching techniques were used and how valuable they felt the coaching experience had been.

There are strong indications that the following three factors affect the success or failure of a executive coaching:

  1. The client’s view of coaching relationship as a working alliance.
  2. The client’s view of their own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.
  3. Which coaching technique the client experiences.

So, the first thing to consider in picking an executive coach is probably the employee with whom that coach will be partnered.

Can you think of additional success factors for successful executive coaching?