Leadership & Executive Coaching

I'm a leadership & executive coach currently in training on the Tavistock Consulting’s renowned Executive Coaching Programme in London.

Why do clients seek out leadership & executive coaching?

Clients come to leadership & executive coaching with a wide range of agendas. These can range from: 

  • Work Problems - difficult relationships, conflicts within teams, impaired job satisfactions, encountering resistance to the implementation of change.  
  • Specific goals  - to increase outputs, improve personal skills, improve partnership working, positioning oneself for promotion
  • Broader developmental aims – to settle into a new role after a promotion, increase their efficiency and effectiveness, better understanding themselves and their relationships with others, finding new of tackling work challenges.

What does leadership & executive coaching involve?

Leadership & executive coaching involves a one-to-one relationship between a consultant, or coach, and a client, usually a senior leader or manager, which aims to further the effectiveness of the client in their organisational role.  Coaching is primarily offered to leaders and executives as it can be seen as adding the most value to an organisation due to their roles involve managing considerable complexity.

Unlike mentoring or counselling, coaching is a primarily a non-directive experience, where the coach and leader work together to create a psychological space to allow the leader to stand back from their role and explore how they see themselves and their leadership tasks within their organisation.

Essentially executive coaching  can be thought of as  a professional development activity or strategy,  which is commissioned to help leaders to think systematically about the unconscious life of their organisation.  By increasing their awareness of the things ‘below the surface’ that are present in all human interaction, coaching therefore aims to help the client develop a detailed understanding and perspective of their current organisational situation and role. Coaching can help a leader: -

  • Better challenge their existing mental frameworks and forms of thought in order to encourage deep connections between thinking and feeling.
  • Increase  their capacity to deal with complexity and ambiguity and more clearly articulate their successful personal and business performance.
  • Utilise the actions and learning that arise in the coaching sessions to implement adaptive and versatile new strategies.

The usual practice in leadership and executive coaching contracts is for the coach and client to work on a longer-term basis, often meeting monthly over a period of over six-eight months or more. This allows the client time and space to practice embedding the learning from the coaching sessions in ‘real-world’ situations in their workplace.

How does leadership and executive coaching work?

Leadership and executive coaching is centred around the formation of a good relationship between the client and coach with both working together seeking to understand the meaning of the presenting issues for the client, their team and wider organisation.  

Whether the coaching is sponsored by the individual leader, or by their organisation, the aim therefore is for the coach and client to collaborate successfully by building a trusting relationship and forming a productive ‘working alliance’. This means they’ll see the partnership in equal terms, both taking responsibility for the outcomes of the coaching.

Work roles and group and organisational dynamics are of course intertwined with personal experience and making sense of any situation always means the need to understand the context from all three perspectives. In leadership and executive coaching the client and coach explore the interplay between the client's personal domain (their individual background, history and patterns of relating), professional domain (current leadership role and responsibilities) and organisational domain (the wider dynamics of the organisation and the market and global forces it operates within).

What are the roles of the coach and client?

In the leadership and executive coaching relationship, the client is positioned as an expert in their field. They are usually well functioning leaders, who bring their understanding and knowledge of their organisational context to the coaching. In coaching they aim to work with their coach to reflect on their current experience and together explore the current contextual environment in which their leadership role operates in.

The coach’s role  in the working relationship is to create the conditions for reflective learning, allowing the client to gain further insight and perspectives. Leadership and executive coaches work to establish safe psychological spaces with their clients’, allowing them to identify and work towards their developmental goals.  To achieve a successful ‘working alliance’ and further the effectiveness of the client in their organisational role the coach will:-

  • Adhere to strict codes of professional practice and guaranteeing the confidentiality of an individual and corporation’s information by employing clear boundaries in the contracting of the coaching terms and conditions.
  • Bringing strong coaching skills and competences and secure ways of relating. 
  • Communicate transparently and effectively with the client and any organisational stakeholder’s, including establishing pathways for feedback and reviews of progress made. 

What is my approach to leadership & executive coaching?

As a leadership and executive coach, I combine my extensive knowledge of patterns of relating, and ‘attachment styles’ in families with the Tavistock’s Consulting’s model of exploring the interplay of an individual’s ‘below the surface’ experiences within the context of their teams and wider working culture.

Our sessions give you time to pause and consider the impact of the emotional, interpersonal and organisational pressures you are dealing with in your current leadership role. This enables better navigation of  the complex and sometimes confusing and uncertain processes that often occur in our workplaces today.  

I work authenticity and with sensitivity, aiming to help you harness your expertise and increase your effectiveness in meeting your leadership tasks and goals and  increasing your capacity to influence others.  My contracting and coaching conversations are underpinned by the following ways of working: -

  • Ensuring clear boundaries are present in the contracting of the coaching terms and conditions.
  • Communicating with transparency and clarity with yourself and any stakeholders.
  • Creating a secure and generative learning environment together to develop your self-awareness and work towards your goals in the context of often complex workplace dynamics.
  • Helping you make sense of any underlying  issues, emotions and patterns that are present for you. This includes exploring the unconscious processes and the ‘below the surface’ feelings, which can be better understood and contained by talking together.
  • Careful listening and interpreting in the ‘here-and-now’ of our sessions and offering well timed, accurate and authentic reflections of your thoughts and feelings to further develop your understanding
  • Consistently locating your individual experiences within your  leadership role,  and the wider organisation.
  • Incorporating regular review conversations, especially when developmental goals or organisational contexts change over our time. This leads overall to the greater integration of your thoughts and feelings into clear actions and a shift in focus from the presenting issues to solutions and new ways of working.

Coaching contracts Spring 2024

The Tavistock’s Executive Coaching Programme leads to accreditation at Senior Practitioner level by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC). In training I have Affiliate EMCC membership, working to their international code of ethics and with extensive individual and group supervision.  

My coaching contracts are on a lower cost or pro-bono basis during the early stages of the training programme. If you are a leader or HR manager who'd like to know more about working together with me, then please get in touch for more information, or to organise an initial 20 minute consultation, or 'chemistry' matching session.